The word “longevity” is tightly associated with “life expectancy”, but it is more often referred to long-lived members of a population.
Taking the world’s 5 Blue Zones for instance, research has shown that people who live in the blue zones all share similar lifestyles, such as:
- Following a plant-based diet full in greens, fibers, and whole grains
- Active in outdoor movements – walking or gardening
- Taking naps, or finding ways to downshift the day
- Not overeating
- Belonging in a community
Without further ado, let’s dive in the secrets to a longer, healthier life.
1. Stay Physical
The super-agers are mostly found in villages, being active is one of their habits throughout the day. They don’t hop on Uber or buses to move around, instead, they walk everywhere to do their business, to visit their friends, or to go to the market.
Tough calls if you live in a modern city, right? Today we are living in a world where convenience has taken over the still-paced lifestyle. But it is always a good idea to stay active, either by signing up to the gym membership, or simply by taking a tranquil walk after work to enjoy some peaceful moments with yourself.
2. Face and Manage Stress
We all know that stress takes a toll in our head, but it also affects and makes our bodies older.
A stressed out brain looks no different than an aged and old brain. Our body temperature raises when stress kicks in, which results in thermal injuries to neural connections. As human beings, we cannot prevent stress in our lives, but having a regular checkup on ourselves is never a bad idea. Whether it is meditation, therapy, exercises, or even just a nap – we need to learn how to deal with our stress.
3. Have Purpose in Life
In order to have an enriching and satisfying life, having a purpose is the key.
This means you need to be true to yourself, doing what makes you feel fulfilled and happy, rather than trying to put on a mask to please the others. This is called self-love, what you will get in return is gratitude, pride, and happiness.
4. Belong to a Faith-based Community
Faith and spiritual practices have been shown to increase longevity, the same thing is also found in various Blue Zones, where people gather together and make time for prayers, or communicate within themselves.
In fact, all Blue Zone members who have reached the age of 100 have been a part of a religious group.
5. Keep the Brain Sharp
Apart from being able to face stress, another topic has risen up to join the debate of staying mentally healthy. The single cause of Alzheimer’s is “aging”, followed by dementia, with rates skyrocket over the age of 85.
When it comes to memory and thinking, researches suggest that exercise is one of the best and most effective ways to keep a sharp head. However, there might be more factors than you think.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have discovered a correlation between a healthy brain and a lower chance of having dementia, here’s what they found:
- Drink at least 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day
- Have a reading habit
- Take part in physical and nonphysical activities
- Have 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks per day
6. Keep Your Loved Ones Closer
Those who live over the age of 90 share yet another habit in common, they all have close bonds to family, friends, or even wor. Studies have shown that having a close relationship is equally important to physical fitness and good nutrition.
Everyone needs to reach out and connect. In times of joy and sorrow, it is crucially important to have friends and family by our sides and feel the support and love, it keeps us mentally motivated and content.
A fact that people already know about, but never really followed. Ideally, one has to sleep at least 6 to 8 hours per day, which comes to ⅓ of our lifetime, scary, isn’t it? Take a look at the problems we might have if we don’t sleep enough:
- Cognitive issues
- Decreased telomere length, in other words, affecting health and lifespan
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Depressed immune system
- Easily agitated
- Weight gain
Now you know, sleep is vital to our hope of having a longer life.
8. Eat Rich-nutrient Food
As mentioned above, incorporate more greens in the diet. The so-called “longevity diet” includes an abundant amount of fibers, antioxidants and omega-3s, it also includes many olives, nuts and seeds. Many of the ingredients in this diet are naturally grown, and organic.
Processed food rarely appears on their grocery list, the super-agers prefer to have their food high in nutrition and reasonably grown (even in their gardens).
Some food ideas for a longevity solution:
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Low-fat dairy products, like cheese and yogurt
- Lots of fish
- Nuts and beans
- Olive oil
So, what should we do now?
Life expectancy has risen nearly 30 years over the last century. In order to live a longer life, it is not just about following the secrets of longevity, the idea is to transform into a healthier lifestyle and keep up with it, even if it means change of diet and nutrition needs.
Start today, and enjoy a refreshing change of your body.