7 Tips to Live a Long & Healthy Life
We all want to live a long and healthy life. However, some everyday bad habits can get in the way…
Just know that you’re not totally to blame (and you’re not alone)!
Life is busy and we don’t always feel like we have the time to take care of ourselves the way we should. But, when we neglect ourselves, we neglect our overall well being – Which can do a number on our bodies, both mentally and physically.
Being healthy doesn’t just happen overnight. We do have to put in some leg work to be healthy, especially if we want a long and healthy life ahead of us. And it goes beyond just eating right and exercising. It also means taking care of our mind and body as a whole.
I know I want a long life ahead of me! Life truly is a blessing and has so much to offer.
I personally follow these everyday 7 tips to guide me on the path to a long and healthy life. Take a moment to check them out.
7 Tips for a Long and Healthy Life
1. Quit Smoking
One of the worst things we can do to our body is smoke. It can come with some very negative effects like asthma, lung and heart disease, cancer and more.
And of course, quitting is easier said than done. Cigarette smoking is actually one of the leading causes of preventable disease and death in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year.
If you want to quit smoking and you do need some help, speak with your doctor or naturopath to see what options are available to help you. It doesn’t have to be ‘cold turkey’ – reach out to your health provider if you need assistance.
2. Eat Well
Eating a well balanced diet is essential to a healthy life. What we put into our bodies is what fuels our existence. We need to make sure we are giving our body what it needs on a regular basis so it can function at its best. Sweets and other sugary foods should be limited as well as processed foods like potato chips and french fries. While they taste great, they can do a number on our bodies (and they can be highly addictive).
A balanced diet includes foods from five groups and each category fulfills your nutritional needs.
The 5 Essential Food Groups:
- Vegetables – There are five subgroups of vegetables that are rich in nutritional value, including: leafy greens (kale, lettuce, cabbage, etc), red or orange vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, beets, and radishes), starchy vegetables (potatoes and sweet potatoes), legumes (beans, peas, and edamame) and other vegetables (such as eggplant or zucchini). The USDA recommends that we eat vegetables from each of the five subgroups every week. More food guidelines can be found here!
- Fruits – Eating whole fruits is vital (think bananas, apples, berries, melons, etc). A bowl of fresh fruit a day is recommended.
- Grains – Similar to veggies, grains have subgroups as well: whole grains and refined grains. At least half of the grains that a person eats daily should be whole grains, such as quinoa, oats and rice. However, I personally eat primarily whole grains as they are less processed and have more nutritional value. Refined grains are found in things like breads, cereals, crackers, desserts and pastries (which usually have lots of hidden sugars and other processed ingredients).
- Protein – Some great protein sources include beef, poultry, pork, and fish. Now, if you are a vegetarian or vegan – fear not! There are some other great sources of protein such as Tofu and a variety of legumes.
- Dairy – The USDA recommends consuming low-fat versions whenever possible. Some low fat dairy and soy includes: cottage cheese or ricotta, low fat milk and yogurt. Now this can be troublesome for those that are lactose intolerant… but there are alternatives available such as low-lactose or lactose-free products. Or choose soy-based sources of calcium and other nutrients.
Ensuring we are eating from these 5 essential food groups daily will give our bodies the nutrition our body needs and craves.
3. Get Restful Sleep
Sleep is another crucial part of a healthy life. Adults typically need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night to feel rested and allow our body time to recharge. Although we “need” 7 to 8 hours sleep, most of us are lucky to get between 5 to 6 hours.
Why? Because life is stressful, busy, and chaotic at times. It can be hard for us to shut off our mind to get the sleep we need.
Tips for Restful Sleep:
- Turn off all electronics – When I go to bed, I turn off my TV, phone, laptop – anything and everything I can deem a distraction and an emitted of blue light (which can impact your circadian rhythms).
- Listen to calming sounds before bed – When I lay down in bed to unwind, I listen to crashing waves on the beach. It helps soothe my mind and puts me right to sleep!
- Avoid drinking my coffee after 5pm – Ideally anything with caffeine should be avoided at least 5-6 hours before bed.
- Sleep in a very dark room – Any form of light coming in disrupts my sleep. If you are the same way, I would recommend room darkening curtains and try to avoid turning on a light for any nighttime bathroom breaks.
When I feel like I had a good night’s rest, I feel like a whole new person the next day! I am full of energy and my mood is always so much better.
Water is key to so much in life. Staying hydrated and drinking around 8 glasses of water a day can go a long way.
When we sweat, we need water to replenish the lost fluid from sweat or we can feel fatigued and drained. We also need water for a healthy digestive system as it helps digest our food for us and get rid of waste.
Plus, it can help us stay full which can be beneficial if you are looking to shed a few extra pounds. Drinking water not only keeps us hydrated and feeds our cells, but drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you feel full faster (so you actually end up eating less).
5. Avoid Negative People
Negativity can be toxic. And when we are exposed to a lot of negativity, it can affect our overall mood and mindset. Try to surround yourself with positivity and positive people. Someone once told me a “bad mood can be contagious.” I find this to be very true! If I am with someone who is always in a bad mood, I start to feel the same way.
When we have negative emotions it can actually affect our bodies. Negative attitudes and feelings can create chronic stress, which upsets the body’s hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system.
Doctors have actually found that people with high levels of negativity are more likely to suffer from degenerative brain diseases, cardiovascular problems, digestive issues, and recover from illnesses much slower than those with a positive mindset.
So being surrounded by positivity is actually much healthier for you! Life is short – We should embrace and love every moment of it!
6. Prioritize Self Care
You are the most important part of your life. You make your life what it is. Taking care of yourself by eating well and exercising is one thing… But taking care of your MIND is just as important.
Make sure you take time for yourself and do things you love. Try to find one thing each day you love doing and do it! Whether it be a peaceful walk with your dog, 30 minutes of yoga, a hot bath with your favorite candles – whatever your heart desires – do it for you!
A happy mind is a happy body. We need to feel inner peace with ourselves and our lives. And that starts with you. Don’t over work yourself and make sure to take time for yourself each day. We all need our alone time to regain ourselves and to have some peace. If you can’t do it daily, try to set a self care time at least 3-4 days a week if you can!
Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so that you can transmit your good feelings to others. You cannot give to others what you don’t have yourself. So take care of you!
No matter how hard we try, sometimes we need a little helping hand in the way of nutrition. If you find that your body just isn’t getting the nutrients you need, looking into a supplement may be a good fit for you. Whether it be a multivitamin or something like vitamin B12, adding a supplement to your repertoire is a good idea.
My B12 levels can get a little low sometimes which leads to things like fatigue, brain fog, and mood swings. So, I take B12 daily to ensure my body is getting the daily intake it needs. In fact, the one I love most is PuraTHRIVE’s micelle liposomal B12 which has superb absorption (compared to capsules) and tastes delicious.
I also use collagen, which is great for both my inner and outer body. Since I live on a farm, I have a HUGE vegetable… And that means being crouched down a lot during the day and using muscles I sometimes forget I have (I am sure you can relate after a day of yard work).
Collagen is a lifesaver for me! I use it daily to help my joints feel their best and to avoid discomfort after working in the garden or daily exercise. Plus, it also does wonders for my hair, skin, and nails (check out my story here on how collagen changed my life). It is one of the first things I grab in the morning when I wake up. Plus it tastes like caramel which makes taking it that much easier when it tastes SO GOOD!
Find out more about Collagen and how it can benefit you here!
There you have it friends, some easy ways to get you on a path to a long and healthy life.
Stay healthy and happy!