People have always been obsessed with aging and eternal life. Now, while we’ve given up on trying to find the elixir of life or the fountain of youth, there are a few more scientific methods for increased longevity. Dr Chawapon Kidhirunkul of Chiva-Som Health Resort Thailand reveals that genes account for just 25 per cent of your longevity, while the other 75 per cent is lifestyle. Here are his few top tips for a longer and healthier life.
A healthy diet is not just eating clean. First, you must vary the foods you eat. If you eat a variety of good food, it will provide you with adequate nutrition. No single food can apply all the nutrients you need. Second, eat fewer calories. Cutting calories could do more than just slim our waistlines. Many research shows that caloric restriction has been linked to longer lifespan: they found that eating less can actually slow down the process of aging at a cellular level.
Exercise is medicine. Regular physical activity is good for overall health. It helps control your body weight and prevents excess weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and cancer. It also helps improve your mood: physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may make you feel more relaxed after a stressful day. Being physically active leads to better sleep—it improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration, and indirectly, because exercise helps reduce stress, it helps you fall asleep faster and deeper.
Get your stress under control
I don’t say, “Don’t get stressed,” because stress is necessary. Rather, control your stress. There are two types of stress: stress that is beneficial and motivating (good stress) and stress that is not so healthy (bad stress). The key is to control the bad stress. You can reduce your stress by taking a break from your stressor, exercising, laughing and smiling, meditating, and practising mindfulness.
Have a meaningful purpose
When you live with passion, your overall health improves. Some researches show that enjoyment and life satisfaction is linked with greater longevity. Having a meaningful purpose or engagement is a reason for living. That tends to contribute to greater overall health. Engaging in something larger than just yourself, something meaningful is the key to longevity. You will feel happier, your body gets stronger, and you will live longer.
Your social life is the secret to living longer. Social isolation is the public health risk of our time: research shows that social integration and close relationships with family are the strongest predictors of longevity. Another study shows that social integration is related to better physiological functioning and lower risk of physical disorders. Connect with friends, family members, colleagues and even strangers. Social connection is one of the best way to achieve a happy life. This can result in good health and longevity. Keep in mind, interacting with people online does not serve us the same way that face-to-face interactions do. Good support from family and community can help ease the problem.