How to live longer: Four essential habits to live longer and healthier

To live longer, genetics often play a big part in the equation, however, living to a ripe old age is really down to the person. A person’s life longevity does not necessarily correlate to how long their parents lived and new research shows that genes are not our destiny at all. Rather the habits we adopt in our lives will ensure how long or how short we might live. What are the four main habits that a person needs to adopt to live a long and healthy life?

Eat more plant protein

Evidence has suggested that a person who eats more plant protein in their diet has a direct link with life longevity.

A 2016 study looked at people who ate a diet high in processed meats like sausages were at a higher risk of death compared to those who got their protein from plants.

The study found that every three per cent increase in calories from plant protein there was a reduction in risk of death by 10 per cent.

Foods such as lentils, edamame and quinoa have excellent protein sources. 

Quit smoking

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide and is responsible for every severe health issue including heart diseases to cancers.

Doctor Jyotir Jani said: “Smoking cessation is the single most important action that an individual can take regardless of age.

“Smoking makes a person age faster and get more wrinkles and smoking literally causes internal damage to the genetic code as well as blood vessels and multiple organ systems.”

Go for a run

Of all the things you hear about how to live longer, one of the most critical is exercise.

Aerobic activity, like running or jogging, is crucial for getting the blood pumping and for the heart to work optimally.

Running helps burn calories, keeps blood sugars normal and keeps kidneys, eyes, nerves and blood vessels healthy.

According to a study published in the journal Progress in cardiovascular diseases, it found that runners lived an average of three years longer than non-runners. 

Limit your alcohol consumption

Heavy drinkers are more at risk of health risks and excess drinking has been linked to complications such as angina, high blood pressure and a risk of heart failure.

A study found those who drank lightly had a major reduction in their risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

A person who drinks more than 14 units of alcohol a week increases their risk of damaging their health.

To live a long life does not necessarily mean giving up the best things in life. But as with most things, moderation is key.

Smoking however, should be eliminated for a person’s life entirely and you should speak with your GP about the best methods for quitting.

Gums, patches or hypnosis have been proven to help with quitting the smoking habit.

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