Wednesday, 3 May 2017

How Do I Live Longer?

It's something on many of our minds. We love living, and don't want to die, but the question is: how can I extend my life? You may know that it's possible, given our increasing life expectancy, but not know how to go about it (looking at WHO statistics over time, US life expectancy hasn't fallen, despite what this article opens with). You may have been told that it isn't, but something inside you suspects otherwise. Either way, there are things you can do, starting from today, to live a longer and healthier life.

Source: Audrey (CC BY-SA: 2.0)
First of all, get a good night's sleep! As Dr. Steven Wilson says, “If you sleep less than six hours per night, you’re not going to live as long". On average, we need five sleep cycles each night, which takes around seven hours. This helps to prevent problems such as anxiety, high blood pressure and diabetes. Dr. Wilson, like those of us in natural health, also stresses the importance of nutrition. “Everyone should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day—of various colours, which represent different phytonutrients,” he says. Lean protein, anti-inflammatory fats and limiting processed foods are also essential recommendations. Taz Bhatia, author of What Doctors Eat, reminds us of the anti-inflammatory properties of spices such as turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper. For example, a trial published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that (good quality!) turmeric can be equally effective to ibuprofen in treating knee osteoarthritis. However, it is best to see a qualified professional in order to determine what specific advice is right for you.

Dr. Michael Roizen, co-author of Age-Proof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip, adds: Jump! Hip fractures are a major trigger for death in older adults, but jumping provides low-level stress that strengthens bones. A study in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that women who jumped on a hard surface 40 times each day increased bone density, while those who didn't continued to lose it. This was 20 jumps twice a day, with 30 seconds of rest between each. And as Rachel Straub, co-author of Weight Training Without Injury, says, never neglect cardio nor strength training every week. Remembering these can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular issues and all-cause mortality.

This article goes into other simple ways to lengthen your life, such as meditation to improve brain function and reduce stress; minimising exposure to toxins and being socially engaged. As we are all individuals, however, my advice is to see a qualified holistic health professional so you can learn what is right for you, and to take this article as general advice.

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