Living longer is comparatively easy now than a few decades ago. Due to the advancement of medical science, health awareness, improved hygiene etc. the average lifespan of the population is increasing. But the question is, are we enjoying a healthy life?
When we talk about living longer and staying younger, we usually focus on two things, eating right and exercising. Of course, these two are inevitable to lead a healthy, disease-free life, but there are factors beyond this.
1. Control Unhealthy Urges
Telomeres are the end cap of chromosomes (found inside the nucleus of our cells), which protect chromosome from deterioration. When cell division happens, the length of telomeres gets shorter. If we can slow down the process of shortening of telomeres, the cells will be healthier, and their lifespan will get longer. While shortening of telomeres is natural, early shortening is undesirable as it will contribute to accelerated ageing. The impact of lifestyle factors like smoking, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, and lack of nutrients in diet, accelerate the shortening of telomeres, thus accelerating the ageing process.
2. Engage In Physical Activity
Sirtuins area group of proteins, which is involved in regulation of our metabolism with the help of a catalyst, NAD+. Higher levels of sirtuins and NAD+ is directly linked to increasing human lifespan. A proper lifestyle including ample physical activity and a healthy diet can increase the level of sirtuins, which in turn increase the health span. Researchers are toiling to find the pathways through which some activators of sirtuins that are natural compounds like curcumin, help in longevity.
3. Restrict Calorie Intake Without Compromising On Nutrition
We all need calories to survive, but are we taking only the required amount of it? Excess intake of calories is considered to be one of the root causes of lifestyle diseases. Calorie restriction without malnutrition helps to increase longevity as it enhances the removal of metabolic toxins from our body through a process known as autophagy.
4. Maintain Gut Health
Gut micro biomes, the friendly microorganisms present in our gut also play an important role in making us healthy and live longer as it helps in enhancing our immunity, reducing the chronic inflammations and degenerative changes, which in turn help to increase our health-span and lifespan.
5. Get Your Natural Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds which can nullify the damaging effect of free radicals, thereby improve health and increase lifespan. It is high time to think beyond ‘ACES’ (vitamins A,C,E and selenium), the commonly known antioxidants, as there are other powerful antioxidants like resveratrol, co-enzyme-Q10, and glutathione that directly impact a healthy ageing process.
6. Think Overall Wellness
The meaning of health has evolved over time; from being physically healthy, it has now evolved to ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’. Wellness starts when a person becomes aware of what keeps him healthy and prevents diseases and lives accordingly. Our mental and our social well-being is as important as physical health. Stress directly impacts our body and can accelerate the ageing process. Meditation, building positive social relationships, practising kindness and forgiveness are some of the simple methods we can incorporate into our life with mega benefits. Wellness is a process, not a destination; it is a way of living and embracing this process is one of the best solutions to live long and stay young