Are you striving for longevity? By definition, longevity means “long life” or is commonly described as the length of an individual’s lifetime. It can also imply a longer than average lifespan.
Some may think that our genes determine our longevity, but the truth is genetics account for approximately only 10% of an individual’s life expectancy. The rest comes from some of these great secrets to a successful healthy long life.
What we eat and drink plays a great role in longevity. Good filtered water and a focus on eating foods primarily from plants will help the body to breakdown and absorb nutrients which is essential for optimal long healthy living.
This includes a variety of colorful vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans. They offer all necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals for the body to function properly. This does not mean never to eat meat or dairy but rather choose most of the foods from plant sources. Plant based foods help keep good cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar and is great for promoting daily bowel movements which is a very important process for eliminating waste products and filtering toxins out of the body.
2. Movement and Balance
Movement is a daily natural part of life including walking, biking, dancing, gardening, light weight training and stretching. It helps promote healthy joints, strong bones, good circulation, good coordination and improved learning and concentration skills.
It is also necessary to practice good balancing exercises, due to the fact that as part of the aging process balance starts to decline. Improving and maintaining good balance is critical for the prevention of falls and to prevent any form of injury. All these daily activities promote living independently longer and allows more freedom to enjoy life to the fullest.
A minimum of seven hours sleep each night is essential as it allows the cells in your muscles, organs and brain to repair and renew every night. It is also important to keep sleep patterns consistent with the same good bed time and wake up time.
Good sleeping habits help to regulate your metabolism which helps the body to function optimally improving overall health and promoting longevity. Otherwise, lack of sleep or inconsistent sleep patterns can increase your risk of health problems leading to illness or disease.
4. Reduce Stress
It is well known and researched that chronic stress leads to inflammation and serves as a foundation for nearly every age related disease. This inflammation is partly blamed when unhealthy high stress levels trigger unhealthy behaviours like overeating, eating junk food, smoking and drinking alcohol creating this rise of inflammation in the body.
Stress also affects and weakens any system of the body especially targeting a body system that may be already in a weakened state for example the digestive or immune system just to name a few.
Today, people who are reaching centenarians have been known to live throughout their years by being mindful in managing and keeping their stress levels low.
5. Prayer and Meditation
A daily practice of prayer and meditation allows us to be in the present and align ourselves internally with a higher force, our Creator God or whether or not you have any belief in a higher force. It is this quiet time alone with one self that internally helps to increase longevity because it gives us a sense of peace, harmony, gratitude, compassion, charity and preservation of health.
Developing spiritual health and implementing daily spiritual practices allows the state of mind and body to rest which brings stability and balance inside us despite of changes to the outside world and helps align us to work on any areas of life that we may think needs improvement.
Healthy relationships that are maintained with those close to us helps encourage greater overall mental, emotional and physical health which contributes to longer living. These good relationships create happiness, a great support system, a feeling of safety and security bringing peace and calmness around us and internally within us.
7. Know your Purpose in Life
A meaningful sense of purpose in life increases the quality of a person’s life and can even lengthen it. Researchers say knowing your purpose here or some say “your calling” here on earth may increase the mental and physical aspects of health in several ways. It is linked to lower cortisol output which plays a role in lower stress levels, promotes good brain function and an overall strong positive sense of well being promoting an increased healthy life expectancy.
Floriana Urbisci R.N.C.P.
Floriana is a Registered Nutritional Health Practitioner, Herbalist and Certified Personal Trainer, as well as a member of the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants (IONC) and Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP).
Floriana specializes in weight loss, digestive disorders, emotional and mental health disorders She is passionate and enjoys helping others to achieve and maintain their health goals.
She became interested in holistic health after overcoming her own personal health challenges with obesity and severe depression.