If you want to live into your mid-80s or even your 90s, here are three great tips that can get you there.
1. Eat healthy. I love cheeseburgers and fries as much as the next man, but if longevity is you goal, you need to make sure you eat healthy. Load up your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Broccoli may not be as much fun as a super-size order of French fries, but it’s rich in antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals. And you know that old homily about “an apple a day.” Well, it’s a good idea still. Ditto, legumes (beans to you), celery, carrots, grapes, lima beans and just about any fresh fruit or vegetable.
2. Exercise regularly. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours pumping iron, jogging or other forms of cruel and unusual punishment. Instead just walk for 30 minutes every day. Walking is just a great exercise for losing weight, unclogging arteries and keeping joints flexible. In fact, I read one very popular diet book recently that had been featured on a network TV program. It had some good, healthy recipes but the kicker was that you were told to walk 30 minutes a day, seven days a week. Based on my experience, I’m not sure the diet actually would work without that 30-minute walk..
3. Be optimistic about aging. You won’t find this in a lot of the literature on longevity, but experts are beginning to realize that a person’s attitude about aging is almost as important as their attitude about food. In fact, researchers at Yale University and Miami University of Ohio have found that people who view aging positively lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who saw it negatively. In other words, don’t focus on how badly your joints are creaking or how you just can’t do the things you were able to do when you were 10 or 20 years younger. Concentrate instead on the good things you’ve gained with age such as wisdom and, hopefully, a more mature perspective. You might also try to find older role models who have inspiring pursuits – to remind you of the good things you can do with that extra 7.5 years of life. Finally, you can be optimistic about your life span. The medical technology breakthroughs we have seen to date are nothing vs. the ones that will come in the next 10 years. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, the longer you live, you longer you will live.
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