25 Super Simple Life Changes That’ll Make You Live Longer

 
Wash your toothbrush in the dishwasher
With 10 million germs living on the average toothbrush, microbiologist Dr. Ron Cutler recommends rinsing them every few days in boiling water, or just put your toothbrush in the dishwasher once a week.

Get out of your armchair without using the armrests
Help strengthen your muscles by getting out of your chair without using your arms to assist you. Take it a step further and sit down without using your hands. This requires you to tighten your stomach and clench your buttocks as you rise from (or sit down in) your seat.Orthopaedic therapy consultant Darren Chandler says this is the most effective muscle-strengthening exercise there is. Chandler explains, “It keeps stability in the hips and surrounding muscle.”

Eat a 1/2 cup of yogurt a day
If you don’t believe the Cambridge University study that found that eating a half-cup of probiotic yogurt five times each week can reduce your risk of diabetes by 28 percent, you can at least enjoy the deliciousness of yogurt every single day.

Blow your nose one nostril at a time
According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Owen Hendley, blowing your nose through both nostrils can actually create a secondary infection due to mucus being pushed back into your sinuses. His solution: “Either sniff (the mucus goes to the back of the throat and ultimately to the stomach) or, if you must blow, do it one nostril at a time.”

Open your windows
If you’re in a car for just 90 minutes with someone who’s sick with the flu, you have a 99.9 percent chance of catching the same virus. However, if you open a window, your chances fall by 20 percent.These are the results of a study led by air quality expert Professor Lidia Morawska, who also noted that infection rates are likely reduced if windows are opened in buildings too.

Turn your heat down one degree
If you’re just a bit chilly, your body sees an increase in “healthy” brown fat, which burns calories and fat reserves and helps maintain stable levels of blood sugar.A study published in American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes journal revealed that dropping a room’s temperature from 75 to 66 degrees while people slept improved their insulin sensitivity and doubled the amount of brown fat they had.

Get rid of your digital alarm clock
Sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley says, “In an ideal world, we would have sufficient sleep to allow us to wake naturally without an alarm clock, but if you do need to be woken, choose one with old-fashioned hands.”Dim light from digital alarm clocks can negatively affect sleep and because it’s lit, it can be checked anytime throughout the night, adding to your anxiety and making it that much more difficult to sleep.

Use paracetamol instead of ibuprofen
While ibuprofen can damage your stomach lining, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Sultan Dajani notes, “Paracetamol doesn’t damage the gut lining like ibuprofen does – and should always be the first line of attack.”

While breathing in, count to seven
The benefits of simple meditation forms like mindfulness are indisputable, including less stress, protection against depression, and a boost in your brain’s grey matter. However, most of us don’t have 30 minutes a day to dedicate to the practice.Using the 7-11 technique, you can get a taste of the full effects of mindfulness. Simply count to 7 while breathing in, then count to 11 while breathing out. It’s a great way to clear your head in 20 seconds.

Skip the elevator and walk up the stairs
A study isn’t necessary to prove that walking is healthier than standing on an elevator, but if numbers are your thing, a two-minute stair climb burns 21 calories. You have to go there anyway, so you might as well get a workout while you’re at it.

Add email stomach crunches
Every time your phone buzzes with a new text message or email, tighten your stomach and lift your feet off the floor for 5 seconds. Not only will your abs thank you, but it helps lower back strain too.

Eat leafy vegetables every day
It only takes two tablespoons to get one serving of leafy vegetables, which helps reduce your risk of diabetes. Spinach, broccoli, and kale are just a few options you have to make this simple, healthy habit a daily reality.

Turn off the TV for one hour a day
With the average American watching five hours of TV each day, there’s plenty of room to cut back. Besides, the U.S. National Cancer Institute says that every hour you watch after age 25 can reduce your lifespan by 22 minutes. The less you use them, the more your muscles weaken over time, so turn off the tube and go for a walk!

Drink more coffee
The benefits of coffee are too obvious to ignore, and it’s not just staying awake. Studies suggest improved protection against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, as well as better reaction time, mood, and memory. Who doesn’t love to improve their cognitive function?So drink up…up to 4 cups a day, that is.

Go to bed 15 minutes before you usually do
Over the course of time, 15 minutes of extra sleep each night can have a significant impact. Sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley says, “Just 15 minutes more sleep a night could have a noticeable impact on your performance, mood and behavior.”

If it’s within a mile from home, walk
A one-mile walk burns off about 100 calories and you can save some gas by leaving the car at home.

 
Lose five percent of your body weight
Not only will you feel better, but the health benefits are amazing. Women who lose five percent of their weight see up to a 22 percent reduction in their risk for breast cancer.

Sit on a balance pad
Also known as a wobble cushion, these inflatable pads force you to make tiny movements all day that improve your abdominal and back strength as well as helping force correct posture.

Stick to alcohol’s 5:2 rule
For five days each week, you can have a drink, but on two days, take a break. If you have more than two drinks a day right now, cutting back can reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Cough and sneeze into your elbow
Using your elbow when you sneeze helps prevent the spread of germs that occurs when you sneeze into your hands. Just don’t put your sneeze-covered arm around your friend.

Stand during your commute
If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, you need to remain active. Standing for just an extra hour a day burns 300 calories per week. You can easily achieve this by standing during your train ride or at your desk.

Add your shopping bill as you shop
The mental challenge of trying to remember how much you’ve bought as you add it to your cart helps improve your working memory, which naturally decreases over time. Besides, it helps you avoid the usual shock when everything is tallied at the end of your shopping trip.

Cough while you’re sitting
It sounds odd to cough when you aren’t sick, but there’s a good reason for it. According to orthopaedic therapy consultant Darren Chandler, pressing two fingers gently against your stomach and coughing while seated “will activate your abdominal muscles and help protect your back from injury.” It helps to keep your muscles tightened for several minutes after coughing and repeat this several times each day.

Drink cocoa before you go to bed
If you want to improve your memory, drink cocoa. Research from the Columbia University Medical Centre showed that improved blood flow to certain parts of the brain after drinking cocoa helped produce significant improvements in memory for people age 50-70.

Eat the same breakfast every day
One way to improve your mental energy is to reduce the number of decisions you have to make each day, like what to eat for breakfast. Florida State University Psychology professor Roy Baumeister notes, “As you make decisions, you gradually deplete the energy you have available and your subsequent decisions are weaker. You don’t want to waste willpower making decisions about breakfast. Having a set morning routine is much better.”Besides, eating the same breakfast each day is a great way to ensure you’re starting your day with a healthy meal.

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