Thursday, March 17, 2022

Activities Which Promote Longevity - Add Years to Your Life

This month's guest post is by Corey Doane, who has also provided a fascinating infographic from adidas, describing the different activities which make up the Five Pillars of Longevity. You can see the helpful infographic at the end of this article. Baby Boomers who hope to continue to live long, active lives will appreciate the useful information in this guest post.

How Movement Helps Increase Longevity

by Corey Doane

We all strive to live a healthy and long life, and it may be possible by adopting simple, yet effective, habits which can help increase your life expectancy and wellbeing. According to the Stanford Center on Longevity, the five lifestyle pillars which help increase longevity and overall quality of life are fitness, stress management, sleep, social relationships and nutrition. Find out which activities and habits you can incorporate into your life to ensure you stay young and healthy into your golden years.

Exercises Which Support a Longer Life

Research shows that regular exercise may contribute to a longer life. Keeping your mind and body active is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few exercises you can start today.

Yoga is great for the mind and body as it helps increase the mind-body connection. It also helps improve physical function and balance, while decreasing the risk of injuries and falls. As we age, gentle movements such as yoga works well, since it is easy on the joints.

If you are new to yoga, try incorporating a 10-minute flow into your routine which focuses on slow breaths and movements. As you get comfortable, opt for a more intense or longer flow, if your body allows. If you have trouble stretching or holding poses, chair yoga is also a great option.

Research shows that walking for just 10 minutes a day may help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Daily walks also help improve your mood, increase your endurance, improve your heart health, lower your blood sugar and reduce pain.

Start with a 10-minute walk in the morning or in the evening, then gradually increase your time and pace as you feel comfortable. Make sure you have a supportive pair of workout shoes (Ad) when going on your walks to decrease the chances of injury.

While it may not always be the first thing you think of when it comes to exercise, gardening is great for strengthening muscles, while also helping to lift your mood and relieve stress. Garden activities like digging, lifting and carrying are all muscle strengthening tasks that actually burn quite a few calories.

Gardening can also be a great way to socialize. If you are up for it, join a local community garden to meet new people and learn from more experienced gardeners.

More Lifestyle Habits Which Support Longevity

Aside from exercise, there are many other lifestyle habits you can start incorporating into your routine which will help support the key pillars of longevity.
Get Outside to Reduce Stress

Getting outside for 15 minutes a day and exposing yourself to sunlight can help you maintain healthy Vitamin D levels—which are essential to supporting your overall health and life expectancy. Being outdoors also helps improve your mood, which will help keep stress levels low, another important pillar of longevity.
Hang Out With Friends

Staying connected with loved ones has a profound impact on our overall health. People who engage in meaningful relationships with friends and family can often expect to have longer life expectancies. Make it a priority to speak to someone you love every day and make plans to meet in person with someone at least once a week. Socializing and meeting new people are also great ways to keep you feeling young and healthy.
Eat a Balanced Diet

As one of the five pillars of longevity, nutrition is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As we age, the food we eat can impact many organs in our body even more than before. Things such as our heart health, blood pressure, kidney function, mental clarity, and blood sugar can all be affected by the food we put in our bodies. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies and try to limit your consumption of alcohol.


One way to make sure you get the right type of diet for your heart and brain is to read "The Mind Diet: A Scientific Approach to Enhancing Brain Function and Helping Prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia." (Ad)

Similar to the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet, the Mind Diet has been one of the the most successful programs for helping people maintain a healthy brain, avoid or postpone cognitive decline, and prevent some types of dementia.  The good news is that the same foods which are good for your brain are also good for your heart!  The food in this program is delicious, too! 

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is another pillar of longevity which can be easy to maintain, as long as you set yourself up for success. To get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, stick to a consistent sleep schedule and routine. Daily exercise, low-stress levels and proper diet can all help contribute to a healthy sleep scheduleIf you still have trouble sleeping, discuss the issue with your doctor.  Many medical reasons for insomnia can be resolved.

To find out more exercises and habits which help increase your longevity, check out the infographic guide from adidas, shown below.

(Guest post by Corey Doane)

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