Four Ways to Boost Your Longevity
Health is wealth. Anyone who has been sick for a period of time knows how true this statement is. When we are not well, we would trade our kingdom for our health. I’ve watched several close friends and clients struggle with long-term, chronic illness in their children and loved ones. My heart is burdened in prayer and suffering alongside them. We know that this is not the way things are supposed to be, and physical suffering often makes us long for the rest and and peace and joy of heaven.
Since I do what I do, I’m constantly observing the health habits of others. I can’t help myself. I’m not judging (much, ack!); I’m just noticing. Like the gardener who notices every varietal of rose on her morning walk, my eye is drawn by peoples’ shopping carts, their number of prescriptions at the drug store, and the more insidious but obvious physical heaviness and exhaustion that I see in the faces of those I pass by.
I wish I couldn’t see it, honestly.
Dark circles under the eyes? Likely severe food intolerances.
Lesions on the back of the elbows? Probably gluten, dairy, nightshade, or egg-induced psoriasis.
Cracked, geographic tongue? It’s a B vitamin deficiency.
I’m not a doctor, just a student and someone who can be hyper-observant (though not all of the time. If you ask Beau, I am unobservant).
Most of us want good health right now, but we fail to plan for the future. Maybe we trust that modern medicine will save us when we need it. Maybe we’re banking on Grandma Dorothy’s good genes. Whatever it is, we are creatures of the here and now.
But there are simple and free things you can do to safeguard your body against early decay.
This is, of course, if the good Lord’s willin’ and the crick don’t rise.
Let’s take a look at four of the areas that affect longevity most and some specific changes you can make in the next two weeks.
Get consistent and adequate sleep
It’s not just duration, but the consistency of our sleep habits that impact our overall health2.
Fluctuating amounts of sleep and irregular bedtimes and wake-up times put people at an increased risk for obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and other health problems.
Sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being and is one of the most important factors responsible for the maintenance of health.
A disrupted sleep-wake cycle and chronic sleep restriction, which are highly prevalent conditions in modern society, are strongly associated with age-related diseases. Therefore, the practice of sleep medicine as a tool for longevity is essential.
What you can do in the next two weeks: Decide on a time that you’ll consistently go to sleep and wake up for the next two weeks so that you can get 7-8 hours of deep, therapeutic sleep.
Can’t sleep? Let’s run the DUTCH to see why.
Incorporate daily movement
A study published in the British Medical Journal finds that any activity, no matter how modest, can reduce mortality risks, with some of the greatest gains seen when people shift from being almost completely sedentary toward rising and walking for even an extra hour each day.
While thinking of adding an hour of movement to a sedentary lifestyle may seem daunting, don’t freak out – starting with small goals is key! Maintain your focus on sitting less and moving more. Just walk. Really. That’s all you have to do. More than that can really stress your adrenals and your nervous system. You could also do my hands-down favorite workout, LVL Fitness. Try it. After the scariness wears off, you’ll be hooked.
Remember, small goals are more achievable, and these little victories will continue to fuel your motivation for regular movement. That’s why I’m a fan of le walk. Walk is not French, I know.
What you can do in the next two weeks: Start with a simple routine of walking 10 to 20 minutes three times per week. Every week or two, add five minutes per walk until you reach a goal of 20-30 minutes.
Or come to LVL with me.
Water is an essential nutrient for the human body. Living in a properly hydrated body is vital for longevity, as water is responsible for flushing toxins, transporting nutrients, improving oxygen delivery to cells, and cushioning your bones and joints.
Aim to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces per day. For example: if you weigh 140 lbs, drink 70 oz daily. Sip slowly throughout the day and avoid drinking too much water with meals. If this seems like a lofty goal, start by looking at the color of your urine, it should be straw-colored or clear. If it’s a deep yellow, drink more water.
Incorporate hydrating beverages like good quality filtered water, herbal tea, and bone broth. Do your best to avoid sodas, juices, and other sugary drinks, while limiting coffee and caffeinated tea.
What you can do in the next two weeks: choose a realistic goal for daily water consumption and set a timer to remind yourself to drink water throughout the day. Treat yo’self to a cute new water bottle and use it on the daily.
It should come as no surprise that a healthy diet is key to living a long, healthy life. I mean, you know whose blog you’re reading, right?
Focus on high-quality proteins like grass-fed meat and wild caught fish, healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, and generous amounts of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals that are found in organic fruits and vegetables. You could try Nourished if you want.
Together with incorporating nutrient-dense foods, avoid industrial fats and oils (like yellow vegetable oil), processed foods, and excessive sugar.
What you can do in the next two weeks: include at least two servings of vegetables a day and swap out processed vegetable oil with healthier alternatives such as olive oil for salad dressings and coconut oil for cooking.
While really dialing in a healthy lifestyle may feel scary at first, know that any step in the right direction is a win. Incorporating simple changes and setting achievable goals, like the four suggestions listed above, will help you support longevity and encourage overall health! Reach out to me if you need more help. I’m here for you.