Longevity isn’t just about living longer. It’s about being active, energized, relevant, and pain-free while you’re alive. Try these 12 lifestyle habits to extend your healthy lifespan.
The motivational video lower within this article will help you get started.
Is 40 or 50 Over the Hill?
Over the hill is an expression in the English language meant to convey that milestone in the human lifespan when someone can be considered officially “old.”
But when, exactly, is “over the hill?”
45 might be an accurate age at which one can identify as older. There is a reason that the US Centers for Disease Control first begin categorizing the older age group beginning at 45 years, for that’s when a statistical jump occurs in people being diagnosed with tumors.
Tumors often mean that the body is having difficulty removing old cells (and so they stockpile and form a growth) and that can be interpreted as a sign of accelerated aging.
But you don’t have to be over the hill at 45. There are people much older than that who look and perform younger:
- Partly, that is genetics.
- Mostly, however, people appear and perform younger than their biological age because they adopt particular habits that help make the later years of their lifespan healthier and happier.
And it’s not as difficult as you might think.
Which of the following 12 self-care protocols would be easiest for you to implement into your own daily life?
1. Getting Mellow
Consistent, low-level stress is toxic – in part because it produces excess cortisol within your body.
Be unashamed about pampering yourself.
Conduct an earnest, extended experiment with meditation to see if it’s for you.
But more importantly, begin to witness your own thoughts objectively.
Identify what negative thoughts are habitual and seem to create tension, anxiety, or malaise within your body.
Your most valuable resource is your attention. When you can course-correct your own thoughts, you are impacting the length and quality of your own lifespan.
2. Getting Protective of Your Lifespan
It’s counterintuitive, but the fact is that when you are robustly healthy, then you are better able to take care of those you love.
Not only that, but you’re a better role model, too.
Please be fiercely protective of your physical energy. The only person who can truly take care of you, is you.
Every day, you’re asked to make “exceptions” in your self-care. Don’t do it.
Protect your physical energy from eroding, outside influences.
Ask yourself this question:
- what are some typical situations in which I have a hard time saying “no?”
3. Getting Superfoods
There are particular whole foods and food-based supplements that might fill in the missing gaps in your nutrition and be helpful to your body.
Consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.
4. Getting Super-Hearing
Learn to listen, in more than just a literal way (with your eardrums), but also energetically – by engaging your own intuition.
Most accelerated aging and disease are caused, ultimately, by inflammation within the body.
One of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation is to stop it before it starts.
You can learn what foods your own body finds uniquely inflammatory and which foods help your body to thrive and heal.
By listening closely to your body’s signals after eating:
- did your energy level go up, or down?
- did your heart rate accelerate or remain calm?
- the next morning after waking, were your eyes white and clear, or bleary with puffy-bags underneath?
These are just some (of many) signals the body uses to try to communicate with you. But are you listening?
5. Getting Fantastical
It’s astounding how we can gradually drift away – without even realizing it – from those people and activities that facilitate positive meaning and joy within our lives.
Left unchecked, our daily lives will become habitually busy with the mundane and uninspired.
Once a year, sit down and write out your ideal day.
From the moment you wake up in the morning until your head hits the pillow at night – what occurs during a perfect day?
Let yourself fantasize!
6. Getting Connected
A vigorous social network is among the key factors to life extension and prosperity.
There is an art and a science to reciprocity, so you have to be deliberate in your efforts.
Let me say this again because it bears repeating: social intimacy is a significant factor in physical and emotional health after age 50.
Be relational, and build your family-of-choice.
7. Getting a Really Good Blender for Your Lifespan
Your daily diet can impact your own lifespan more than any other variable.
In fact, it might be more helpful to you if you forget “long lifespan,” and think instead: “long healthspan.”
In order to continue to improve your daily quality of life, you’ll almost certainly need to increase your daily intake of vegetables, including a diverse selection of abundant dark leafy greens.
The easiest way I know to eat more leafy greens and veggies each day is: green smoothies.
Speaking personally, things really got better for me once I upgraded my kitchen blender.
8. Getting Up and Out
Most people underestimate how sedentary they are.
Even 30 minutes of exercise each day might not be enough unless you have a very active job.
60 minutes a day will possibly do the trick. It comes down to this: the human body was designed for more activity than modern life typically provides.
9. Getting Funny
Filter out negative influences; let more positive stuff in.
People who have a sense of humor fare better as they age.
So lighten up.
Watch more comedies and less subpar crime procedurals. Do something each day that brings you laughter.
10. Getting Simple for the Sake of Your Lifespan
Find creative ways to tune out the noise and become better organized.
The key to increased happiness in modern life is simplicity.
Set a sincere intention to simplify your life: pare down distractions, own fewer material items, and focus on what matters. Do this gradually, but do it.
11. Getting Pareto
There are many success principles at play in the Universe, but perhaps the least utilized (and least understood) is the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule.
It’s a simple concept that can be applied to anything in your life; use it to focus your energies where they will have the most positive impact and the largest return.
Let this sink in (I mean, really sink-in):
- 80% of your energy comes from 20% of your activities.
12. Getting Above It All
The decision to permanently improve your own self-care is a decision that no one else can make for you (try as they might).
Enhancing your lifespan requires an internal shift, first.
Every day you will be required to set a healthy boundary with the world-at-large and, more specifically, with the people and circumstances of your life. Beware of drift!
I encourage you to reconnect with your purpose and hope.
Our current culture does not always support our efforts at good health.
There’s a point at which you have to decide to rise above the times in which you live and forge your own self-care path.
Pin this article to look at again later:
Additional Sources about Adding Healthy Lifespan Years:
How Can I Best Ensure Cardiovascular Health and Longevity? – https://examine.com/faq/how-can-i-best-ensure-cardiovascular-health-and-longevity/
Most Common Health Challenges Categorized by Age Group – http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/
Mayo Clinic: Chronic Stress Puts Your Lifespan at Risk – http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037
Prevention Protocols and Lifespan Enhancers – http://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Lifestyle-Longevity/Prevention-Protocols/Page-03
What Are the Longevity Blue Zone Discoveries? – https://www.bluezones.com/about-blue-zones/explorations/