One of the most frequent things people want to know is how to increase their life expectancy. Our life expectancy is fairly good now sitting at 80 years of age, but everyone always wants to squeeze out as many years as possible, as they should. Our life expectancy might decrease with the amount of chemicals we are now exposed to so it’s important to limit those.
The answer to longevity is complex, it requires dedication and self control. In the simplest forms, we would suggest that you avoid toxins, and supply your body with nutrients. It sounds easy but it’s not, our world is filled with hidden contaminants that big corporations and big government aren’t transparent about (See: Tobacco Companies). For that reason, We’ve compiled a list of tips to increase your longevity.
Longevity Tip #1: Water
Our most precious commodity, it goes without saying that we need water to survive but not only that, we need clean water. You might be wondering why this would be on the list as most of us get clean water from our taps. The problem is a lot of our water contains hidden contaminants like Pharmaceuticals that over time poison us. Water is also treated with Chlorine and Fluoride where opinions differ on if it’s safe. Not only that but if you aren’t in control of your own water you might end up with a toxic supply like what happened in Flint, Michigan or in Walkerton, Canada. Don’t use water from plastic water bottles, or anything plastic as most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals.
Logevity Tip #2: Food
Aside from water, food is the most important. Over the last 30 years our food supply has changed immensely. Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) are sprayed with round up (glyphosate) which has been classified as a “probable carcinogenic to humans”. Not only are they sprayed with potential cancer causing chemicals but the food supply is essentially owned by a few companies, one is Monsanto, who are not very liked. The reason a few companies owning the entire food supply is dangerous is because they would have immense power, they can control prices, and what we eat.
We Suggest: Buying your food from three sources. Buy Organic seeds and grow your own fruits and vegetables. Get them here.Buy local Organic food from farmers markets. It not only supports small business but small farmers produce some of the highest quality food. Buy Organic food from other companies (This increases the demand for more quality Organic foods which in turn leads to more supply).
Longevity Tip #3: Physical Activity
It’s hard and nobody wants to do it, but physical activity has proven to increase your life expectancy even if you’re overweight. It doesn’t even have to be a high intensity workout, a daily walk could add seven years to your life.
We Suggest: Go for a walk or run every day. If you find you get bored doing that purchase a treadmill or an elliptical and put it in front of a smart TV or a streaming device and watch your favorite Youtube videos. If you don’t enjoy plain old cardio think about investing in a rower, adjustable dumbbells, kettle-bells or yoga.
Longevity Tip # 4: Sleep
Everyone knows a good nights sleep is important but did you know that too much sleep it’s just as detrimental as too little sleep? According to a study where 21,000 twins were followed for 22 years they found people who slept less than 7 hours a night or more than 8 hours a night had an increased risk of death by 17% to 24%. The study also indicated that sleep medications increased the risk of death by about 33%. The ideal sleep is between 7 and 8 hours.
We Suggest: Try sleeping without using an alarm if your internal clock allows you to wake up in the sweet spot of 7-8 hours. If however you have trouble waking up consider investing in an alarm clock, there are some great ones that wake you up by using natural light. If you have trouble falling asleep or are a light sleeper, invest in a white noise machine. They are soothing and allow you sleep through a surprising amount of noise.
Longevity Tip #5: Avoid Sugar
At this point everyone knows that sugar is bad for you. But do you know how bad? According to a 15 year study people who took 25% or more of their daily calories in sugar were more than 2x as likely to die from heart disease, regardless of age, activity level, body mass or sex. To put it in perspective, if you had 1 can of Soda a day that would put all women and most men over the 25% of their daily calories coming from sugar. Sugar is the biggest problem society faces today.
We Suggest: Removing all kids from sugar. If kids are use to a treat substitute it with organic fruits or dried fruits. If you’re addicted to soda, try substituting it with a carbonated water like Perrier. If you need sugar in your coffee, tea or for a recipe, use organic honey, preferably from your geographical area (as it has added benefits).
Longevity Tip #6: Don’t Smoke
There’s a reason on every medical questionnaire they ask if you smoke. To be blunt, it’s one of the stupidest things a human being can do. Smoking increases your risk for cancer, diabetes, infection, wrinkles, infertility, erectile dysfunction and osteoporosis. In addition it dulls the mind, and vision. If that doesn’t put it in perspective, this should; the life expectancy of a smoker is at least 10 years less than a non-smoker.
We Suggest: Although it’s hard, its best to try and quit cold turkey. Some healthier alternatives to smoking are: sugar-free chewing gum, flavored toothpicks, and exercise. We would suggest NOT using any electronic cigarettes or vaporizers.
Longevity Tip #7: Exercise the Brain
Longevity isn’t just about living. It’s about living and being aware of what is going on. It’s important to keep the brain sharp, not only for productivity purposes but to prevent diseases such as dementia. It’s been proven that if you do mental activity (thinking) you decrease your risk of dementia and the effects of dementia.
Longevity Tip #8: Vitamin D
The sunshine Vitamin is incredibly important. Over 1 billion people worldwide are Vitamin D deficient and its been described as a global health problem and an epidemic. Vitamin D is a steroid with hormone like activity, it regulates over 200 genes. Vitamin D Deficiency can result in obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis and neuro-degenerative diseases.
We Suggest: It’s important to get 15-20 minutes of Vitamin D a day with approximately 40% of your skin exposed to the sun, without sunscreen. If you cannot get Vitamin D from the sun, for example in the winter, supplement as per your doctors recommendations with Vitamin D supplements.
Longevity Tip #9: Diet
Slightly different than food, the particular diet you choose is important. We’ve been taught for years the incorrect “balanced diet” however; we still don’t have a diet that stands out above the rest. There are new diets like the Ketogenic diet and the Paleo diet. The Ketogenic diet claims to fight cancer and treat epilepsy. The Paleo diet might have beneficial effects on diabetes and the cardiovascular system.
We Suggest: We believe the particular diet you chose is a personal choice. There is no one diet that currently stands above the rest. The Ketogenic diet looks promising, learn about it here. The Paleo diet is also compelling, find out more about it here. Another train of thought that is worth looking into is a diet that limits meat intake you can read about it in The China Study.
Longevity Tip #10: Avoid Sitting
It’s been suggested that sitting is the new smoking and it has been proven that there is a steadily increase in risk of mortality across higher levels of sitting time. It’s also been proven that people who admitted to sitting for the majority of their day and a poorer long term prognosis than those who spent less time sitting. There has been reported to be a 50% percent increase of death from any cause. There is also a 125% increase of death associated with heart attack or cardiovascular disease.
We Suggest: Purchase some quality running shoes or a road bike and use those options as your method of transportation when possible. Most sitting occurs at work, at your desk, it is imperative you purchase a standing desk and most importantly use it.
Longevity Tip #11: The Kitchen
There are some hidden dangers in the kitchen. A lot of plastics come from China and there is some question as to if BPA plastics are even safe. A lot of people cook with Teflon pans which uses PFOA in the manufacturing process. There are rumors that PFOA might cause cancer. There is also the risk of Teflon poisoning when cooking with Teflon. At the end of the day we just aren’t sure if Teflon is safe and considering it takes two decades for the body to break it down, avoid using it.
We Suggest: Avoiding plastics in the kitchen. Trade in plastic Tupperware for the buy it for life quality of pyrex glass containers. Trade in plastic cutting boards for long lasting wood cutting boards (which are also naturally anti-bacterial). Trade in Teflon pans for a stainless steel set or the tried and tested cast iron skillet.
Longevity Tip #12: Beauty Products
Many people today are using harmful products which contain chemicals that our skin absorbs. There are studies about the safety of cologne and perfume use as well as a potential link to autism. Not only are the chemicals listed in the perfume and cologne dangerous but there are a lot of chemicals that are being found that are not even listed on the label. These risks are not only limited to scented products but the products we use to clean our skin like soaps and shampoos also contain questionable chemicals. Some of the chemicals in soap and shampoo have even been linked to cancer. If that’s not enough to convince you according the the FDA it’s been proven that anti-bacterial soaps do more harm than good, as bacteria can be healthy for you.
We Suggest: If you must use perfume we suggest you use scented essential oils which are Organic. As for soap, make sure to purchase Organic soap.
Longevity Tip #13: Cleaning Products
The majority of people know that the chemicals that are sprayed outside to kill weeds or ant’s are extremely poisonous but often overlooked is the dangers of chemicals we use indoors. Household cleaners have been associated with allergic and respiratory diseases in children, hazards to pets and children, and rhinitis in children. Household cleaners also contain a host of potential cancer causing carcinogens or poisons.
We Suggest: Ditch all commercial sold household cleaners. There are natural cleaners that do an even better job. Purchase these alternatives to commercial cleaners: baking soda, white vinegar, tea tree oil and lemon.