In a fascinating piece published by The Atlantic, data shows that we are now living 40 years longer than the average American in 1880. As research and the body of science on longevity grows, we hear of studies that point to specific causes for living a longer than average lifespan.
But it’s not only enough to live a long life. What most of us desire is quality of life, which can only be fully realized when we and our loved ones are not battling with health issues.
Interested in what you can do to ensure a not only long but also healthy lifespan for you and your crew?
1. Take care of your teeth.
Researchers discovered that those who were toothless had a 46 percent higher risk of death than the control. This study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, and reported on in the New York Times.
There are many ways a person can take care of their teeth. Flossing is essential. As are regular visits to the dentist. For those who have had a tooth pulled due to decay, dental implants are a worthy consideration over bridges. The benefit of choosing implants?
According to Dr. Jason Lane, a dentist in Wasilla Alaska, “Implants are the closest prosthetic to natural teeth, offering a titanium root for a solid foundation. Additionally, speech is easier and clearer with a full set of teeth.”
2. Exercise habits.
Increased physical activity is good for the heart and lungs, and has a host of benefits. The connection between physical activity and longevity has been known and studied for years. But what might be less known are the specific sports that might be connected to a longer life.
If you want your family to live longer, consider signing up for swimming, aerobics, or a racquet sport. In a study with data collected from over 80,000 people in Europe, they found that those who engaged in these 3 exercise types had a lower risk of death. So if you are wondering what to sign Little Junior up for, choose tennis or swimming classes.
3. Eating your way to an increased lifespan.
But not just any kind of food. Make it an additional serving of fruits or vegetables. In fact, try 10 servings of fruits or vegetables. Imperial College London has calculated that this specific move could prevent as many as 7.8 million premature deaths per year.
How much is 10 servings? That would be 800 grams. At present, the World Health Organization recommends 5 servings of fruit and / or vegetables. But this recommendation could change as researchers continue to look into this data.
For now, though, it’s enough to start brainstorming ways to sneak in more of the healthy stuff into your family’s daily meals. If you have a typical child, chances are high that they turn up their nose to anything green or that looks even remotely healthy. So what’s a parent to do? Either make it look appealing, or sneak it in. For the upcoming colder days where soups are just the thing, puree the vegetables into the soup. Make a smoothie using fruits and vegetables. Shred them very small and add them to cakes, pies, and muffins. Add cheese or their favorite topping over them and bake it. Some kids will eat anything so long as it is covered with cheese.
Related Link: Longevity Grocery List
4. Make sleep serious business.
Having a sleep debt or being sleep deprived can impair your judgement and your cognitive functions. This puts you at a higher risk for accidents and injuries. So if you want to play it safe, make sure you and your family are getting the full recommended amount of sleep. (Recommendations state the amount the average person needs for optimum health. But everyone’s needs are individual. Your child might need more than the average recommended amount. You might need more, too.)
If you are a family of night owls, getting in quality sleep hours might be a Herculean task. Try pushing bedtime up by 10 minutes each day until you are closer to a time that allows you all enough sleep hours per night. Other tips for getting more sleep hours in? Make dinner earlier. Serve foods that are easy to digest. And stock up some sleepy time snacks and teas that will help put everyone in the right space. Sleeping well is a cornerstone of a healthy life and has a direct connection with one’s overall feeling of well-being.