Living life to the fullest begins with paying attention to your body and mind.
“The long-term effects of good and bad health habits are cumulative. Simply put, you can’t outrun your past,” said Dr. William Roberts said via email. .
CNN medical analyst Dr. Getting enough physical activity and seeing your doctor regularly is a good place to start, Lena Wein said.
“There’s a lot of evidence about things we can do proactively that can improve our longevity and quality of life,” said Wayne, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. .
Here are some habits worth implementing to give yourself the best chance at a long, happy life.
1. Routine screening
Young people have fewer chronic diseases than older people, but prevention is key, Wayne said. “If you screen positive for pre-diabetes, for example, there are steps you can take to prevent progression to diabetes.”
Annual checkups enable you and your doctor to get to know each other, he added. “The best time to see your doctor is if you already have symptoms and need help—on a regular basis to build and establish a relationship so your doctor can get basic information about your health.”
2. Regular physical activity
Getting enough physical activity can reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, Wayne said.
Dr. Atria New York City Medical Director and New York University Grossman Assistant Professor of Medicine. “There is a large body of research that supports regular aerobic exercise not only for longer survival, but also for longer cognitive function,” said Nia Goldberg. School of Medicine.
3. A healthy BMI
4. Proper nutrition
Eating more plant-based foods is a great source of antioxidants, Goldberg said. “Oxidation is a sign of stress in our system and can change the build-up of plaque in the arteries,” she said. “And this oxidation is also associated with aging.”
At mealtimes, at least half of the plate should be fruits and vegetables, Goldberg said. Also, what’s important is “not just what’s in the food, but how you prepare it,” he added. “So baking and broiling is better than frying.”
5. Focus on mental health
Mental health is often “such a neglected part of our overall health, but actually contributes so much to overall health and well-being,” Wayne said.
The past few years have brought on stress and anxiety, which can affect blood pressure, sleep, diet choices, alcohol consumption or efforts to quit smoking, Goldberg said.
6. Get plenty of sleep
People who sleep less than seven hours a night have higher levels of stress hormones, blood sugar and blood pressure, Goldberg said.
7. Drink less
“For a long time, people have associated alcohol with a healthy heart,” Goldberg said. But “heavy alcohol consumption can actually be toxic directly to the heart muscle and cause heart attacks. And it also raises (blood sugar) and causes weight gain.”
8. Non smoking
“Smoking is a major risk factor that increases the likelihood of many cancers — not just lung cancer but also things like breast cancer,” Wayne said. It also “increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions that shorten people’s lives.”
If you’re a smoker, it’s not too late to quit to prolong your life, Wayne added.
9. Build strong relationships
If implementing all of these habits seems like a lot, think of them as building blocks, Wayne said. “We may not always be perfect at everything,” she said, “but (there are) things we can improve on in one or more dimensions, and we can commit to improving that kind of lifestyle.”