We may not be able to extend the lifespan, but we can do few things to extend the Healthspan. It’s important to know that there are five small changes that we all can make that will pay a big dividend in improving the quality and quantity of life.
1. Eat well. An unhealthy diet is a leading cause of disability and death in US. The standard American diet lacks adequate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium and fiber and instead is filled with empty calories, saturated fats, and added salt and sugar. Choosing these low quality, low-nutritional value foods can lead to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other illness. It is always best to choose a wide variety of fresh high quality whole foods – organic and biodynamic whenever possible. Also be sure that your food choices are not negatively impacting your immune system. Sometimes, common foods, chemicals, and medications can over-stress the immune system, making it hard to defend and repair as it should. Ingesting these hidden immune burdens can lead to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and chronic fatigue, along with many others. Common immune system triggers are wheat, milk, soy, corn and eggs. Fill your diet with lentils, chickpeas, and legumes to replenish your body. In addition, men tend to lose a lot of zinc throughout each day; experts estimate that over 300 enzyme reactions require zinc, and it’s necessary for testosterone production. It is essential for immune system repair, testosterone (sexual function).
2. Hydrate – one survey says 40% of Americans don’t drink enough water. Every system in our body utilizes water, our cells need water to absorb nutrients and to push toxins out. Drink at least 8 glasses of water to help each and every system in our body. If you are not a big fan of water, I have few tips. Flavor your water with any fruits, herbs or cucumber. Start replacing sodas and sugary drinks with sparking water and eventually replace sparkling water with mineral water or herbal tea. Make sure you slowly build it to 8 glasses.
3. Stress reduction: stress is the number one cause of many diseases. When stressed the mind and body turns to unhealthy eating habits and coping mechanisms. One of the best ways to destress and help your body’s overall health is to practice mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness activities include gardening, hiking, and pursue any passion. While participating, note what is around you and focus on your tasks. Mindfulness-based treatments, such as meditation or simple optimism, gratitude have been shown to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep.
4. Maintain a regular exercise – Nature walks is my first choice for multiple benefits. You are missing out on many health benefits that you get from exercising outdoors when you do your workouts only at gym or home.
5. Pay attention to your health – See your doctor yearly even if think you are healthy. Some screenings can save your life, as many chronic diseases develop overtime, takes at least 10 or even 20 years to notice symptoms. A screening test is done to detect potential health disorders or diseases in people who do not have any symptoms of disease. The goal is early detection and lifestyle changes or surveillance, to reduce the risk of disease, or to detect it early enough to treat it most effectively.
6. Take Basic supplements at least – Why we don’t get enough key nutrients from diet alone. Because our soils are depleted and food travels thousands of miles before it reaches your table, so many nutrients are lost or diminished. Most of us are replacing fresh food with processed food, which is low in nutrients compared to whole, unprocessed foods.