Inside: Longer Life Can Be Yours: 10 Simple Powerful Tips.
I like to think I’m an 18-year-old trapped in the body of an adult male, but as much as I don’t want to admit it I am in fact getting older. Mentally I still like a good fart joke or stupid comedy but with age comes new things you realize about yourself. I can no longer run due to bad knees and now focus my time on biking. It’s not the same workout in my eyes but it’s better than nothing. Have you ever driven past someone running who looks like they’re enjoying themself? Me neither. They all look like they’re in the worst possible pain.
My recovery takes a bit longer than I ever remember. A tough day of yard work can take days until I feel normal again. Muscles I didn’t even know I had ache. I have less hair on my head and more growing out of my ears. What’s that about anyway? You know it’s bad when you get a haircut and it now includes an ear trim.
But not everything about growing older is bad as I strive for a longer life. I’ve set a personal goal this year to bench press more than I ever have in my life and I’m currently up to 210 pounds (though admittedly it’s a struggle). The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped my progress at all but I’m still trying.
I’ve come to realize there’s no secret to living a longer life. Everything you need to know to help your progress is essentially right in front of you if you’re willing to make some changes and put in the work.
10 Powerful Tips To Living A Longer Life
You can’t possibly expect your body to perform at the highest level if you are continually fueling it with garbage. Nor can you expect to live longer practicing unhealthy eating habits. People who eat healthy tend to live longer. It’s a simple fact. Fast food and junk food taste good but is it really worth eating in the end? Experts agree that you should have roughly 80% of your food come directly from nature in the form of vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, etc. Instead of snacking on potato chips reach for some carrot sticks. You’ll get the “crunch” without the processed garbage thrown in.
Be social with friends and family
I can’t stress enough how important socializing is to living a longer and healthier life. For some, the mere thought of socializing can be overwhelming. Start slow and plan to just grab lunch with a friend or coworker or maybe a family member. If everyone in the office is going out for drinks after work do it. Even if it’s just for an hour. You’re missing out on an important facet of life if you don’t spend time with others and socialize. Socializing introduces you to new cultures, ideas, points of view, and interesting people you will never meet sitting at home.
If you want to live longer then stop smoking. I lost my father to lung cancer that was a direct result of smoking. There are very few things in life that provide a warning on the package that says you can die. Cigarettes do just that yet people still decide to smoke. Smokers on average die 7 years sooner than non-smokers.
Stopping smoking can actually add years back to your life. The moment you stop your lungs begin to filter out and get their pink color back.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many people in my neighborhood began walking. I’d see people outside that I had never seen in my life. One person was an older man (he must be in his 80’s) but I would see him walking every single day, and sometimes twice a day. My wife and I passed him this week and I stopped him to say how often I see him walking. His response was that at his age he has to keep moving to keep everything working. He doesn’t walk fast but he is out there moving.
Being active and exercising even for just 15-20 minutes each day helps. Do something you enjoy so that being active and exercising doesn’t get boring. Take a walk, ride a bike, go to the gym or find a yoga video on YouTube to watch. Every little bit helps.
Drink a little
My mom always said everything in moderation and the same is true for alcohol. The experts consider moderation to be up to 2 drinks per day. Having a glass of wine with dinner can help protect against cardiovascular disease while also helping you unwind. But remember moderation. If you find yourself drinking two bottles of wine a night then I suggest you seek help. Always drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Call an Uber or Lyft driver to take you home so you can arrive safely.
Get it on
If you’re looking to burn calories, decrease stress, and improve sleep might I make a suggestion? Knocking boots two to three times a week is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to living a longer life. What an effective way to burn calories and have fun while you’re at it. Sure as hell beats jogging.
I was really tempted to add some links here that were inappropriate but decided against it. 🙂
I’ve written before about focusing on what you have right in front of you as opposed to worrying about everything you might not have. People who practice gratitude are happier and sleep worry-free at night. Be grateful , be happy, and positive and most of all be kind to others, especially during times like we are experiencing right now.
If there is someone who has helped you in life or helps you regularly take a moment and thank them. A boss, parent, teacher, whomever. Let them know what they mean to you. Too many people wait to tell the ones they love how they feel and miss the chance. Do it today and let those people know what they mean to you.
Sleep when you must
Living a longer life involves being in the best shape possible but part of getting in shape is also realizing when to rest and sleep. Studies have shown that sleeping 5 hours or less per night can decrease your life expectancy by as much as 15%. That was a surprisingly huge number to me so do your best to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night.
Always be learning
The movie Glengary Glenross had a famous scene with Alec Baldwin and a phrase that all salespeople have heard at least once in their life, ABC – Always Be Closing. If you want to have a longer life then practice “ABL Always Be Learning”.
Learning shouldn’t stop when school ends. You should continue learning throughout your entire life. You’ve heard the saying “you learn something new every day” before so live the saying. Make a point of researching a new topic that interests you every single day. Socialize with different people who have lead interesting lives. Research topics that interest you online. Successful people know their craft or profession front and back but they’re still always learning.
Learn how to relax
Stress will not help you live longer. A lifetime of stress causes increased blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease, upset stomach, anger management issues, and a whole slew of other ailments. Taking your work home with you at night or lingering on an issue that upset you earlier in the day only makes your stress worse. It is imperative that you learn how to relax. You’d be amazed at how many people I know who can’t seem to relax. They can’t seem to just chill out and do nothing for a day.
My suggestion is to try techniques like meditation or yoga. Both can help reduce stress levels dramatically while lowering blood pressure. Less stress means a longer life! Meditation can be done in as little as 15-20 minutes so don’t say I don’t have the time.
There’s no fountain of youth to keep us all young (no Botox doesn’t count) nor are there secrets to living a longer life. Try practicing the ideas above and you should be back on the road in no time. Who doesn’t want to be around to see their grandkids grow up? I know I do!
What do you do to ensure you will live a longer life? Comment below.