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Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Your Life Span

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You may know the steps to a longer and healthier life involve eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep. However, getting on track to a healthier lifestyle can seem daunting, especially if it seems a major overhaul is in order. Nevertheless, there are simple steps you can take to get on the path to a healthier living, and most of these take only minutes out of your day. Don’t stress yourself out with a list of impossible dietary restrictions or an overwhelming exercise regime. Start off with baby steps. Implement some of these tips for quick and easy ways to get you started on your best life and reap the rewards of a healthier lifestyle.

Start the Day With a Glass of Water

A great way to kick start your day is to replenish your stores of water first thing in the morning. Your body is about 55-60% water, but after a full night of snoozing it can become dehydrated. Grab a glass of water before you begin your morning routine. Starting off with 8 ounces of water replenishes your body’s stores and aids in digestion and metabolism. Add a slice of lemon for a flavor boost, and reap the additional benefits of vitamin C.

Sip a Cup of Coffee or Tea

Now that you’ve rehydrated, feel free to indulge in that morning cup of joe. If you enjoy a morning cup of coffee, you will be happy to hear it may have several health benefits. The Mayo Clinic reports that some studies suggest that one cup of coffee each day may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease. If coffee isn’t your preference, tea provides health benefits of its own. Herbal teas like green or black tea contain antioxidants that may protect your heart and improve cholesterol levels.

Get Your Heart Pumping

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym in order to reap the benefits of exercise. If you are avoiding exercise because you think you don’t have the time, then just find 10 minutes each day to get your heart pumping. Studies suggest that just 10 minutes per day improves heart health. Jogging, swimming, biking, or dancing are great ways to get your body moving and your blood circulating.

Center Yourself

Taking time away from the busy pace of life to relax, breathe, and focus yourself can add years to your own life. Spending time in meditation, prayer, or focused breathing allows your body and mind a chance to slow down and regroup in order to take on the challenges of the day.

Get Fresh Air

Don’t overlook the health benefits of fresh air and sunshine. Take advantage of moments to get outside and be a part of nature. While a nature hike or a walk along the beach are fantastic ways to revive your spirit, even a brisk walk around a city block has its advantages. Harvard Medical School reports that getting outside not only provides a great venue for exercise, but it also improves your mood and concentration. Additionally, natural light may enhance your body’s ability to heal from injury and decrease pain while providing necessary vitamin D.

Give Your Muscles a Workout

Cardiac workouts are great for your overall health and well-being, but don’t ignore strength training. Grab some weights to improve muscle strength and improve your longevity. If you don’t have weights available, exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks are moves that build your muscles using only your own body weight.

Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands with soap and water is the very best way to prevent illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wetting your hands with clean, running water. Next lather up with soap and scrub your hands, front and back, for at least 20 seconds. Then, rinse well under running water and dry with a towel. You should wash your hands before, during, and after cooking. Wash your hands after caring for a sick person, feeding your pet, using the bathroom, and sneezing or wiping your nose. Be sure to wash your hands before eating.

Treat Your Body to Nutrient-Packed Foods

Fueling your body with nutrient-packed provides the necessary vitamins, minerals, protein, and fatty acids necessary for a long and healthy life. Employ the 50/25/25 rule when you fill your plate. The American Diabetes Association recommends your diet consist of 50% leafy, green, non-starchy vegetables. Next, your diet should contain 25% protein and 25% whole grains and starchy vegetables. For dessert, sweet and colorful fruit are rich in the antioxidants which fight against cellular damage.

Indulge in Special Treats on Occasion

While it is important to provide your body with the healthy, nutritious foods that provide strength and energy, do allow yourself to indulge in special treats. If sticking to a rigid diet causes you to give up altogether, then give yourself permission to cheat every once in a while. If you do treat yourself to that decadent bowl of ice cream or bar of chocolate, be sure to eat it mindfully, focusing on enjoying every tasty bite.

Make Time for Love

You may be exhausted from a day at the office or spent chasing toddlers but making time for intimacy with your honey can improve your health. According to Psychology Today, sexual intimacy may improve your longevity due to the benefits of intimacy with a loved one, the exercise it provides, and stress relief. Additionally, sex may also offer improvements to your immune system.

Invest in Relationships

Sexual relationships aren’t the only relationships that are important to good health and a long life. Maintaining strong ties with family members and friends is important to mental and emotional well-being. Grab your niece or nephew and head to the zoo. Give long-distance friends a phone call, meet a pal for lunch, and plan weekends away with college buddies. The emotional support and time spent relaxing and laughing will do wonders for your health.

Add a Little Spice to Your Food

Adding a little heat to your foods may help you live longer. A study in BMJ reports that people who eat spicy foods daily may live longer than those who eat spicy foods only once each week. Another dietary change that can increase longevity is adding more fiber to your diet. Fiber-rich foods like whole grain breads, green vegetables, and fruits with peels on enhance digestion and improve cholesterol levels.

Keep Exercising

Your Mind Learning shouldn’t end when you finish school. Find ways to keep your mind sharp and enjoy the benefits of learning something new each day. Get lost in a novel, do a daily crossword puzzle, watch a podcast on a topic you’re interested in, or take a class at a local community college.

Floss Your Teeth

Taking care of your teeth is taking care of your body. Proper care of your teeth and gums prevents the inflammation that can contribute to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and infection. Brush your teeth at least twice each day and floss at least once per day. Visit your dentist for a checkup every 6 months.

Be Sure to Laugh

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine.” According to the Mayo Clinic, this phrase is no joke. Laughter stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles and releases feel-good endorphins. It improves oxygen flow to your organs and improves circulation. Laughter stimulates your immune system, improves your mood, relieves stress, and decreases pain by releasing natural pain-killers in the body.

Stock Healthy Snacks

You are more likely to provide your body with necessary nutrients rather than empty calories if you keep healthy snacks on hand. Cut up fruits and veggies in advance so they are easy to grab when the munchies hit. Keep hummus, guacamole, or nut butters in your fridge for dipping. Freeze chunks of fruit to whip up heart-healthy fruit smoothies. Have almonds, walnuts, or cashews in the pantry for a healthy, protein-packed snack.

Get Enough Sleep

Don’t overlook the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Aim to get 7-9 hours of shut-eye each evening. Proper amounts of sleep result in improved immune function, wound healing, hormone balance, and brain function. Set the mood each evening by establishing a routine. Dim the lights, engage in quiet activities, and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and strenuous exercise before bed.

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