Living to a happy, healthy old age is something we all hope to achieve, and there are things you can do to put yourself on the right track. Admittedly some are easier to do than others, but we submit them all for your review.
Building on what we’ve shown you in part 1 of our series on living to be 100, here are 17 more science backed suggestions to help you live longer, better, healthier.
1. Get out in the yard. Working in the garden is a great combination of cardiovascular exercise and flexibility, endurance and building muscle strength. What’s more, when the workout’s finished, your yard looks beautiful. An hour of steady gardening is the equal of a five-mile walk; so if you don’t do anything else, get out in the garden three to four times a week.
2. Consider half a selenium pill, an antioxidant that is a natural part of soil but that modern farming practices have removed. This trace mineral is widely acknowledged as having some cancer protective properties. Women should be getting 50-60mcg/day, men up to 100 mcg/day. Unfortunately it’s hard to find selenium supplements at this dose, so split a 100mcg pill, or take a tablet every other day. Brazil nuts are a natural source of selenium.
3. Use an extra onion that can be sneaked into other recipes as this veggie is thought to bring down the risk of colorectal cancer, laryngeal cancer and even ovarian cancer. They are naturally rich in the antioxidant quercetin that is believed to prevent harmful enzymes from setting off inflammation, while also having sulphur compounds that help strengthen the immune system.
4. Drink your milk as the vitamin D content also makes it a good anti-inflammatory. Also, low levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream have been associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, both conditions that have inflammation as the culprit.
5. Keep your fruit out of the fridge, as keeping these foods at room temperatures has been found to boost the health giving properties. Some brightly colored fruits (tomatoes, watermelon, red/pink grapefruit) when stored at room temperature have double the beta-carotene as chilled fruit does. They also keep 20 times more lycopene because the warmer temperature helps them keep on ripening.
6. Have sex at least two times a week. One U.S. expert estimates that sex at least three times a week can add as much as 2 years to your life, while doing it every day can add as much as 8 years. A Welsh study found that regular sex has a protective effect, those who had orgasms at least two times a week had a 50% lower risk of early death. Sex does release DHEA a substance known to help repair and heal tissue.
7. Forget something every day. Age related memory issues may not be because of shrinking brain cells, but because we try to hold onto too much. Brains at mid life have a hard time blocking out information, so try and consciously drop unimportant info to free up space.
8. Throw away your scale. It’s not so much how much you weigh as where the fat is that matters. Fat around your middle, measured by waist circumference is a far better predictor of heart disease then the more well-known body mass index. While you don’t have to obsess about the number on the scale, you should do what you can to get rid of a spare tire that could shorten your life.
9. Build those biceps, as weight lifting is a great tool to fight aging. In a study of 40 post menopausal women who worked out with weights, two times a week for 30 minutes found that after a year their bodies had gotten 15 to 20 years younger in terms of restored muscle mass. And they even regained bone density rather than losing it as you do normally at this stage.
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49 Ways To Live Longer To 100: Part 2 Continued…
10. Skip the sunscreen. Your body’s natural ability to synthesize vitamin D from
the sun goes down with age, and lower vitamin D levels affect your bones and
immunity. If you’re over 60, take a 10mcg supplement each day and spend a little
time, just 20 minutes a day, in the sun.
11. Don’t be too cheerful, as research has found a link between cheerful children and living to an old age. In fact, the link between being cheery and dying early was as significant as is high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Imagine that! Experts think that very happy people tend to underestimate the risks to health and fail to take precautions or follow medical advice.
12. But when you smile, smile broadly. The wider and more authentic your smile, the longer you’ll live, perhaps because a genuine smile reflects positive emotions and these areas associated with physical and mental health. Smiling also triggers the release of substances that make you feel happier.
13. Eat prunes, as scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have come up with a rating scale for antioxidant content in food. Raisins, blueberries and blackberries are all considered “super foods” that have 20 times the antioxidant levels of other foods. But the simple prune tops the list.
14. Have a challenging job, for though you might think a no stress career would be better, studies have found that hard work and accomplishment are a strong predictor of longer life. Those with the most career success were the least likely to die young.
15. Be honest, not just because you should, but because lying actually triggers stress hormones that up your heart rate and breathing while also slowing digestion and causing tension and hypersensitivity in nerve and muscle fibers.
16. One glass of wine a night, (125 ml) of red gives you flavonoids and resveratrol, both compounds that reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers and even slow the progression of neurological conditions. But stop at one, drinking as few as three glasses per night might be enough to up the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, breast and bowel.
17. Be a woman, that extra X chromosome makes us more resilient when dealing with attacks on immunity according to researchers.
To your good health,