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7 Factors That Influence Your Lifespan

We all want to live longer, better lives… here are some smart tips to help you reach that goal. It’s true that some things that affect lifespan are under the influence of genetics and how our mother behaved during pregnancy, still there are other factors that we can control that also have an impact on our chances of enjoying a long, healthy life. Let’s look at both.

Understand that much of the research into aging has been focused on the part played by telomeres, the protective tips at the end of chromosomes. They safeguard the end of the chromosome, preventing the loss of genetic information as cells divide. Every time this happens, the telomeres get shorter and eventually are so short they stop cells from dividing. This is how we age. Research has found that longer telomeres are linked to living longer, and can be inherited by the next generation.

Everyone knows that even before birth a child’s health is impacted by the lifestyle choices (good or bad) made by its mother. There’s much research that’s found if an expectant mother is highly stressed this can impact the baby, so that they are less capable of handling stress in their own lives. Heavy drinking during a pregnancy can bring on foetal alcohol syndrome, which often results in physical issues and lifelong learning disabilities in the child. Smoking also effects a baby’s development, and even the diet a pregnant woman eats can up her unborn child’s risk of obesity by making changes in the baby’s DNA.

What’s more, having a happy childhood may also boost your lifespan. One study found that those who were unhappy in their younger years had a higher risk of heart disease as adults. Getting outside as a child, spending time in natural sunlight, gives every child a key source of vitamin D. Today one in four kids are deficient in this nutrient, needed to build strong bones, by helping the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the foods we eat.

No one disputes the many benefits of regular exercise to the body and mind. Exercise has a direct impact on how long you live because it ensures you get a healthier heart, while also boosting good mental health and offering an effective stress management technique that works on anxiety and depression too. Another key benefit of regular exercise is that it helps you reach (and keep yourself at) a healthy weight, which cuts the risk of diabetes. Weight bearing exercises are especially good for helping with bone density and offering protection against osteoporosis.

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7 Factors That Influence Your Lifespan Continued…

As we get older, the strong bones of our youth are no more. People start losing bone density in their mid 30s as a normal part of aging. The good news is that you can fight back against natural bone loss/weakening by eating a diet rich in calcium and exercising as often as you can. Exposure to natural sunlight is also crucial as this helps your body produce more vitamin D.

One key to longevity in terms of diet is to limit or avoid certain foods and drinks. You know the ones, those with lots of calories that are loaded with salt, simple carbs (sugars) or fat that taste great but also pack on the weight. Trans fats are particularly bad for you, raising the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising the risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease and even stroke. If you want to live longer, healthier, avoid these foods. Too much alcohol can also have serious consequences on your health – drinking more than is recommended over the long haul can cause damage to vital internal organs.

Smoking is also a well-known life shortener. Smokers have higher risk of over 50 serious, life altering health problems. Smoking is the cause of almost 90% of lung cancers, does damage to the heart and circulation, makes respiratory conditions worse and even effects fertility. If you want to live longer, stop smoking now.

Beyond eating right and exercising, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking, another key area that helps with longevity is to have friendships.

Research on loneliness has found that social isolation is linked to a higher rate of death in older adults. Loneliness may well prove to be the hidden, unacknowledged killer of older people. Research has also found that those who are married live longer than single adults do. The reason may be the improved social support networks
of spouses, which cuts down on the risk of isolation and loneliness.

To your good health,