How to live longer: The four habits you need to change to help boost your longevity

Study finds being OUTDOORS helps you live longer

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Living a long and healthy life all comes down to one’s habits and choices. When it comes to the habits that are cutting years off your life, experts and healthcare professionals warn against these four. Dr Emeka Okorocha from Freeletics spoke exclusively with and discussed the habits you need to cut down on which may be shortening your lifespan.

Sedentary lifestyle

Dr Okorocha said: “People should stop thinking about exercise as only a means to weight loss and instead see it as one of the most effective health tools available for a happy, healthy and longer life.

“Being sedentary can lead to some serious physical health risks such as a slower metabolism, muscle weakness, obesity and raised cholesterol levels.

“By keeping your muscles active your body will pump more blood around your body, and thus oxygen and nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.”

Dr Okorocha also warns of the dangers of being isolated at home which most of us have had to deal with.

This can negatively affect one’s health by not having enough energy and can hamper with one’s brain health.

“Building regular exercise into your routine can pay dividends when it comes to your mood as well as your energy and fitness levels,” advised Dr Okorocha.

“Studies have shown that aerobic exercise in particular, can be particularly beneficial at extending your lifespan, especially if done outdoors, so it’s well worth lacing up your trainers and heading outside.”

Negative outlook

Not many are aware of how their thoughts could impact their longevity with those opting for a more negative and gloomier outlook putting themselves at risk for a shorter life.

Dr Okorocha explains: “Having a pessimistic view of the world can leave you feeling unmotivated and exhausted, but more seriously it can lead to premature ageing or death of cells.

“A study by the NHS found that people with a more negative emotional style have a poorer immune system and may be at a greater risk of illness than those with a positive emotional outlook.

“Therefore, having a positive mindset can help boost your immune system as well as overall life satisfaction.”

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Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is vital for one’s overall health as it’s not just to help one feel more refreshed, but to allow the cells in the muscles, organs, and brain to repair and renew each night. 

Sleep also helps regulate your metabolism and how your body releases hormones.

“Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the keys to a happy, healthy and longer life,” added Dr Okorocha.

“We advise the average person to aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

“This varies from person to person depending on your work hours and what you do during the day.

“People need a decent amount of sleep for their body, and most importantly their mind to be fully rested and ready for the day ahead.”

Eating too much red meat

Food is integral to one’s health and longevity and as such, careful monitoring of what you put in your mouth and how this can affect you is crucial.

Dr Okorocha added: “Fast food and sugary drinks, as much as we crave them, are ingrained in our brain as no-go or ‘treat’ foods.

“But it may be a surprise to find out that red meat, even lean cuts could be having a huge impact on your health as well.

“According to a study, having a diet that is high in red meat is associated with a significantly elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.”

Numerous research suggests that red meat consumption is associated with many health risks.

Detrimental effects of too much red meat include the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer, which leads to a shortened lifespan among those consuming more red meat.

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