Habits for a Longer, Healthier Life

We live in a world where life is a blend of fast-paced schedules, constant connectivity, and various stresses, and the pursuit of a longer and happier life has become more relevant than ever. Laying a solid foundation and adopting certain lifestyle choices and mindset shifts can significantly impact both the length and quality of our lives.

Here are some actions we can take to help lead a longer, happier, and more fulfilling life.


Stay physically active

It’s no secret regular exercise can add years to a person’s life. But did you know that studies have shown that even 15 minutes per day of physical activity can have a positive impact on your overall health? That’s 105 minutes each week! Many doctors will recommend 150 minutes of physical activity a week, but in fact, one study found that participants who exercised 90 minutes a week added on average three years to their lives compared to those with low activity or sedentary lifestyles.

In addition, research has shown that active life expectancy increases significantly in individuals who exercise regularly.


Make healthy food choices

A good diet generally contains minimally processed whole foods and grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and natural sources of protein (think fish, beans, chicken etc.). We know it’s not always easy to make healthy choices between work, family, or social commitments, so if you’re having a hard time establishing a nutritious diet, try the MyPlate Plan, this plan gives you personalized food targets to help you stay on track. Some doctors and nutritionists also recommend sticking to a Mediterranean Diet.


Prioritize mental health

 Many people experience a certain degree of stress in their day-to-day lives, and it can be challenging to find sustainable solutions. Maintaining a daily routine, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods, and staying physically active are all proven methods of reducing anxiety and stress. Positive relationships with friends and family can also go a long way in combating mental distress.


Don’t smoke

 Thankfully, fewer and fewer Americans are smoking cigarettes, but the activity still merits mentioning. In addition to causing life-threatening conditions like lung cancer and emphysema, people who smoke can lose up to 10 years of life and are three times more likely to die prematurely than those who never pick up the habit. The good news is it’s never too late to quit!  If you’re thinking about quitting or are currently trying to quit, it might be helpful to know most people need several tries before they’re able to stop for good. Quitting smoking is not an easy habit to break, but the payoff is well worth it, so don’t give up!For more information, visit tobaccofree.org


The Bottom Line

Living a longer, happier life is an ongoing journey that requires intention, effort, and a positive mindset. By prioritizing your well-being, you can enhance your quality of life and increase your chances of living a longer more fulfilling and joyful existence. While some healthy habits may seem hard to adopt —and maintain, any small steps you take today could have a lasting impact on your body and mind.