For a long time now, humans have been looking for the secret to a long and healthy life. Some say it's all about genetics and some associate it with better availability of healthcare facilities. Sure, it is possible for some to be genetically gifted to have a longer life. But genes don’t play as huge a role in longevity as your environment and lifestyle.
Studies have shown that people who live more than 100 years have various things in common, the top amongst them being their healthy lifestyle and their positive outlook towards life.
Here are 3 secrets to living a healthy and long life from centenarians (those who have lived beyond 100 years):
1. A healthy diet
A healthy and balanced diet is undoubtedly one of the keys to good health. Experts suggest that a balanced diet should have 7 components - carbs, proteins, unsaturated fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. Water plays a role in various metabolic activities in the body. Make sure you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Avoid overeating at all costs since it would promote obesity, which may further increase your risk of various chronic diseases. Instead, follow caloric restriction whenever possible. Caloric restriction is an excellent way to promote longevity. Various studies show the benefits of caloric restriction on health, including one done in Japan that showed how lifetime caloric restriction reduces the risk of diseases and increases lifespan. It can also help you reduce weight.
It is important to note that the term overeating may not mean the same for everyone. Overeating means eating more calories than you need in a day. Daily calorie requirement for different people varies as per their age, sex and physical activity levels. Long term caloric restriction may cause a constant feeling of hunger and low body temperature. So, it is best to talk to a dietician if you are thinking of trying it.
2. Workout regularly
Regular physical activity keeps up your muscle strength, improves your immune system and reduces your risk of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. It also improves memory and cognition and can reduce depression and elevate mood.
Experts suggest doing at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily to keep up your health.
However, like every good thing, over-exercising may do more harm than good, especially if you have a health condition. Also, if you don’t generally work out, don’t jump into the deep end and instead start slowly with a 5-10 minute routine first. Increase the duration and intensity gradually.
3. Be positive
A positive outlook can do miracles for both your mental and physical health. It reduces depression and the risk of diseases. A 35-year-long study done in the USA showed a direct connection between optimism and mortality rate.
On the other hand, stress and anxiety can trigger various pathological conditions. Try and practice mindfulness, breathing exercises and meditation to help reduce stress. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and family if you need help
For more information, read our article on Balanced diet chart.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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