Popular magazine U.S. News and World Report has written a book entitled How to Live to 100: Be Healthy, Be Happy and Afford It. As a teaser, they have made some of their tips available online. While some most certainly agree with common wisdom, a few just may surprise you.
- Floss Daily. Yes, your dentist has always reminded you to get into the habit of flossing at every visit, but many of us continue to feel brushing is enough. As it turns out, research has proved that flossing daily reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth. If you do not clear this bacteria out, it can enter the blood stream and inflame and thicken your arteries, which can lead to heart disease.
- Prioritize sleep. While you are sleeping, your cells are regulating and repairing themselves. It is important to get at least six hours of sleep each night to obtain the maximum benefit to your body. While you’re at it, stick to a routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps your body get into a rhythm and maintain its equilibrium. This helps to keep your immune system strong and able to fight off airborne illnesses more effectively.
- Get as many of your vitamins as possible from whole foods, rather than supplements. Specifically, people with high blood levels of the vitamins C and E and nutrients selenium and beta-carotene have a much slower rate of cognitive decline as they age. However, studies have shown that to obtain these benefits, the vitamins and nutrients must be acquired through the foods you eat, and not through taking supplements.
- Maintain social contacts. Unfortunately, depression can lead to premature death, and this is seen all too often in seniors who have had a spouse pass away. Keeping in touch with friends and family members and getting out of the house to see them, can do wonders to improve your mood. It also provides you with a support system to call on if you aren’t feeling well.
- All things in moderation. As it turns out, Seventh Day Adventists have an average lifespan of 89, which is 10 years more than the average U.S. citizen. This could be because they strongly believe it is important to cherish their body while on earth. Therefore, they do not smoke, abuse alcohol, or overindulge in sugary treats. They also tend to exercise regularly and maintain a vegetarian diet.