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Articles Fitness Nutrition

3 Not-So-Secret Ways to Live Longer

Nov 5, 2012
Sure, luck and genetics play a role in determining longevity, but research suggests that our actions can add years to our life. Following in the footsteps of some of the world's longest living people, like individuals from Okinawa, Japan, it's possible to alter our outlook and environment to improve health and happiness.

More Movement

While it's true that those who exercise live longer than those who don't, a longer life is not a by-product of longer workouts. Instead, look to infuse physical activity and movement into everyday tasks. When possible walk to the store, bike to a friend's house, or take the stairs.  

Because we tend to move less as we age, it's important to stay limber and maintain flexibility as we grow old. Try to incorporate a stretching routine into your daily activities to preserve range of motion. Creating a lifestyle centered around staying active will translate to improved health throughout the years. 

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Eat Well

What you put into your body will also play a role in overall health. One common trait among the world's longest living people is the abundance of vegetables in their diet. Eating a plant-based diet, including fish or lean meat as a side-dish, and snacking on nuts is a solid blueprint for prolonging well-being.  

If you're drinking something other than water, go for tea or red wine. Green tea has high levels of antioxidants that boost the immune system and metabolism, combating the effects of aging. And, consider this: moderate drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. So, if you consume alcohol, opt for red wine and keep it to one glass per day.  

Find Purpose

Living longer is about more than just exercise and nutrition. To earn more years and get the most out of them, it's important to maintain a positive outlook and connect with others. It's also important to build or belong to a supportive community outside of the home. Assess the relationships you have with others in your social circle. Identifying the impact and influences of others as positive or negative will allow you to surround yourself with individuals who have your best interest in mind.   

The Secret's Out

The secrets to living longer are not so secret. They're obvious. You just need to do them. To add years to your life simply structure your days to include more physical activity, make sound decisions at meal time, and find a purpose to pursue each day. Following these basic steps will not only increase life expectancy, but will improve the quality of life in those years.

Joe Vennare is an accomplished fitness entrepreneur who develops, instructs and writes about innovative fitness programs. He is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio, and Race Day Domination.




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