Longevity Blog

Longevity Factors Within Your Control - Longevity Blog

 

Healthy ageing and longevity depend both on genetic and non-genetic factors. While some of these are outside one’s control there are others that are determined by our lifestyle, emotions and attitudes which have a strong link to quality of life, long term health and lifespan.

According to the National Institute of Ageing, education is the most important social factor  affecting longevity. Education equips us with thinking and decision-making skills that can help better plan for the future. Strong social networks are also considered an important factor as they minimize isolation and provide support. Educational and social aspects aside, there are also other critical factors that depend directly on individual behaviours, attitudes, choices and lifestyle.

The following areas directly influence your healthy ageing and longevity each day:

Sleep
According to experts at Harvard Medical School, not getting enough hours of sleep can result in serious consequences to our health. Sleep scientist William Dement posited that sleep is “the most important predictor of how long you will live — perhaps more important than smoking, exercise or high blood pressure.” Sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke due to increased cortisol levels that impact immune function, create insulin resistance, and drive chronic disease development. Ensuring daily adequate sleep is a critical factor for longevity. Organize your life and develop approaches to address this basic need for better health and vitality.

Diet
Studies show a direct link between diet choices and a healthy and long life. Eating right, eating the right amount and eating for different parts of the body are important elements to build and maintain a healthy body and mind as we age. Michele Bellantoni, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, suggests breaking the recommended adult 1800 calories into protein, calcium and other nutrients to nourish the muscles, bones, heart and brain. Eat for longevity, such as the Mediterranean diet, to control weight, build strength and energy, keep illness at bay and enjoy a healthy and joyful life.

Exercise
Exercise increases heart rate and that helps increase lifespan. Adults are recommended to perform moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week or vigorous exercise for 75 minutes per week. Considering other factors that impact longevity, this rate of exercise can extend life expectancy by 3.4 years (doing half the recommended amount would yield 1.8 years). Increasing the amount of exercise would bring greater benefits, although it would plateau at 450 minutes of exercise per week. Any amount of exercise is better than none, and it is found that for every minute of exercise you may extend life by 7 minutes. Ensure regular exercise and movement to safeguard your wellbeing and invest in your longevity.

Stress Management
Stress has been linked to shorter telomeres, the segments of DNA at the end of our chromosomes, which are responsible for preventing cell from malfunction, which can lead to disease and shorter lifespan. Chronic stress can affect thinking, mood, emotions and behaviours while also accelerating aging. Find approaches to manage chronic stress, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, tai chi, and changing breathing patterns for optimal aging and longevity

 

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