The average life expectancy in North America is 79, which is pretty good considering 100 years ago it was only 55 in most industrialized countries. Even better news however, is that the amount of centenarians (people who live past 100) has almost doubled in the U.S. over the past 20 years, and some scientists hypothesize that the total number of centenarians will increase a whopping 7-fold by 2020! Although aging and death are inevitable, the following lifestyle and anti-aging tips can help you increase your chances of aging gracefully and joining the centenarian club.
Reduce Stress to Reverse Aging
Stress increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, and it reduces both mental stamina and physical stamina. What’s more, chronic high stress levels are a massive contributor to aging and a high stress lifestyle can shave more than 5 years off of your life. Practicing deep breathing exercises, doing yoga, meditating and simply keeping things in perspective can all effectively reduce your stress levels. Taking regular vacations will give you something to look forward to and it will also help to reduce overall stress levels. Maintaining close, loving relationships, is another great way to reduce stress and increase your lifespan.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight to Reverse Aging
Being overweight accelerates the aging process and it can reduce your life expectancy by as much as 4 years, while extreme obesity can reduce your life expectancy by a full decade.
Workout to Reverse Aging
Working out 5 days a week will not only increase your strength and stamina, studies suggest it will add between 2 and 5 years to your life! Working-out slows down the aging process in multiple ways–it reduces your risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, it decreases your stress levels, it helps you to maintain a healthy body weight and it helps to keep your heart strong and healthy.
Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Your body does the majority of its reparation while you are sleeping and chronic sleep deprivation, increases stress levels, reduces stamina, raises your risk for multiple diseases and it vastly reduces your life expectancy. Aim for between 7 and 9 hours per night, and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
Flossing daily may seem like a strange way to slow the aging process but studies have found this simple habit can increase your lifespan by as much as 6 years. Flossing is essential because it removes harmful bacteria from your mouth and prevents them from migrating to other parts of your body, where they can cause disease.
Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
The sun is your body’s primary source of vitamin D. If you live in a sunny area, expose your skin to the sun daily for fifteen minutes, this will ensure adequate vitamin D levels. If you do not live in a sunny area, get your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor and consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Maintaining adequate bodily levels of vitamin D helps to strengthen your immune system and it can increase your lifespan by 2 years.
Consume a Healthy, Antioxidant Dense Diet
This is arguably, the most important, amongst all of the anti-aging tips. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable atoms that attack the body on a cellular level; they damage and destroy your cells and DNA. According to Denham Harman, M.D., of the University of Nebraska, cancer, cardiovascular disease and many other degenerative disorders that we attribute to aging, are not a natural result of aging itself; they are caused by excessive free radical damage.
Most fruits and vegetables are antioxidant dense and some of the richest sources include: berries, grapes, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, cherries and peaches; broccoli, spinach, sprouts, beets, red peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots and tomatoes. Green and white teas are also great sources of antioxidants and their regular consumption is encouraged. Finally, avoid alcohol, cigarettes, junk foods and processed foods because they are full of toxins which encourage the formation of free radicals.
Related Reading: Why getting older is good for your health