How to live longer: Four habits to change to help boost your longevity

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Living to an age where you can watch the grandchildren grow up can be achieved but it will be your day-to-day habits which will determine the likelihood. With this in mind, what are four habits to cut down on helping to ensure longer longevity?

Lack of sleep

Not getting enough sleep can actually shorten a person’s lifespan and this is done in a number of ways.

A study from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School found “sleeping five hours or less per night increased mortality risk from all causes by roughly 15 percent”.

A lack of sleep may also cause other health issues.

According to the study, there is a link between not getting enough sleep and weight gain leading to obesity.

Additionally, the study reports that insufficient sleep has been proven to lead to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, a weakened immune system, and mood disorders.

Reduce the amount of added sugars in your diet

Sugar-rich diets have a negative impact on health independent of obesity.

Researchers discovered that the shortened survival of fruit flies fed a sugar-rich diet were more prone to an early death.

High sugar diets positively correlate with age-related diseases including diabetes and heart disease, so reducing sugar in the diet may delay ageing in humans by preventing metabolic diseases and improving general health.

Poor oral health

Inflammation associated with periodontal disease increases inflammation throughout the body, leading to diseases such as osteoporosis.

This in turn is linked to periodontal bone loss; or rheumatoid arthritis, being the destruction of connective tissue similar to the tissue degeneration found in gum disease.

Poor oral health also increases gum disease risk which in turn can increase the risk of poor glycaemic control, thereby increasing the severity of diabetes.

Chronic inflammation found in gum disease has also been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels and stroke.

Being negative

Not many are aware of how their thoughts could impact their longevity with those opting for a more negative and gloomier outlook putting themselves at risk for a shorter life.

Having a pessimistic view of the world can leave you feeling unmotivated and exhausted, but more seriously it can lead to premature ageing or death of cells.

A study by the NHS found that people with a more negative emotional style have a poorer immune system and may be at a greater risk of illness than those with a positive emotional outlook.

Therefore, having a positive mindset can help boost your immune system as well as overall life satisfaction.

This can be achieved by keeping a gratitude diary and taking note of things which, you are grateful for.

Meditation and yoga have also been linked to a more positive and calmer attitude towards life.

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