There’s no fountain of youth that will allow you to live a long, healthy life—it all starts with a few key principles anyone can implement.
Experts agree that longevity isn’t written in stone. It’s believed that genetics only accounts for up to 25 percent of anyone’s longevity. The other 75 percent is up to you, even if you weren’t blessed with great genes.
If you want a happy and long life, here are a few things you can do to tip the odds in your favor.
Find and Unleash Your Inner Child
Remember that pure, unadulterated joy you felt as a child? Every day, you woke up ready to see what the day would bring. Whether you were pursuing your interests, indulging in your curiosity, or even making mischief, you were 100 percent invested in finding fun.
Finding longevity can be as simple as letting the child in you take the reins again. Rediscover your pure hope and dreams—the same kind you had when you were a child. Find things you want to accomplish and that make you feel free and alive. That joy and enthusiasm will carry through to everything you do. You’ll feel lighter and as if anything is possible.
Plan as If You Are Building a House
Wishing for good health isn’t enough, you must have a road map to get yourself there. All the knowledge in the world won’t help you live a long, healthy life if you’re not willing to put in the work. Your ideas must make the leap from knowledge into habits.
By planning as if you are building a house, you are much likelier to reach your goal of longevity. If your goal is to move more or cook healthier meals, it helps to know yourself and develop a plan that is more likely to succeed. If you know you’ll skip your daily exercise if you put it off until after dinner, then set your alarm clock an hour earlier to tackle it first thing in the morning.
Utilize both your body and brain and take your emotions into consideration. Your best chance at a long and joyful life will come from pursuing complete health and happiness.
Once you’ve taken stock of where you are currently, you can use that knowledge to begin planning your path. For instance, if you know you should be eating less than you do or selecting healthier foods, make a plan for that. Watch what you eat when you’re upset or struggling emotionally. That’s when many of us mindlessly eat or choose comfort foods to help us deal with our moods. Utilize your brain to avoid that trap.
Make Sure to Move
Your best shot at longevity and good health comes from exercise and movement. If you hate going to the gym, that’s okay. One of the simplest exercises is also one of the best—walking. You should strive to walk every day.
If you have trouble fitting it into your day or finding the motivation to move, try to find the easiest way to do it instead of making it overly complicated. Start to think of it as a gift rather than another thing to check off your to-do list. Think of how many people in the world would love to have the privilege of taking a leisurely walk outside on a nice day.
Find what you most enjoy about walking and build it into your plan. You can walk to go somewhere or walk simply in the knowledge you’re helping your health. If you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to accept those feelings and not let them stop you from going on your walk. The movement will help you resolve stress, especially if you walk in a way to reduce the stress.
If walking every day starts to feel a bit boring to you, remember my other tip—to unleash your inner child. Learn a sport or find some other exercise you love to include more movement in your day and to feel young again.
Grow Old On Your Terms
Aging can’t be prevented, but feeling old can be. We can design how we want our lives to look and feel as we become older. By thinking about it, you can build a plan and live a life others believe isn’t possible.