Have you ever tried to make a healthy change but quickly given up because you told yourself it's too late to make lasting changes? New research confirms, it’s never too late to get healthy! Learn the lifestyle habits of the longest living cultures and 6 simple steps to get you on the road to a flourishing future.
Recent research reinforced that It’s never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle. One study suggested that when people modified healthy behaviors in early elder years, they were more likely to live into their 90s and have a better quality of life. The most influential behaviors included smoking abstinence, weight management, blood pressure control, and regular exercise (1).
A National Geographic expedition, led by a team of demographers, scientists, and anthropologists, uncovered areas where people reach age 100 at ten times greater chances when compared to the United States. They coined these areas the Blue Zones. The Blue Zones include: Loma Linda, CA, USA; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; and Okinawa, Japan (2).
What characteristics did the habitants of these regions share?...
Using the Blue Zone’s healthy behaviors, and Mediterranean diet principles as a guide, we created simple steps to help you get started on your healthy quest -- at any age and any time.
Plant-based eating is an effective way to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood sugar, and elevated cholesterol (3). They can also help you feel full, adding lots of nutrients with not a lot of extra calories.
Try out a plant-based diet with Lifesum.
Whole grains contain energy enhancing nutrients such as B vitamins and gut health balancing fiber. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that at least half of the grains you eat to be whole (4). Whole grains include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and bulgur.
Replacing foods high in saturated fats (full-fat dairy, meat, cakes, biscuits, pastries) with foods high in monounsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds) can help better heart health, decrease inflammation, and boost mood (5).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get 150 minutes of exercise each week (6). But they emphasize that this could be by moving more and sitting less throughout the day. Start small by taking a walk around the block or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Neuroplasticity is a term that means your brain can form new pathways. Just like how you would build muscle when going to the gym, you can improve the strength of your brain by learning a new activity. Aim for something unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone, something that’s challenging, a skill you can build on, and rewarding. Learning a new instrument or new language is an example.
Sleep is a vital factor for your overall health. Long-term sleep deprivation can negatively affect heart health and mental wellbeing while increasing your risk for diabetes and stroke (7). Prioritize those seven to nine hours of sleep.
Have trouble getting in those Zzzs? Try this: 7 Tips to Help You Fall Asleep Fast
It’s never too late and it’s never too early to start taking care of yourself. Set realistic goals and check in with your physician before starting a new nutrition or fitness routine.
You’ve already taken the first step by reading this article! Which of the above are you going to try next?
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