Thursday, October 05, 2006

Top 17 Tips To Live a Long Live

As technology and medicine evolve over time, the life expectancy in most countries is increasing. Here are a few additional ways of increasing the odds that you will make it to that ripe old age of 85 and beyond.

  1. Eat healthfully. Some health professionals will state that eating healthy is more important to your body than getting regular exercise. Indulge only when necessary and have a well-balanced diet. Read and understand "Nutrition Facts". Try to limit yourself to strictly organic and sustainable meals otherwise you're probably not getting the balanced diet you may think you are.
  2. Introduce regular exercise into your life. While most people lead quite busy lives, the benefits of exercise usually present themselves in all areas of your life. Gradually introducing exercise will lead to longer patterns of fitness rather than adopting a harsh workout regime each New Year's.
  3. Develop a sleep schedule. It is not as important to get a certain number of hours of sleep, so much as it is to get the same amount of sleep, at the same time, day in and day out. Sleep gives your body a chance to heal and regenerate; having a stable sleeping routine will help your body take care of itself more easily. If you do not carry out successful sleep cycles over an extended period of time (48+ hours) you can seriously affect your physical and mental health.
  4. Drink plenty of water. This universal solvent is a most effective weapon against toxins and many other violators. It flushes out your system like nothing else does (see related wikiHows).
  5. Think first. This step includes looking both ways before you cross the street, as children are taught but many adults take it for granted, and wear protective gear when necessary. Whether you are riding a bike or skateboard, working on a construction site, or handling potentially harmful substances. While the human skull is quite thick and sturdy, severe head trauma can result from the brain being jostled around inside the skull from an impact, potentially resulting in permanent brain damage or even death.
  6. Reduce causes of stress and depression in your life. This can have a very negative impact on your heart, and other physiology. Learn to cope with stress by trying different relaxation techniques or simply by looking at things differently. Take deep breaths during your most stressful moments.
  7. Give up smoking. While tobacco companies still stand by their claims that smoking does not cause cancer, there is a consensus in the medical community that smoking is very hazardous to your health and can often result in premature death. Attempt to break the addiction by trying nicotine gum, or a nicotine patch.
  8. Be safe. Avoid potentially dangerous activities that frequently or occasionally end in death or dismemberment, such as skydiving, bullfighting, or marriage (just kidding, but if handled improperly, it could really hurt!). Do not do anything that you believe can cause tissue damage, and avoid potentially hazardous situations.
  9. Have yearly physicals. Identifying potentially deadly health problems early can result in their eradication.
  10. Stock up on antioxidants. Recent studies have shown that antioxidants may slow the process of aging. Antioxidants can be found in a number of fruits and vegetables and can also be found in herbal supplements and teas.
  11. Avoid overindulgence. Too much of anything can cause harm, whether it be food, drink, drugs, or even medicine -- even Tylenol can be fatal if ingested in great enough quantity. Non-prescription and illegal drugs may contain chemicals and/or other drugs that are unfit for human consumption, but keep in mind that alcohol and tobacco are among the worst drugs. Do not forget that caffeine is also a drug. Any drug, from alcohol to aspirin, carries with it a risk of shortening and ending your life. If you do decide to use any drugs, be responsible -- do your research, make sure you understand their properties and side effects, and use them appropriately. The same applies to food -- read nutrition labels and do some research to understand what the information means to your health. With anything you ingest, moderation is key.
  12. Wear sunblock. Even if you are dark skinned and have no history of skin cancer in your family, the increasing number of UVA and UVB rays hitting the Earth from the sun pose a threat to anyone and everyone who spends more than 15 minutes a day out of the house or office. Get SPF 30 or higher.
  13. Try not to be afraid. Seriously, the worst stress comes from the inside. If you are in constant fear of anything or everything (phobias) you become as fragile as an ant, asking for life to step on you. Be as passive and easy going as you can. There are bigger things like earthquakes, stray bullets, automobiles and airplanes that can kill in an instant but which you cannot defend against, and are not afraid of anyway, right? Fear is a tool, and it has a purpose, but it is most often bad for your well-being. Do not be afraid, be aware.
  14. Drink lots of tea. There are two main types of tea - green and black. Both are from the the same tree, however green tea is less processed than black tea. Green tea has many health benefits, including reportedly reducing the chance of heart attack and cancer. Other benefits include increased energy and metabolic weight (good for weight loss), and high antioxidant content (slows down aging). Black tea has these benefits also but at a reduced level. Try and drink 5 cups of green tea a day, and let the tea brew for at least 5 minutes before drinking - the stronger the better for you!
  15. Eat dark chocolate. One piece of dark chocolate a day can benefit the heart as cocoa solids have a beneficial effect of the heart and arteries. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than other kinds of chocolate, and due to having less milk, it is also lower in fat. Chocolate also makes you happy (in case you did not know) because it releases endorphins.
  16. Drink one glass of red wine a day. Red wine contains substances called polyphenols which maintain the elasticity of the artery walls and also act as antioxidants - thus helping maintain a healthy heart and slowing down ageing. Anecdotally, the oldest woman in the world, Jeanne Calment, drank one glass of wine a day, and she lived until she was age 121. If you would rather not drink wine everyday, consider eating red grapes instead.
  17. Look on the bright side. Having an optimistic point of view is healthy and those who drink from the cup that is half full tend to have a much stronger resilience to any health problems.

Some tips:

  • There are moisturizers (both facial and body) with built-in sunblock that don't make you smell like you just came from the beach. In addition to keeping your skin protected, lotion will help keep it firm.
  • Eat Garlic, but use it in moderation (need I say more?). Having certain quantities of garlic in daily meals actuallly keeps you from getting sick and builds up your immune system.
  • Study the lifestyles and habits of "centenarians" - people who've lived past 100 years old.
  • While the body is always an important factor in long life, do not neglect your psychological health. What good is having a body that can live for 120 years if your brain dies from the inside out at 50? If you experience any changes in your attitudes or behaviors, such as a quickening of the temper, a dulling of the senses, or a slowness in speech or thought, consult a mental health professional. It may be nothing, but better safe than sorry. Also, reducing stress and anxiety will help to keep your mind healthy.
  • Money is extremely useful for gaining access to the things you need to remain alive.