10 Small Habit Changes That Will Help You Live Longer
Living longer is multifaceted, though rising research suggests telomere length is the key to longevity. Telomeres reside on the ends of chromosomes, shown to elongate and prevent against cellular damage with the assistance of lifestyle habits. But supporting telomere health does not necessarily rely on abrupt transformations, as even small changes can produce large results. Learn how to not only live healthier, but how to live longer with these 10 small habit changes!
How to Live a Healthier Lifestyle
1. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier
Break up with that snooze button and seize the day (30 minutes earlier)! Waking up before you generally start the day limits stressful, rushed mornings and lends boundless opportunities to start the day off right.
2. Eat Breakfast
Okay, it is time to break the habit of doing away with breakfast… It has more than likely been over eight hours since you have last eaten, anyways! But you do not have to go all out with cartons of eggs, stacks of pancakes, and an endless supply of fruit salad. In fact, a small, protein and fiber-packed morning meal can suffice, including a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh berries, a couple scrambled eggs atop a toasted English muffin, or a nutrient-dense smoothie.
3. Experiment with Foods
Although it may have been said to not play with your food as a child, there can be an interesting benefit in doing so. Make it a habit to experiment and play with various foods, having fun testing out new products and various cooking techniques. Growing a foundation of food appreciation can flourish into healthy food habits for life's entirety.
4. Go Fish
The consumption of fatty fish supplies that well-recognized omega-3 fatty acid, promoted to fight against inflammation and protect against heart disease. Along with fatty fish (including salmon, tuna, halibut, and herring), omega-3s can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and in supplement form.
While snacking may already be an embedded habit, the practice may need small adjustments to accommodate a healthier lifestyle. For instance, rather than munching on a bag of chips, snack on a small bag of air popped popcorn, veggie sticks and hummus, beef jerky, or Greek yogurt. Snacking on nutritious sources can satisfy hunger leading up to mealtime, ultimately lessening the risk of overeating on large portions and additional servings.
6. Carry A Water Bottle
Good hydration status is important for good health, though achieving the recommended eight, 8-ounce glasses of water may be difficult for some. Make it a habit to carry a water bottle to help encourage water consumption throughout the day.
7. Park Far Away
Parking far away from entry doors forces individuals to take a few more steps throughout the day. Even if doing so does not feel like much, consistently doing so can accelerate your daily strides for promoting longevity. And if possible, try walking or biking places near or far for added benefits!
8. Organize Your Work Day
Organizing your workday and offering daily structure can promote greater productivity. Research has also shown individuals who focus at the task at hand not only reduces stress, but can benefit telomeres and promote longevity. So each workday, create a concise to-do list, prioritizing and accomplishing tasks in the highest demand.
9. Hug Someone
Whether it be your spouse, child, close friend, or family member, make it a habit to hug someone, as social support is extremely valuable when it comes to longevity. In fact, a 75-year old study suggests money is not based on monetary value, but implies the biggest predictor or happiness and fulfillment in life is love and the quality of close relationships.
10. Power Down
While digital detoxes can be quite beneficial, simply shutting off electronics for the night can still quiet the mind. Take this time to focus on the present moment and connect with the mind, aiming to reduce negative judgments and cultivate positive thoughts for a more optimistic, healthful outlook on life.