According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 10 things you can stop doing today that will help you live a longer life. This is significant because having a longer life means fewer days with sickness and more days that are healthy and happy. But unfortunately, many people don’t take advantage of this information and make simple changes that could benefit their health. If you want to live longer, here are 10 things the CDC says you should stop doing now:
1. Stop smoking.
Smoking is one of the most harmful habits you could have. Nicotine, a chemical found in cigarettes, is highly addictive and can lead to several health issues including heart disease and lung cancer. Smoking may be a bad habit but it affects more than just your health—it also might be lowering your life span.
If you want to live longer and healthy life, then you need to quit smoking or else start planning your funeral early!
2. Stop drinking in excess.
You’ve probably heard that the occasional glass of wine is good for your heart. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men to achieve maximum benefits (and stay safe). But don’t think that you can binge-drink all weekend and “make up” for it by avoiding alcohol during the week. The science is clear: Regularly drinking too much can significantly shorten your life expectancy.
In a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers found that people who consumed less than about a drink per day had a 14 percent lower risk of death compared with those who never drank. But people who averaged more than two drinks per day had a staggering 36 percent greater risk of premature death than nondrinkers. Teetotalers didn’t live longer, either—in fact, they were 17 percent more likely to die early compared with moderate drinkers!
3. Stop flirting with disaster.
Take a look around and you’ll see that this world is filled with opportunities to hurt yourself. Some of these are more obvious than others, like the dangers posed by lightning, fire, or being crushed under a giant rock. But there are other temptations that lurk in the shadows: bad habits, indiscretions, and little mistakes all culminate into big problems if they’re allowed to go unchecked.
If you want to get ahead in life, then it’s time to start thinking about your safety first. This is true whether you’re 21 years old or 110 (it’s never too late).
4. Stop ignoring signs of illness.
If you have the flu, you know it. The same goes for a broken ankle, strep throat and a nasty cold. While we all experience aches and pains from time to time, there are certain signs of illness that can’t be ignored. Of course your medical condition is dependent on your age and health history, but some things should always be taken seriously. Don’t ignore these symptoms if they happen to you:
- Chest discomfort or chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Feeling exhausted even when you rest or sleep more than usual
- Inability to perform everyday activities because of shortness of breath
If any of those symptoms sound familiar, call your doctor right away or head to the emergency room. (It’s especially important to take note if these symptoms occur in combination with other conditions.) If you don’t have a primary care physician yet, ask friends and family members for recommendations in your area. It’s also important to see your doctor regularly for check-ups—even if you feel fine—and make sure that he/she is aware of any chronic conditions you might have (heart disease, diabetes etc.).
5. Stop being a couch potato.
It’s inevitable that at some point in your day, you’re going to be sitting down. You might work a desk job where you spend hours stationed at your computer, or maybe you need to sit while traveling or commuting. But it’s not what you do while sitting that makes the difference: It’s how long you do it. In fact, studies show one of the worst things we can do for our health is sit for prolonged periods of time. According to the CDC, more and more people have become “couch potatoes,” spending their free time watching television instead of being active. The average American watches five hours of TV per day and spends six-and-a-half hours sitting each day.
While it might seem like a good way to relax after a long day at work, too much sitting has been linked to various health conditions including obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. So if you’re feeling stuck in a sedentary rut and want to live longer—or just feel better—it’s time to stand up!
6. Stop being stressed out.
Most of us already know that the stress in our lives might be making us sick, but it’s important to find out the specific things that are making you feel stressed. If you can’t pinpoint the source of your stress and find a way to relax, then you’ll probably never be able to enjoy life as much as you’d like. It’s all about unearthing the sources of stress, and then taking steps to minimize them.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from personal experience (and we’re not talking about Rick Harrison), it’s that “if you want a longer life, stop doing ten things.”
Here are ten things that people do every day that make them tired, irritable and stressed:
7. Stop eating too much salt.
Sodium, or salt, is bad for your health. There’s a reason the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily: The nutrient can cause bloating, high blood pressure and water retention (which makes your heart work harder). All of these things can lead to heart disease, which causes one in every three deaths in the United States.
How can you cut back on salt? It’s not hard: Be mindful of how much sodium is in your food by reading labels (or even better, avoid packaged foods altogether). And when it comes to meals out at restaurants and fast-food joints, ask that your dishes be prepared without salt and instead rely on herbs and spices to add flavor.
8. Stop ignoring your diet.
- Stop ignoring your diet. We all know we should eat better, but the evidence is overwhelming that a healthy diet can increase your lifespan. For one thing, it’s likely to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Research has also found connections between good nutrition and lower risks of developing depression, dementia and cancer.
Of course, a healthy diet is not just any diet: it’s one that emphasizes whole foods (think fruits and vegetables), limits processed food (which often contains hidden sugars) and helps you avoid overeating so you keep a healthy weight.
9. Stop eating the wrong foods.
The food you eat has a direct impact on your health and longevity, so make sure to eat right. For example, people who follow vegetarian diets have been found to live longer than meat-eaters, according to a 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. A 2015 study found that people who eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains live longer than those who don’t eat these foods as often. Other research has shown that cutting out sugar can also help you live longer.
In addition to eating less meat and sugar, be sure to stock up on other healthy foods that can boost your lifespan: Foods high in antioxidants such as berries, coffee and green tea; fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids; nuts such as walnuts, pecans and pistachios; garlic; eggs; beans; mushrooms; kefir (a yogurt drink); olive oil; ginger root; cocoa powder (yes!); avocados and dark chocolate are all associated with increased longevity.
10. Stop Eating Mainly Processed Foods
If you have been eating processed foods for years and it has become your normal diet, stopping cold turkey will be challenging. Start by replacing processed foods in your home with the whole food versions of these items. A few examples would be replacing white bread with whole grain bread or bagels from a bakery, choosing homemade granola over cereal, and frozen chicken breast over chicken nuggets. Regular trips to the grocery store will help you identify healthy options to replace some of your regular processed food items!
You can also try using spices to add more flavor to your meals instead of fried foods or canned sauces that are high in sodium. Some spices like cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and black pepper are actually associated with lowering blood pressure levels due to their high amounts of anti-inflammatory antioxidants! If you want to add flavor without adding calories or sodium, try sprinkling on some spices before serving!
You can increase your life span if you stop doing these ten things.
The first thing you need to know is that, as you get older, your body changes. It may seem like the same old person inside the same old skin, but there’s a lot more going on under the hood. Your brain gets slower, and there are a lot of changes in your body that scientists are only just now discovering.
Now let me tell you about something else: If you want to live longer, then stop doing these ten things. Avoiding these activities will increase your life span and keep you free from disease and disability later on in life.
- Smoking cigarettes – smoking is bad for your health; it actually increases the risk of heart disease by 70%!
- Drinking alcohol – drinking too much alcohol can paralyze your muscles, moods, reflexes, sight and memory; it also reduces blood flow to your brain which will make it harder for you to think clearly and concentrate at work!
- Consuming saturated fat – this stuff raises cholesterol levels which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes later in life; it also makes plaque build up around vessels within the heart which puts pressure on them and makes them more likely to rupture!
- Eating trans-fats – trans-fats have similar effects as saturated fats because they increase levels of total cholesterol in the blood stream which causes clogging in arteries increasing chances for heart attacks!
- Excess salt intake – eating large amounts of salt can cause high blood pressure due to its effect on blood clotting; high blood pressure makes sense since when arteries become blocked or filled with plaque hypertension sets in flooding much needed nutrients into those vital organs with harmful toxins leading to even more health problems!
- Not getting enough Vitamin D – This supplement is really important because it helps maintain bone density throughout life so that healthy bones don’t break down during old age causing osteoporosis (brittle bones) making moving around at all painful or impossible! Vitamin