Follow These 10 Lifestyle Habits to Live Longer


What’s the secret to living longer and enjoying a positive quality of life as you age?

You might think it’s the mystical Fountain of Youth, a magic pill, good genetics, or just dumb luck. But the truth is, adopting the right lifestyle habits can protect your health, prevent chronic disease, and help you live a long and healthy life.

What are some things you can do to help you live longer? Make these 10 healthy lifestyle habits part of your daily routine:

  1. Practice balance: No, we’re not talking about the split between work and play. Balance on one foot. Aim for a minute. Then switch sides and balance for a minute on the other foot. Do it every morning to strengthen your core muscles, improve balance and mobility, and prevent falls.
  1. Eat more nuts. They’re a good source of protein and contain healthy fats. But they’re higher in calories, so a small handful a day is just right. Try walnuts, peanuts, almonds, or cashews.
  1. 3. Avoid overeating: No, not every meal should end with loosening your belt or undoing a button on your pants. Avoid eating until you full. Just eat until you’re satisfied or satiated. You’ll eat fewer calories and prevent weight gain, a major risk factor for chronic disease.
  1. Get your Zzzs: Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night for best health. If work for family life makes it hard, try to take a nap during the day. If you have trouble sleeping often, talk to your doctor.
  1. Floss your teeth. You’ve heard the advice before. You know, you don’t have to floss your teeth, just the ones you want to keep. But seriously, there’s a bigger benefit to flossing than just pearly whites. Flossing helps prevent gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
  1. Help other people. No, you don’t have to be a philanthropist who gives away millions of dollars. You can help other people in simple ways. Mow the lawn, pick up the mail, fix a flat tire, offer a compliment to someone. When you help other people, you’ll lower your risk for depression, get a rush of endorphins that reduce pain, and improve your overall health.
  1. Eat more fruits and veggies. It’s pretty simple. The Healthy Eating Plate guidelines by Harvard University or Choose My Plate guidelines by the U.S. Department of Agriculture both recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. Need help figuring how to to eat healthy? Check out these ready-to-eat meals all made with fresh ingredients.
  1. Cut back on screen time. How much time do you spend in front of a screen outside of work? TV, tablet, phone, video games, and other devices all count. The average adults spends about 3.5 hours a day in front of a screen for non-work-related activities. Cut back on screen time and do something go for a walk, play with your kids, or prepare a healthy meal.
  1. Keep your waistline in check. No one likes to tip the scale in the wrong direction and gain a few extra pounds. But there’s a more important number to pay attention to...your waistline. It’s an indicator of your risk for chronic disease. For best health, your waist should measure below 37 inches for a man, 31.5 inches for a woman.
  1. Laugh more. What if your doctor prescribed more laughter to improve your health? What would you do? Probably something like watch funny movies, read funny books, attend stand-up comedy shows, tell jokes. It’s a great way to boost your mood and improve your health.

    One more thing. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but don’t smoke, or quit if you do.

If you’re already doing some of these things, keep up the good work. If there’s room for improvement, now is always the best time to start to improve your health, feel better, and live longer.