How can I live longer?

Philip Lisagor, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
If all Americans took scientifically recommended action to prevent heart disease, the number of heart attacks would be cut by two-thirds, the number of strokes would be cut by one-third, and life expectancy would increase by 1.3 years. If we would stop smoking, get screened for cancer, eat healthy food and exercise regularly, the number of cancer deaths could be cut by 60%. If Americans achieved only moderate weight loss, diabetes would be cut by over 50%.

In order to age in a healthful manner and add life to our years, we should:
  • Exercise
  • Eat well
  • Receive preventive clinical services
  • Exercise our brains
  • Recognize and treat depression
  • Educate and support the caregiving role
Robert DeVito

Living Longer - Develop this health structure and develop an attitude of optimism.

1. Better Nutritional Habits

Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables

By increasing your fruit and veggie intake, you will provide substantial nutrition for your body and mind. You will also help yourself to maintain a healthy weight because of the decrease in intake of processed and unhealthy junk food.

Take a multivitamin as nutritional insurance

Let's face it - no one eats perfectly and providing your body with the nutrition it needs to thrive is vital. There is enough research to suggest that taking a daily multivitamin is a good idea.

Stay Hydrated

Make water your drink of choice to help hydrate your body and optimize its performance. An added bonus to drinking more water is that you will typically consume fewer calories from mistakenly eating instead of drinking and by decreasing calories from sugary drinks.

2. Decrease Stress/ Develop Healthy ways to handle stress

You've heard the saying "Stress is a killer." Well, it's true! And it makes you miserable. Stress is a natural part of anyone’s life. Finding ways to slow down and have proper perspective are important.

I utilize the S.T.O.P. method whenever I am losing control. I coach myself to 
Stop, Think, Choose and Proceed. It allows me time to think about outcomes rather than just respond. This method definitely helps me stay calm.

3. Move your body

Moving your body at least 20 minutes daily (preferably up to 60 minutes) will help to maintain a proper weight and increase your fitness levels. Exercise will boost your metabolism and help to maintain balance and flexibility. Moving will also help to keep your joints healthy and help to boost your mood.

4. Expand your mind

Equally as important as exercising the body is challenging the mind. Exercising your brain by reading for at least 20 minutes daily or taking part in challenging "mind puzzles" like Sudoku or Crosswords will help to keep you mentally sharp and focused.

5. Increase your social network

Being surrounded by people who care about you creates feelings of connectedness and love. Caring for others does the same thing. Staying connected helps to keep you young at heart.

6. Monitor your health stats

Taking part in regular check-ins with your physician will keep you abreast of your body's needs and challenges and can alert you to what needs special attention and care. Be sure to follow your Dr's advice with any health issue.

If you do nothing else, make these life-lengthening habits part of your daily routine:
  1. Walk for 30 minutes. You can hoof it all at once, or break it into two 15-minute or three 10-minute sessions -- just get your body moving and your heart rate going! Aim to take 10,000 steps a day; a pedometer will help you track your steps.
  2. Floss and brush the teeth you wish to keep. If that's not enough to motivate you, do it for the heart you wish to nurture, the wrinkles you wish to prevent, or the sexual satisfaction you wish to enjoy.
  3. Drink several cups of green tea in addition to plenty of water. It'll help flush out toxins and other baddies.
  4. Take your pills:
  • Get into the habit of popping omega-3s; 1 gram of metabolically distilled omega-3 fatty acids about 30 minutes before lunch and again before dinner should do the trick. Or skip the supplements and instead eat six walnuts twice a day, or 4 ounces of nonfried fish (not shellfish) three times a week.
  • Remember to take your other vitamins and supplements by keeping them in a convenient location like your car, desk, or handbag.
  • If you're over the age of 40 (women) or 35 (men), take two baby aspirin (162 mg) at breakfast with a half glass of warm water before and after. Just make sure to get your doctor's approval first.
  • Take 300 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 -- get one with a USP (United States Pharmacopeia) verified label -- at breakfast and dinner to boost your mitochondria.

   5.  Meditate for 5 minutes at some point during the day. In a world with more noise than a preschool classroom, our brains (and souls) need moments of silence to recharge, refocus, and rejuvenate. The key is to search for a path that gives you comfort and offers an opening to finding deeper meaning in life.

   6.  Sleep 7 to 8 hours. 

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
These are ways to help you live longer and healthier. Ensure you maintain proper nutrition and hydration Ensure you have regular physical activity. Consult an age management practitioner and inquire if hormone optimization is an alternative for you. Consult a certified nutritionist, dietitian or age management doctor to optimize your vitamin and mineral supplementation. Ensure stimulation of the mind; research mental fitness techniques likes games, puzzles, and reading. Ensure you participate in social networks and maintain relationships and friendships. Engage in practical spirituality to live with purpose and passion. Practice emotional wellness and stress elimination. Get a good night’s sleep, between 7–9 hours, also known as restorative sleep. Live in harmony with nature and your environment

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.