11 habits that will help you live to

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Post on 28-Jan-2015



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  • 1. 11 Habits That Will Help YouLive to 100 Dr.BalaCEO, Vision Unlimited www.visionunlimited.in

2. Healthy steps to a longer life 3. 1. Dont Retire"Evidence shows that in societies wherepeople stop working abruptly, the incidenceof obesity and chronic disease skyrocketsafter retirement," says Luigi Ferrucci,director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Studyof Aging. The Chianti region of Italy, whichhas a high percentage of centenarians, has adifferent take on leisure time. "After peopleretire from their jobs, they spend most ofthe day working on their little farm,cultivating grapes or vegetables," he says."Theyre never really inactive." Farming isntfor you? Volunteer as a docent at your localart museum or join the Experience Corps, aprogram offered in 19 cities that placessenior volunteers in urban publicelementary schools for about 15 hours aweek. 4. 2. Floss Every DayThat may help keep your arteries healthy. A2008 New York University study showed thatdaily flossing reduced the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Thisbacteria is thought to enter the bloodstreamand trigger inflammation in the arteries, amajor risk factor for heart disease. Otherresearch has shown that those who havehigh amounts of bacteria in their mouth aremore likely to have thickening in theirarteries, another sign of heart disease. "Ireally do think people should floss twice aday to get the biggest life expectancybenefits," says Perls. 5. 3. Move Around"Exercise is the only real fountain of youth thatexists," says Jay Olshansky, a professor ofmedicine and aging researcher at the Universityof Illinois at Chicago. "Its like the oil and lube jobfor your car. You dont have to do it, but your carwill definitely run better." Study after study hasdocumented the benefits of exercise to improveyour mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass,and bones. "And the benefits kick in immediatelyafter your first workout," Olshansky adds. Dontworry if youre not a gym rat. Those who see thebiggest payoffs are the ones who go from doingnothing to simply walking around theneighborhood or local mall for about 30 minutesa day. Building muscle with resistance training isalso ideal, but yoga classes can give you similarstrength-training effects if youre not into weightlifting. 6. 4. Eat a Fiber-Rich Cereal forBreakfastGetting a serving of whole-grains, especially in themorning, appears to help olderfolks maintain stable bloodsugar levels throughout the day,according to a recent studyconducted by Ferrucci and hiscolleagues. "Those who do thishave a lower incidence ofdiabetes, a known acceleratorof aging," he says. 7. 5. Get at Least Six Hours of Sleep Each NightInstead of skimping on sleep to addmore hours to your day, get moreto add years to your life. "Sleep isone of the most importantfunctions that our body uses toregulate and heal cells," saysFerrucci. "Weve calculated that theminimum amount of sleep thatolder people need to get thosehealing REM phases is about sixhours." Those who reach thecentury mark make sleep a toppriority. 8. 6. Consume Whole Foods, NotSupplementsStrong evidence suggests that people whohave high blood levels of certain nutrientsselenium, beta-carotene, vitamins C and Eage much better and have a slower rate ofcognitive decline. Unfortunately, theres noevidence that taking pills with thesenutrients provides those anti-aging benefits."There are more than 200 differentcarotenoids and 200 different flavonoids ina single tomato," points out Ferrucci, "andthese chemicals can all have complexinteractions that foster health beyond thesingle nutrients we know about likelycopene or vitamin C." Avoid nutrient-lacking white foods (breads, flour, sugar)and go for all those colorful fruits andvegetables and dark whole-grain breads andcereals with their host of hidden nutrients. 9. 7. Be Less NeuroticIt may work for Woody Allen, whoinfuses his worries with a healthydose of humor, but the rest of usneurotics may want to find a newway to deal with stress. "We have anew study coming out that showsthat centenarians tend not tointernalize things or dwell on theirtroubles," says Perls. "They aregreat at rolling with the punches." Ifthis inborn trait is hard to overcome,find better ways to manage whenyoure stressed: Yoga, exercise,meditation, tai chi, or just deepbreathing for a few moments are allgood. Ruminating, eating chips infront of the TV, binge drinking? Bad,very bad. 10. 8. Live Like a Seventh Day AdventistAmericans who define themselvesas Seventh Day Adventists have anaverage life expectancy of 89,about a decade longer than theaverage American. One of the basictenets of the religion is that itsimportant to cherish the bodythats on loan from God, whichmeans no smoking, alcohol abuse,or overindulging in sweets.Followers typically stick to avegetarian diet based on fruits,vegetables, beans, and nuts, andget plenty of exercise. Theyre alsovery focused on family andcommunity. 11. 9. Be a Creature of HabitCentenarians tend to live by strictroutines, says Olshansky, eating thesame kind of diet and doing thesame kinds of activities their wholelives. Going to bed and waking up atthe same time each day is anothergood habit to keep your body in thesteady equilibrium that can be easilydisrupted as you get on in years."Your physiology becomes frailerwhen you get older," explainsFerrucci, "and its harder for yourbody to bounce back if you, say,miss a few hours of sleep one nightor drink too much alcohol." This canweaken immune defenses, leavingyou more susceptible to circulatingflu viruses or bacterial infections. 12. 10. Stay ConnectedHaving regular social contacts with friendsand loved ones is key to avoidingdepression, which can lead to prematuredeath, something thats particularlyprevalent in elderly widows and widowers.Some psychologists even think that one ofthe biggest benefits elderly folks get fromexercise the strong social interactions thatcome from walking with a buddy or taking agroup exercise class. Having a dailyconnection with a close friend or familymember gives older folks the added benefitof having someone watch their back."Theyll tell you if they think your memory isgoing or if you seem more withdrawn," saysPerls, "and they might push you to see adoctor before you recognize that you needto see one yourself." 13. 11. Be ConscientiousThe strongest personality predictor of along life is conscientiousnessthat is,being prudent, persistent, and wellorganized, according to The LongevityProject, coauthored by Howard Friedmanand Leslie Martin. The book describes astudy that followed 1,500 children foreight decades, collecting exhaustivedetails about their personal histories,health, activities, beliefs, attitudes, andfamilies. The children who were prudentand dependable lived the longest,Friedman says, likely becauseconscientious types are more inclined tofollow doctors orders, take the rightmedicines at the right doses, and undergoroutine checkups. Theyre also likelier toreport happier marriages and moresatisfying work lives than their lessconscientious peers.