Everyone strives to live a long, healthy life. Achieving such a feat requires purposive effort, and you must adopt specific practices to increase your longevity and quality of life. Many would argue that genetics influence longevity. However, research reveals that genes account for 25 percent of lifespan variation and 75 percent is the lifestyle choices and your environment.
For example, living a sedentary life and topping it up with unhealthy eating habits will shorten your lifespan even though you come from a generation of people with prolonged existence. The lifestyle exposes you to chronic illnesses and could also affect your mental health. You can extend your life expectancy by picking up healthy habits, especially if you have been making poor choices.
Drug abuse and alcohol addiction are unhealthy habits people have that compromise their life expectancy. Several habits you can pick up to extend your life expectancy include:
1. Be Active
You may find yourself confined to a life of immobility because of the nature of your work or by habit. Physical inactivity over long periods makes you vulnerable to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc. Some of the illnesses are fatal and degenerate the quality of your life. If your circumstances compel you to sit for long periods daily, set a time to be active.
You need not make drastic changes but can start with manageable goals like taking daily walks for about 30 minutes. With time, incorporate physical exercises into your routine about three to four times a week. Try a variation of workouts and see what works best for you. Exercising has the added benefit of refreshing your mind, thus enhancing your mental health.
2. Avoid Substance Abuse
Some people resort to substance abuse as a coping mechanism for the daily pressures of life. However, drug/alcohol abuse may provide a reprieve but is counterproductive in the long run. You may end up with an addiction problem to contend with and shorten your lifespan. Avoid the temptation to use substances because the consequences are not worth the relief they provide.
In addition to compromised longevity, getting over a substance addiction is a painstaking process. You may need to check into a rehab center and go through detoxification and therapy sessions to bounce back on your feet. An inpatient rehabilitation center in Florida is an example of a facility to help people get over their addiction if they need help.
3. Implement a Sleep Schedule
The body needs sleep to rejuvenate and keep it in its prime state. Slumber is as critical as a healthy diet and exercise. Sleeping is necessary for the brain to function normally and prevent diseases. Adequate night rest enhances memory, calorie regulation, physical fitness, controlled weight gain, etc. The recommended sleep duration for adults is seven to nine hours. Enough sleep improves your daily life by keeping you alert and with adequate energy to go through your routine activities.
Some people would like to sleep longer hours but suffer from insomnia. If such is the case for you, know the root causes of unsleepiness to prevent it. Implement habits like having the same waking and sleeping times every night, avoiding screen time before sleeping, dimly-lit or dark rooms, etc., for better sleep.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the main contributors to poor health conditions. Excessive stress results in high blood pressure, poor sleep and dietary choices, alcohol intake, etc. The tension causes the body to release the hormone cortisol, affecting all the body’s systems. When the stress levels are unchecked, chronic illnesses develop.
Life has many pressures, and sometimes it takes effort not to succumb to depression. Make a purposive effort to avoid the dire consequences of a stressed-out life. Habits like gardening, reading, walking, meditation, etc., are great stress relievers. In addition, avoid stress triggers by not exposing yourself to an environment or people who negatively influence your emotions.
5. Eat Healthily
Eating well has several benefits, including longevity, enhancing skin and teeth health, boosting immunity, strengthening bones, improving the digestive system, etc. Healthy eating is a habit that you adapt into your life slowly until it becomes your way of life. Avoid junk food by avoiding fast-food joints where you are likely to make unhealthy choices.
One way of encouraging healthy eating is to prepare your meals at home and pack them for lunches and snacking when outside the house. Make interesting combinations of vegetables, fruits, and other nutrient-rich foods. Healthy eating is also cost-effective.
Adapt Healthy Habits and Extend Life Expectancy
Everybody looks forward to longevity and enhanced life quality. You cannot turn your life around overnight but adapting a few habits every day can ultimately make a difference in the long run. In addition, the changes improve your mental health, and you will be less susceptible to substance abuse to cope with extraneous life circumstances.