You might be guilty of approaching aging from the outside in. You’re certainly not alone. Skincare, hair treatments, and more are usually marketed as the preservers of youth.
But if you’re in middle age, you might want to consider refocusing your efforts on what’s happening inside of you. Internal health is the real key to any anti-aging strategy. Limiting inflammation, promoting healthy cell growth, and ensuring your organs function optimally is how to keep the effects of aging at bay.
How can you do that? After all, you can’t exactly see what’s going on in there or perform surgery on yourself. Instead, you can do little things that have shown to promote anti-aging effects.
Research has uncovered five habits that contribute to longer life expectancy and, more importantly, a higher quality of life. Studies have shown that when people adopt more of these habits, they are likely to live even longer and healthier.
The habits are:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate/vigorous activity each day
- A healthy body weight (Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9)
- Not smoking
- Moderate (low-risk) alcohol consumption
If you have one of these habits, you’re likely to live two years longer. If you have all five of these habits by 50, there is a good chance you will live an extra 12–14 years you wouldn’t have lived otherwise.
Research has shown that having at least four of those habits will significantly protect people from cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. These habits don’t only correlate to a longer life, but a better life.
How do these things improve the length and quality of your life? Each component is associated with lower levels of inflammation, which can have a profound impact on health.
A healthy diet featuring a diverse array of plant foods provides all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your organs need. Avoiding processed and refined foods and opting for lean meats is also essential.
If you can make time for 15 minutes of exercise in the morning and 15 in the evening, you should be doing enough to extend your life and improve health. Activity improves blood pressure, balance, and may help control food cravings.
If you’re eating a healthy diet, weight loss is likely to follow. You won’t have to think about keeping weight in check.
And when it comes to booze, stick to having one (women) or two (men) drinks per day, if wanted. But really, less is more when it comes to health.
Disease prevention is essential to anti-aging. It allows you to get the most out of your life and limit the risk of pain and more. Looking to the outside to stay young won’t offer the same results.
Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade. During a three-year communications program in Germany, he developed an interest in German medicine (homeopathy) and other alternative systems of medicine. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.