There are many cultures in the world that implement specific practices to increase longevity. In Toaism, people live each day fully and actively, not pre-defining limits to their nature in order to experience a rich and full life. Exercise, diet, attitude, and spiritual practices are also a critical component to a Taoist. In other countries, such as Israel, diet and strong family/cultural values play a role in their long life expectancy. And in Italy, free time, close family bonds, frequent walks, and plenty of sunshine are to thank for their position at top the life expectancy charts.
So how can you get up there with the Italians?
1. Don’t be afraid of the sun
We’ve all been told at some point in our life that excess sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, so it’s best to lather up with sunscreen as a precaution. While sunburns are a contributing factor to the development of skin cancer, not all sun exposure is bad.
In fact, UV rays are necessary for the body to synthesize vitamin D — a critical fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in several body functions like bone development and maintenance, mineral balance, insulin secretion, immune system modulation, blood pressure regulation, and mood control.
It’s important to remember that getting adequate amounts of vitamin D doesn’t mean laying out in the sun unprotected for the entire day. Check out this article to see how you can get your levels up to snuff.
2. Go paleo / primal
Sugar has recently been discovered as one of the leading causes of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and CVD. With paleo, however, processed sugars and refined carbohydrates (they turn into sugar once metabolized) are eliminated, making it a diet that’s rich in lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats — the ultimate combination for longevity.
Not only that, switching to paleo helps to improve sleep, improve cognitive function, increase energy, balance hormones, and overall improve your quality of life.
If you’ve never tried paleo before, it’s best to do a little reading on what’s paleo and what’s not in order to maximize the benefits.
3. Dip into ketosis every now and again
Being keto seems to be the coolest thing now, but there’s actually a reason behind why nutritional ketosis is so popular, especially when it comes to longevity.
Similar to paleo, but on the slightly more extreme end, keto severely limits carbohydrate intake to a point where the body must utilize an alternative fuel source to glucose. In doing so, it learns to burn body fat or ketones for energy.
As a result, people benefit improved brain function, weight loss, better skin, and a drastic decrease in the risk of developing certain chronic diseases.
4. Hit the snooze button
Sleep is one of those things that we know we need, but we won’t always ensure we get enough of. But if you want to live a long, healthy life, getting enough sleep is non-negotiable.
Even if you think you’re getting enough, the quality of sleep is also important. Ensuring a good sleep means a better memory, increased concentration and cognitive performance, maintenance of a healthy weight, a healthy heart, a better immune system, and overall stronger and healthier organs to keep your body in tip top shape for the rest of your life.
If you’re struggling to find ways to improve your sleep quality, check out this article to find out how you can get a better, more sound sleep.
5. Make moving a must
Moving doesn’t have to mean you’re in a gym — it can be anything from walking, running, and cycling, to dancing, gardening, or playing with your kids.
Whatever your preferred method of movement is, make sure you get active. Daily activity is not only important to keep your body agile and mobile, but also to keep you living as long as you possible can.
If your schedule is tight, even 15 minutes of daily movement is a start to get you going. Try incorporating simple things into your routine like taking the stairs over the escalator, walking to the store instead of driving, or taking your family to the park on a hot sunny day.
Everyone wants to live a long, healthy life, but not everyone is prepared to take the steps to get there. These 5 tips are simple and easy to incorporate into your daily routine without taking up a ton of time.
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