Many seniors today enjoy excellent health during their golden years, and in general, seniors enjoy a longer life expectancy than ever before. Growing older can’t be avoided, but taking the following steps can help to increase your life expectancy.
Diet and Life Expectancy
If you want to celebrate your 100th birthday, maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do. If your diet isn’t quite what it should be, you should seriously consider making some significant changes in what you eat.
Living a long life is common in Okinawa, which enjoys one of the highest life expectancies anywhere. Seniors in this chain of Japanese islands are more likely to be free from heart disease and cancer, as well as more likely to live longer.
Soy, legumes and small amounts of fish are an important part of the diet in this area, which helps to increase the life expectancy of the residents. Many residents eat purple sweet potato rather than rice, and green and yellow vegetables typically make up about 30 percent of the diet.
If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to consider moving to Okinawa, as the diet there is especially conducive to weight loss, comprising about 1785 calories. Fewer grains, sugar, meat and polyunsaturated fats are consumed there, in contrast to the rest of Japan.
Plenty of beans, fruit, nuts, whole grains and fish are staples of the Mediterranean diet, which is also known for its extensive use of olive oil. This diet is popular on the island of Sardinia, where residents enjoy a higher than average life expectancy. Heart disease and depression are less likely with anyone following this diet, which limits the amount of cheese, meats, and sugary foods.
Seafood is healthy because of the presence of Omega 3 fats and it features heavily in the diet of the European country of Monaco, whose residents also enjoy a high life expectancy. Fruits and vegetables are also eaten often by Monaco residents.
People in Macau also enjoy a long life, partly due to their diet which focuses on vegetables and seafood. Different spices, the use of fresh ingredients and a combination of Portuguese and Asian flavors also feature in the local diet.
The high amounts of antioxidants in the Japanese diet help to contribute to the long life of residents of that country. However, eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, seaweed, fish, and tofu also help to increase the life expectancy of Japanese seniors and minimize the possibility of cancer or heart disease.
In the US, seniors also enjoy a higher life expectancy in the California city of Loma Linda. Plenty of exercise and a healthy diet are characteristics of the Seventh-day Adventist religion, which is practiced by many of the residents here.
It doesn’t take too much to see what most of these communities have in common, and why their residents enjoy a long life. Natural and non-processed foods are common in all of these diets, and it can make a huge difference to anyone looking to increase their life expectancy. Red meat and poultry are eaten sparingly or are replaced by fish and seafood.
Plenty of vegetables and fruits in the diet are also essential for anyone seeking a long life. The typical American diet contains more calories than the healthy diets described above.
Adding some of these healthy choices into your own diet can help to increase your life expectancy and also improve your overall health.
Lifestyle and Life Expectancy
The right lifestyle can make a huge difference, whether you are a senior or you are in your teens. Increased life expectancy and better overall health can be the results of taking more exercise.
Too little sleep can make you feel tired and listless, and can actually adversely affect your health. Good mental and physical health is essential for seniors, and making sure that you are getting 8 hours sleep every night is important. Don’t be fooled by the popular misconception that less sleep is needed as we get older.
A lack of exercise can be detrimental to your health, whether you are a teen or a senior, and getting plenty of exercise is important, regardless of age. Simple workouts at home, walking, riding a bike or swimming are all excellent and inexpensive ways to stay in shape, although before you commence any exercise routine, always talk to your doctor first.
A long life is more likely if you do all possible to avoid stress, which is more harmful than you might think. Soaking in the bath, exercising, reading or listening to music are all excellent ways to lower your stress levels. If you are routinely stressed out, consult your doctor or confide in a close friend if you have something on your mind.
You can enjoy better health and an increased life expectancy if companionship and friendship are important parts of your life. A life spent socializing and interacting with others is much healthier and much more enjoyable, and if you live alone, make a point to address that. Volunteering, participating in a sport or craft, or taking part in a community activity can all be beneficial and enjoyable.
Giving up unhealthy habits are just as important as diet and exercise for any seniors wanting to increase their chances of living a long life. Make a point of not drinking to excess, quitting smoking, and avoiding illegal or addictive drugs. Your doctor can help if you are having difficulty giving any of these things up.
Seniors also have a better life expectancy as well as better health if they have a sense of purpose. Meaning and purpose in life are important to anyone, but especially so as we get older, and you can find purpose in volunteering, writing a diary, taking up a new hobby or simply babysitting for a friend or neighbor.
You can get useful tips on prolonging your life and improving your overall quality of life by consulting your doctor regularly. And of course, your doctor can also keep track of any treatment you might need or preventative measures to be taken.
Regular visits to your dentist are a must too, whether you still have your own teeth or have succumbed to dentures. Serious medical issues can be prevented by visiting your dentist regularly, as oral health often affects our overall health.
If your goal is to reach your 100th birthday, the diet, exercise and healthy living tips above can really help to make that dream a reality. It is never too early or too late to make positive change and you really can take steps to increase your life expectancy.