A lot of people think that genetics is what determines life expectancy. However, the role played by genes is smaller than the common belief.
Environmental factors, such as diet and lifestyle turned out to be the key.
We observed that longevity seems to be the trendy health word these days, and for important reasons.
Australians are particularly obsessed with keeping being a youth, but it is usually the villagers living in rural parts of the world that seem to be having great health and live longer and over a hundred years of age.
About two generations ago, the idea of being alive for over 90 years was not possible. We are now able to survive many popular sicknesses and diseases that were once fatal with the help of developments in modern medicine, but our lifestyle is what makes the difference.
If you think longevity is not on your side because your grandparents were young when they died, don’t conclude yet.
As discovered by the Danish Twin Study, genetics only determines 20 percent of life expectancy. The remaining 80% is determined by environment and lifestyle; things you can control.
For several thousands of years, people have endeavored to access the secret to living a long life. It is revealed by research and we have summarized it with 15 tips you can use to live a longer life and feel better.
What is Life Expectancy in Australia?
Older people used to be scarce, featuring in the news as the congratulatory letter written to them from the Queen is being read. In 1975, there were around 120 in Australia.
However, more people keep living longer. ABS figures reveal that another 600 Australians celebrated their 100th birthdays in the first year of 2016, moving the number of centenarians up to 4,870. Three-quarters of the overall were women.
The latest projection shows that they will be 41,100 of them by the year 2050. A new study of the Australian National University shows that Australian men are now living longer than men in any other country, with a median life expectancy of 74.1 (compared to 71.57 in the U.S.).
The Guinness World Record for the most populated gathering of centenarians was broken when an attendance of 45 centenarians was recorded in Brisbane at a lunch hosted by Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk.
The longest life expectancy is found in Japan (87.1 years for women and 81.1 for men), higher than any country in the world. The country has been at the top rank since 1980 but their ranking in 1980 was 35 then 10 in 1970.
The longevity of the Japanese is linked to their diet, great Body Mass Index (BMI), and just small amounts of alcohol taken by women above the age of 50.
Australia is 6th on the rank with the life expectancy of women at 84.87 and men at 81.0 years. Australian men between the ages of 40 and 45 hold the 1st global ranking while women rank 6th or 7th.
Coronary heart disease is the major cause of death in Australia. There are Blue Zones (communities) around the globe where the most proportion of residents attained 100 years of age.
Studies were conducted on five regions in Greece, California, Sardinia, Japan, and Costa Rica to discover 9 popular denominators that may be the key to living longer. These studies have revealed that longevity is based on popular lifestyle factors, such as exercise, diet, body weight, social life, and staying away from risk factors like smoking and alcohol.
Our Tips for Longevity
Increasing life expectancy may not be a possibility unless you also work on improving your lifestyle quality and health. No one wants to just elongate their life without keeping quality of life.
It was revealed by research that below highly healthy lifestyle habits can improve both the quantity and quality of life. So, what are the things to do to live longer?
Below are 15 secrets to long life:
- Keep a Healthy Body Weight
Healthy living can be based on body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI). There is more pressure on the organs of the body with each kilo of additional weight. BMI, according to the World Health Organization, should not exceed the range of 18.5 t0 24.9 kg m-2 for improved health. The standard categories for BMI include 18.5 to 24.9 for normal weight, 25 to 29.9 for overweight, and over 30 for obesity.
WHO revealed that the average BMI in men and women has risen between 1975 and 2016. 29 percent of adults were obese in Australia in 2016, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30. A BMI in the categories of overweight and obese is prone to causing type-2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cholelithiasis, and other severe diseases in men and women.
Lean and physically active people are less susceptible to severe disease and mortality. However, being lean is not the goal; it is the inclusion of physical activities that ensures protection.
- Avoid Overeating
Currently, there is more interest in the connection between calorie intake and longevity. As suggested by animal studies, a 10 to 50% reduction in the normal intake of calories may increase longevity. Studies of the human populations are widely known for longevity as well as research connections between calorie intake, longevity, and a less possibility of disease.
Also, more calorie limitation may help cut the additional bodyweight and belly fat, both of which are linked with reduced lifespan. With that in mind, restricting calorie intake for the long term is not sustainable and can come with negative side effects, like increased hunger, reduced sex drive, and low body temperature. It is yet to ascertain that calorie restriction reduces aging or encourages longevity.
- Perform Daily Regular Physical Exercise
Does workout facilitate longevity? Yes. Exercise is an effective way of keeping your Body Mass Index within the healthy limit and keeping healthy and a nice way to increase your possibilities of living up to 90 years and beyond. Regular exercise is good for both your body and brain. Studies have revealed that exercise improves our mood and reduces the feeling of depression, stress, and anxiety.
Exercise also keeps our muscles and bones in great shape. As we grow older, we lose muscle mass and function naturally which can result in an injury or disability. Regular exercise can also improve cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood pressure and fat levels.
- Eat More Nuts
Nuts are rich in nutrition. They contain fiber, protein, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. They are also a great source of many vitamins and minerals, like potassium, copper, niacin, magnesium, folate, and vitamins B6 and E.
Many studies reveal that nuts have beneficial effects on high blood pressure, diabetes, belly fat levels, heart disease, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and even some kinds of cancer.
A study discovered that those who eat a minimum of 3 servings of nuts every week had a 39 percent lesser risk of premature death.
- Eat More Fruit and Veg
It was discovered in a recent report in European Heart Journal that those who eat eight or increased portions of fruit and vegetables every day have almost a quarter reduced chance of dying from heart disease than those who just eat three which is the country’s average. This is because there are vitamins and antioxidants in every portion, which improves the immune system and combat the damage that causes premature aging.
- Eat Much Healthy Plant Foods
Eating different types of plant foods, like fruits, seeds, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and beans may reduce the risk of disease and encourage longevity. For instance, a plant-rich diet is linked by many studies to a lower risk of premature death, including a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, brain deterioration, metabolic syndrome, and depression.
These effects are peculiar to nutrients and antioxidants in plant foods, which include folate, polyphenols, Vitamin C, and carotenoids. Vegetarians and vegans also normally tend to have good health than meat-eaters, which could shed more light on these findings partially. In general, eating many plant foods is often beneficial to your health and promotes longevity.
- Stop Smoking
From the long-term Finnish Study, smoking shortens your life by about 10 years and it also reduces your quality of life when you grow old, because smokers are more susceptible to suffer from debilitating diseases.
- Have Sex Regularly at Least Two Times a Week
A huge Welsh study on extended lifespan discovered that people who had sex less than once every month had twice the risk of premature death than those who had sex two times a week. Apart from the health benefits, couples that have a healthy sex life can also look about 7 years younger, based on a study by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, maybe because sex lowers stress, resulting in greater contentment and better sleep.
- Do Not Eat When You Are 80% Full
The inhabitants of remote Japanese islands (the Okinawans), have the lowest rates of obesity in the world, including the highest rate of people living past 100. Their secret is that, at each meal, they stop eating when they are about 80 percent satisfied, leaving any leftover food happily on their plate.
It was also discovered by American researchers that animals can live up to double their lives when there is a reduction in their food intake by about a third. Together with assisting them to keep a wealthier weight, eating less is thought to mean lesser work for metabolism, reducing the stress on the body.
- Have an Active Social Circle
When you have a strong emotional connection with friends and family, it protects us from depression, isolation, and even from mental illness. As regards humans, love and intimacy are as important as food and water. Spend more time building connections with your siblings, friends, parents, coworkers, cousins, grandparents, neighbors, and coworkers. It takes a collective effort to build a long happy life.
- Moderate Your Intake of Alcohol
Too much consumption of alcohol can lead to heart, liver, and pancreatic disease, and generally improved risk of premature death. However, moderate consumption of alcohol is linked with less risk of several diseases, and a 17 to 18% lower in your risk of early death.
Wine in particular is considered beneficial because of its high concentration of polyphenol antioxidants. To keep your rate of consumption moderate, women are recommended to target 1 to 2 units or less every day and an increase of 7 every week. Men should limit their daily intake of alcohol to below 3 units, with not more than 14 per week. It is important to understand that there is no strong research that indicates that moderate drinking is more beneficial than total abstinence from alcohol.
In other words, you don’t need to start drinking if you don’t often take alcohol.
- Go to Bed Earlier, if Possible
Not taking much sleep can expose you to many risks of health issues, such as heart disease and depression, according to many recent types of research. And yet, just a slight change can make a huge difference. It was discovered by a study from Harvard Business School in the United States that for those who often sleep for seven hours or less at night, going to bed just an hour earlier results in a major reduction in blood pressure – therefore reducing their risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Laugh at Least Twenty Times Daily
Laughter improves the immune system, reduces stress hormones, and stimulates killer T-cells, which tackles cancer. But being adults, we laugh at an average of five to fifteen times daily, while children can easily laugh almost a hundred times a day.
- Reduce Stress
While most of us are not living in a calm village in Sardinia or a high mountain town of Ecuador, we sure have the tools to make quiet zones for ourselves and significantly cut the stresses caused by modern-day living.
You can consider doing yoga and meditation in your private or group settings. Deep breathing methods, enough amounts of clean drinking water, sound sleep, and laughter are better ways to relieve stress. Arrange a time with friends and family who make you laugh or read books that can make you laugh. Journaling or painting, or just making a point to not rush through the day is great; make sure of good relaxation.
- Drink Coffee or Tea
Coffee and tea are both linked to reduced susceptibility to severe disease. For example, the catechins and polyphenols found in green tea may reduce your risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Also, coffee is connected to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some brain ailments like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Also, coffee and tea drinkers gain from a 20 to 30% less risk of premature death, unlike non-drinkers.
Just don’t forget that too much intake of caffeine can also cause insomnia and anxiety, so you may want to reduce your intake to the recommended level of 400 mg daily, about 4 cups of coffee. It is also important to note that it takes 6 hours to get over caffeine effects. Therefore, if you find it difficult to get sound sleep, you may want to postpone your intake to another day time.
Longevity may seem out of your control, but some healthy habits may help you live longer. These include exercising, drinking tea or coffee, getting adequate sleep, and cutting your alcohol intake. When observed together, the above 15 habits can improve your health and prepare you for longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the secret to longevity?
Continue moving, the proof is clear. On average, those who exercise live longer than those who don’t. Regular physical exercise reduces your risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, and some forms of cancer. Solutions in science, robust economies, and habits like exercising, eating a healthy diet, and staying away from tobacco often increase average longevity.
Do thin people have a longer life expectancy?
It was revealed in the study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology for obese men and women who were 4.2 and 3.5 years lesser respectively than those in the completely healthy BMI weight bracket. The gap for underweight men and women was 4.3 and 4.5 years for men and women respectively.
Do vegans have a longer life expectancy?
Similar to how we have healthy and unhealthy vegans; however, vegans and vegetarians often live longer on average. Their mortality rates are lower than that of meat-eaters and live older with fewer health conditions.
How long in years can a human live?
Human life expectancy is increasing. However, the average person born in 1960 could expect to live up to 52.5 years of age, the life expectancy of someone born today is between 79 and 83 years of age on average.
Is being thin unhealthy?
Someone can be dangerously thin. Those that have eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, as well as those having wasting diseases like AIDS, cancer and heart failure can have a significant amount of weight that they have for sufficient energy or basic building blocks to remain alive.