The life expectancy of humans has been growing from generation to generation for centuries. Today, we have reached a respectable average of 72 years, growing by five years between 2000 and 2016 (when the average was calculated by the WHO). And thanks to modern medicine, we can expect to spend most of these 72 average years as healthy and active individuals.
It would be a mistake to rely on medicine alone to prolong our active years. On the contrary: a long, healthy, and happy life needs constant work done by the individual living it. Here are a few tips on what you can do today to achieve it.
Before you point at one wonder diet or another as the surefire way to live longer and happier, let’s get this out of the way: there is no such thing. And anyone trying to convince you otherwise is after your money. There are, in turn, a few guidelines backed by science that can give you a few pointers on what to eat and what to avoid.
Apparently, a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables (and little meat) is one of the secrets to longevity. This is what the Mediterranean cuisine, praised with its positive effects on health, and Japanese cuisine seems to have in common.
It seems that a diet based on fresh, seasonal veggies and fruit is one of the secrets to longevity we can find all over the world.
Many exercise advocates have claimed, over the years, that staying active has the potential to prolong life. Science agrees: a large study conducted in the early 2010s has confirmed that regular physical activity, even of moderate levels like walking for at least 150 minutes a week (that’s two and a half hours) can expect to live longer by around three to five years.
This moderate physical activity can be anything from taking the stairs to a brisk walk in the park, biking to work or even hitting the treadmill on a daily basis.
The same study has shown that the effects of regular activity are the strongest in the case of the people with a weight considered normal.
Staying active even at old age will not only prolong your life but also reduce your chances of developing the aches and pains usually associated with it, while also reducing your risk of developing conditions ranging from heart disease to type 2 diabetes.
Keep an active brain
Memory lapses and slower thinking were for a long time associated with old age. Modern science has, in turn, proven that the mind is like a muscle: if it is kept active, it will stay sharp for much longer. Keeping your mind sharp can be done in many ways, from reading more books to always learning new things, engaging in creative activities like writing, drawing or painting, and listening to music.
These activities will not only keep your mind sharper for longer but they can also delay the onset of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.