How To Live Longer?

You may call it unfair, unjust or whatever, but the moment anyone in this world is born, that person is also destined to grow old and eventually die. Kings, rich and sages have been working since life’s inception to avoid such an outcome but a breakthrough has yet to be found.

The Egyptians tried to preserve their dead as mummies and at least they succeeded in keeping the body intact if not alive. This was a feat in itself as it happened such a long time ago. Some rich folks in America have decided to get their bodies preserved in freezing temperatures, instead of being buried, till the time the science could come up with reviving life and thus re-starting their hearts.

We may not afford to do all of the above. But we can at least try to do one thing: live longer. Isn’t this what study of health and hospitals are all about?

There is no single magic formula that can guide you to live longer but a combination of many good habits may help.

To begin with, eat less. The scientists are of the opinion that calorie-restricted diet extends life and it also helps in maintaining muscle functions.

You gain weight when you take in more calories than you burn. It is as simple as this. And the extra calories are stored as fat. Almost everybody living in the urban areas and even quite a few in the villages nowadays gradually appear to be favoring unhealthy diets, rich in simple sugars and starchy foods and low in fruit and vegetable.

One side of my mother’s family live long and many cross the age of 100 comfortably, without any serious medical ailments. They all appear normal and the only thing I can point out which makes them different, apart from some good genes in their makeup, is that they don’t overindulge. They eat almost everything but always in moderation.

Some say that we are not eating more than what our forefathers used to eat; we are simply moving less. In other words, we are not exercising and thus not burning our calories. Exercise is important because it increases the blood flow which stimulates the release of a chemical that relaxes artery walls and lowers blood pressure. It also helps in the release of an enzyme that improves cholesterol balance, driving more of the good kind and less of the artery clogging bad one.

Exercise also helps in cutting inflammation of the arteries which leads to heart ailments. And of course it controls weight which reduces the harmful effects of excess fat.

Some researchers also claim that it reduces estrogen circulation which stimulates some types of breast cancer, possibly by reducing body fat. Similarly, it may lower chances of colon cancer by keeping the digestive system active.

We grow old because our living cells are getting damaged everyday and in the case of an old person, they are not getting replaced as quickly. Science is working to develop methods to revive the cell-making process but it has already discovered a solution to decelerate the cell-damage process: antioxidants. The latter repairs damaged cells and counter the processes that carry on the destructive process. One easy way is to pop-in vitamins B, C and E and the other is to eat more of deeply colored vegetables and fruits as they contain antioxidants in abundance.

Good sleep is important as it helps in regenerating our system. And deep sleep is very important in this respect which is basically sound sleep. One reason women live longer than men is because they have longer hours of deep sound sleep than men. While talking about sleep, however, it must be mentioned that sleeping longer than eight hours can be counter-productive. It is thus advisable to sleep between six and a half hours to eight hours a night.

There is an American bestseller by the name of SuperFoods: 14 Foods That Will Change Your Life. Don’t we all want to know what those 14 foods are? Beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yoghurt. The book claims that these 14 foods contain life-enhancing nutrients. If nothing else, it is worth a try as we don’t lose anything as it is an established fact that eating the right kind of food can change the course of our biochemistry.

Cholesterol is a master-killer as it clogs our arteries and leads to heart diseases and many other ailments. It is thus important to work on reducing the bad cholesterol and increase the good one. Apart from eating the right kind of food, exercise may also help in this regard.

And lastly it goes without saying that a positive outlook towards life is an important key to longevity. As they say, enjoy your life as you can. Do not wait till you cannot even walk just to be sorry and to regret. As long as it is physically possible, visit places you wish to visit. When there is an opportunity, get together with old classmates, old colleagues and old friends. The gathering is not just about eating; it’s just that there is not much time left. When it is time to spend, just spend, and treat yourself well as you are getting old. Treat sickness with optimism.  Whether you are poor or rich, everyone has to go through the birth, aging, sickness and death. Be in charge of your own moods. If worries can solve your problems then go ahead and worry. We should realize that our kids make their own fortune. Settle all the outstanding issues before hand and you will be able to leave without regret. Before middle age, do not fear. And after middle age, do not regret. And when you are old, pay more attention to health. Treasure every moment with your other half, one of you will leave first. Seize every opportunity to meet up with your friends. Such opportunities will become rare as time goes by.

There is no exception, that’s life. Running water does not flow back. So does life! Enjoy every moment of it.

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