For generations, mankind has attempted to unlock the secrets to everlasting life.
Unfortunately, unless you’re one of Marvel’s Eternals or related to the cinematic MacLeods of Scotland, there’s really no way to live forever just yet.
But many of us can expect to live much, much longer. Thanks to science and modern medicine, human life expectancy has improved significantly in recent years.
Still, longevity isn’t just about shuffling about on this mortal coil for longer than our ancestors did. Instead, it’s also about living happier and healthier.
With that in mind, here are five ways to not just help you live longer, but live a more fulfilling existence:
Move it, move it
One of the surest ways to add years to your life is to get off the couch and get physical.
Most of us know that exercise can significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But did you know that just 11 minutes of physical activity a day can help protect against a premature demise?
According to European researchers, while hitting the gym every day is great, taking a short brisk walk daily or even just working in the yard is enough to increase life expectancy.
And if you’d like improved muscle strength and flexibility, too, have a go at tai chi.
Quit cigarettes and alcohol
There’s a reason why New Zealand is banning cigarettes for future generations and why Malaysia is looking to follow suit, and it’s that smoking kills!
From its link to a massive number of chronic illnesses to an increased risk of death, the science is clear that there’s really no such thing as a safe smoking level.
As such, if you want to live long and prosper, it’s quite simple — quit the ciggies!
Additionally, you might want to consider slashing your alcohol intake or better yet, nixing it entirely from your life.
Moderate drinking may be all right. However, do note that heavy consumption of beer and spirits is linked to liver, heart and pancreatic disease.
Watch what you eat
Given the option, many of us tend to make unhealthy food choices.
Yet the ticket to longevity is in learning to control one’s cravings, indulging in fewer sweet treats and altering eating habits.
Do you consume a lot of red and processed meat? One option is to go plant-based and substitute the meat in your meals with more fruit and veg; specifically, superfoods like pulses, kale, soy and sweet potatoes.
Incidentally, soy and sweet potatoes have long been touted by the residents of Okinawa, Japan — home to some of the oldest people on the planet — for their ability to keep the Grim Reaper at bay.
The traditional Okinawan diet incorporates fermented soybeans (natto), fermented soy paste (miso), Japanese sweet potato (satsumaimo) and fermented sweet sticky rice (mochi).
And in case you’re wondering how to locate all those nutritious foods, the good news is you can get them all in Kenta, a delicious natural beverage that you can take to supplement regular meals.
Essentially, our bodies are put under a lot of stress daily. So what Kenta does is help balance hormones and regenerate cells as well as improve muscle tone and strengthen bones.
True. We all like to be on our own from time to time. Nevertheless, prolonged loneliness isn’t just bad for one’s mental wellbeing, it also has severe physical ramifications.
One recent study found that isolation is almost as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can lead to a 50% increase in premature death.
The solution, thus, is to take time out every now and then, but also make sure to maintain strong, meaningful relationships with friends and family.
Experts say that staying connected to even a small social network of about four people is enough to improve brain and heart function and decrease your risk of chronic illnesses.
Get enough shut-eye
It may sound like a joke, but you really need to sleep — or at least, sleep enough — to live longer.
Granted, there is some debate about whether humans really need 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Even so, what’s undeniable is that sleep helps the body heal and ensures organs are in optimum working condition.
What does not aid the body but has, in fact, been found to heighten the risk of strokes and heart attacks is erratic sleep patterns.
As such, if you want to live longer, try maintaining a regular sleep schedule, where you go to bed and wake at the same time each day.
Yes, immortality may be beyond our grasp for the moment. But a few lifestyle changes could ensure a long and, more importantly, healthy life.