11 October 2016
We occasionally stare at ourselves in the mirror and notice the obvious – that we are no longer the young chap we used to be.
You often see signs like greying hair, wrinkles on the face, protruding belly and sometimes feel pains in your back when you try to lift heavy objects.
Ageing is not bad news, after all we celebrate birthdays in grand styles.
Many people want to live long but the lifestyles they embrace indicate they are prepared to exit this world tomorrow.
An expert says that only about 25 per cent of what determines longevity is in a man’s genes; meaning genetic factor contributes only a quarter to your longevity, the lifestyle you adopt will determine the rest.
So, to live long, you need to live life like you actually want to live long. The tips below would help:
Pay attention to your weight
Experts say being overweight can take three years off your life, while obesity can slash seven years off. In a twist, a recent study showed that men and women who accumulated lots of belly fat in their forties were almost three times more likely to develop dementia (a cognitive function decline due to damage to the brain) in their seventies.
Watch what you eat
You need to pay attention to the things you put in your mouth as these things play a major role in determining how long you’d live. With this said, steering clear of fast food cannot be over-emphasised. Fast foods are loaded with salt, which increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Many studies support the benefits of eating a balanced diet with five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
It is quite easy to slip into a regular routine in life – from home to work and from work to bed. This is very bad for one’s health especially when you hit age a40. Aerobic workouts promote longevity by strengthening the heart and lungs. Regular exercise will help burn out the excess fat your body does not need and make you look younger.
Don’t drink or smoke
Medical science is fast moving from the era where people are advised to moderately drink and smoke to an era of totally discouraging it. Apart from the moderate in-take of red wine, which has been shown to have positive health benefits in men, otherwise, smoking and drinking must not be entertained if you want to live long. Smokers who quit at whatever age – can add years to their lives.
Manage your stress
Since it is almost impossible to root out stress in one’s life, one can as well begin to devise means of managing it. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as decreased immunity. Stressors should be identified and strategically eliminated or reduced.
Get regular medical check-ups
Booking an appointment with a doctor at least once a year is not too much to do to promote your health. As a matter of fact, many Nigerians don’t have personal physicians. Having the recommended screenings for your age can prevent minor health problems from developing into chronic or deadly diseases.
Author: Dotun Obatuyi
My name is Dotun Obatuyi (Dotunoba), I hail from Osun state, a public health scientist (monitoring and evaluation specialist), my keen interests are researching, critiquing and writing feature articles on health, science and technology as well as issues around the globe.