Want to add more than 20 years to your life? 8 expert tips for living longer

The authors suggest that by focusing on lifestyle medicine, a nascent branch of medicine that seeks to maintain optimal health and prevent, treat and reverse chronic disease at every stage of life, We can all live longer, healthier lives.

Combined, the habits listed below emphasize the importance of good nutrition, good sleep hygiene, stress management, adequate physical activity, and maintaining social connections.

1. Get moving

There are many benefits of regular exercise. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week, including strength training on at least two or three days. Strength training is especially important for older adults, to build bone density and increase flexibility.

Without intervention, Muscle mass may decrease Nathan Price, a biological engineer and professor at the nonprofit Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, and co-author of the book, said the increase is between 3% and 8% per decade. The era of scientific healthwho did not participate in the study.
Nathan Price is a biological engineer and professor at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington. Photo: Institute of Systems Biology.

Lifelong practice that combines resistance training and aerobic exercise will bring enormous improvements to both the quality and length of our lives, he says. Actively sedentary is death.

2. Avoid opioid addiction

drug is a group of highly addictive pain relievers. Fentanyl is a prime example. This synthetic opioid is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is approved to treat severe pain, often after serious surgery or pain caused by advanced cancer.

Other opioids include oxycodone, morphine, tramadol, and codeine.

Opioids are highly addictive. Photo: Shutterstock

According to a study by the World Health Organization, countries with the highest risk of abuse of the five opioid drugs listed above include the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Australia.

3. Don’t smoke

In Hong Kong, smoking rates have decreased: it is estimated that only 9.5% of people now smoke daily.

4. Manage stress

Medical research estimates that up to 90% of illnesses are related to stress.

The harmful effects of chronic stress are many: among them are insomnia, hair loss, headaches and dangerous levels of inflammation.

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Hong Kongers are experiencing higher levels of stress than people in other Asian countries. Of the 1,000 Hong Kongers surveyed in the 2022 Cigna 360 Global Health Survey, nearly 9 in 10 respondents (87%) said they felt stressed, and 19% of them cited stress. This cannot be controlled.

The top three stressors? Uncertainty about the future (40%), worries about personal finances (34%), and heavy workload (22%).

5. Eat healthy

A healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand. Studies show that eating more plant foods instead of processed foods reduces the risk of serious illness.

The seven scientifically proven benefits of this type of diet include protecting heart health, strengthening the immune system, increasing energy, keeping the gut healthy, supporting weight loss, avoiding cancer, Prevent and treat diabetes.

Key factors involve eating an appropriate amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight, focusing on whole foods, getting plenty of protein to maintain muscle [or growth] and avoid processed foods, Price says.

6. Don’t get drunk

The Hong Kong Center for Health Protection defines binge drinking as drinking at least 5 cans of beer, 5 glasses of wine or 5 glasses of spirits (60ml or 2oz) in one sitting.

Why do Gen Z adopt a low or no alcohol lifestyle?

However, even eating less than that can cause health problems. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these diseases include: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems; cancers of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, liver, colon and rectum; weakened immune system, increased risk of disease; and learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.

7. Sleep well

Advice varies on the optimal amount of sleep needed for a healthy adult but tends to center around 7 to 8 hours per night. For teenagers, it’s 8 to 10 hours.

The average Hong Kong person is chronically sleep deprived.

Adults should sleep seven to eight hours each night. Photo: Shutterstock

Lack of sleep is strongly linked to poorer eating habits and higher body mass index (BMI).

Your bedroom should be a place free of digital devices. There is no TV. No laptop. And, if possible, no phones.

8. Maintain positive social relationships

Strong social connections act as a buffer against stress and the harmful effects of anxiety and depression.

In Hong Kong, more and more people, especially the elderly, are living more isolated lives.

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As we age, maintaining friendships helps keep our brains sharp. According to a recent study by the American Academy of Neurology, people with isolation face a significantly higher risk of brain shrinkage.

Social connection with the people you love is the strongest predictor of longevity, Price said. We need to be conscious of contributing something valuable to the world.

Inactivity among the highest risk factors

Among study participants, inactivity, opioid use, and smoking had the greatest impact on longevity: these three factors were associated with a 30 to 45 percent higher risk of death over time. research period.

Stress, binge drinking, poor diet and poor sleep habits are all linked to an increased risk of death by about 20%. A lack of positive social relationships was associated with a 5% increased risk.

Our study results show that adopting a healthy lifestyle is important for both public and individual health, said Xuan-Mai Nguyen, health science specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs and one of the study authors, noted.

The sooner the better, but even if you make just a small change in your 40s, 50s or 60s it will still be beneficial.

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