It’s impossible to predict a person’s longevity, but there are several ways to extend it. For most of us over 50, who love life, we want to live as long as possible in excellent health, so as not to be a burden on our families. Many of us are currently taking care of elderly parents or relatives, if we are fortunate to still have them with us. If they have health challenges, it’s not an easy task.
Below are 10 tips to extend longevity and maintain quality of life in old age.
- Eat fresh foods that have not been chemically or artificially altered. The best way to do this is to grow your own, but if that’s not possible, look for nutritionally conscious grocery stores or farmer’s markets. Shop the perimeter of a grocery store and avoid the junk food sections that are typically in the middle. If a product is in a package or box, chances are there are hidden ingredients that are not healthy. Make sure to read the labels carefully. Eat a balanced diet without cutting out major food groups, such as the Mediterranean model. A good rule of thumb is to consume 80 percent fruits and vegetables and 20 percent protein. Eat whole sprouted grains rather than white flour.
- Stay hydrated with pure clean water. You don’t have to drown yourself, but make sure to keep a large bottle of fresh water nearby and drink from it throughout the day. Avoid sodas or any bottled drink that may contain hidden sugars or artificial sweeteners. Filter your water in a simple and inexpensive charcoal filtered pitcher, and then add a little squeezed lemon or lime to keep it alkaline.
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Sitting is dangerous for humans. Not only does it affect the curvature of your spine, but it can also cause blot clots. If you sit in an office chair or at a computer most of the day, make sure to get up frequently to move and stretch. Use an ergonomic chair or an inflated exercise ball.
- Stay active. You don’t necessarily have to go to a gym to stay physically active. Take walks, hike, garden, clean house, and do ordinary tasks that cause you to safely bend and stretch. Other safe activities for those over 50 include yoga, tai chi, swimming, and dancing.
- Socialize with friends and family regularly. Stay connected physically with others (not just on Facebook) and avoid isolation. Meet friends for coffee, join social, business or special interest groups, attend classes, exercise with others or have regular family meals together.
- Lighten up and enjoy life. Humor is powerful medicine. It’s interesting that comedians like Bob Hope and George Burns lived to be over 100. They were able to make light of even serious situations. Laughter relieves stress and anxiety. Laugh as often as possible.