Let’s face it. We’re all going to die eventually

But that doesn’t mean we have to go down without a fight. I’m fairly certain that it’s everyone’s goal to live as long and healthy a life as possible – or at least to age as gracefully as possible.  I always tell people that my goal is to stay in the best shape I can for as long as I can.

To prolong the inevitable, you don’t need to be superman or superwoman.  You just need to be smart about how you proceed through life.

Wondering how to live longer? Here are a few tips.

Avoid cigarettes

I decided to put this first since it is probably the most obvious.  And I’m sure you’ve heard through the grapevine that smoking is bad for you.  Well it is.

In fact, the phrase “Every cigarette takes a minute off your life” is probably pretty accurate. It has no redeeming features whatsoever, only badness and damage. The main problem I have with smoking is that it robs your body of oxygen.

If you do not have an adequate oxygen supply going to your muscles and through your system, you will be huffing and puffing at the simplest of tasks. 

Plus, your skin will take a pounding and it will age a lot faster than if you avoided the evils of cigarettes. Young girls spending fortunes of skin creams whilst also spending heaps on smoking – Oh the irony.

I have a theory on why cigarettes are so bad. Years ago, you didn’t hear much about lung cancer, emphysema and other smoking-related conditions. Perhaps, and I’m only speculating here; the tobacco plants were not dowsed with pesticides and chemicals like they are today.

Just maybe, the toxic effect of cigarettes and the like is partially the result of the contaminants used in their production.

Exercise every day of the week

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I’m not even going to sugarcoat this.  If you want to extend your life, stay as active as you can.

When I say to exercise every day, it doesn’t mean you have to do high-intensity workouts every day. It means just make sure to do some form of physical activity.

I’m a big fan of complex movement patterns.

Anyone can do linear exercises like biceps curls and leg extensions, but these do not stimulate much brain activity. You are better served practicing more complicated drills that involve the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

For example: Crawling – it requires you to move your opposing limbs in a cross-dimensional pattern.  You need to be present and think about what you are doing the entire time.  Otherwise, you may fall flat on your face.

This type of training not only works a high amount of muscle fiber, but it also boosts your mental acuity, which can allow you to stay sharper as you age.

If you are able to think more clearly, you will be able to make better decisions and extend your life.  Not to mention, you can prevent falls.

One serious fall can either put a quick exclamation point on your life or it can cause you to live your last remaining years struggling to get around.

Neither outcome sounds much fun.

Get rid of toxic relationships

People can either be uplifting or discouraging.  Guess what?  You are what company you keep!

If you hang around toxic, negative people, it will have an equally toxic, negative effect on your life.  Steer clear of these momentum suckers and surround yourself with happy, positive influences at all times.

Honor thy diet

Were you aware that every single cell in your entire body recycles itself in one and a half years? Does it now make sense that you should follow a healthy diet? It should because what do you think those cells are made up from? The answer is, the food you eat.

Following a healthy diet is just as important as following a regimented exercise program.

The main goal here is to avoid excess weight gain and inflammation. Both contribute to oxidative stress, which in turn raises your risk for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, carrying extra pounds delivers a beating to your joints over time, the likes of which can only be described as catastrophic.

Keep your diet clean and make sure to eat plenty of greens, fresh vegetables and healthy fats from seeds, nuts and cold-water fish.

The biggest take-home message here is: avoid high amounts of simple sugars and processed carbs.

Don’t be afraid of alcohol

A single alcoholic beverage a day has been proven time and time again to actually be beneficial to your health.  Just remember that this is moderation.  Multiple drinks every night of the week can have the opposite effect and I don’t recommend it.

Red wine is especially valuable because it contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol.

OK, now you have a solid plan of attack.  Stay focused on these tips and you should have no trouble adding years to your life.  Contact me if you need any more advice or motivation.

Connect with  Expert Kevin Rail.

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