April 1, 2023

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The path to longevity is something we can all do with discipline and commitment. It’s no secret that diet and exercise are the key to living past the average lifespan of 78, but there’s other things in addition that help us live well into our golden years. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share their tips on living a long healthy life. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.


Decreasing and Managing Stress

Dr. Jeff Gladd, MD, integrative medicine physician and chief medical officer at Fullscript tells us, “Decreasing stress likely plays a significant role in longevity as well. Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, tends to raise blood sugar and blood pressure which indirectly contribute to heart attack and stroke risk. A Finnish study in 2020 estimated that heavy stress shortens life expectancy by 2.8 years. Mitigating the burden of stress is unique to an individual, so there are different ways integrative practitioners help guide patients to lessening this load. Lavender essential oil has a good collection of research for reducing stress, anxiety, and even blood pressure. Another therapy to decrease stress is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a potentially powerful therapy to lower stress and increase awareness of our mind and body, in order to prevent the runaway-train of stressful thoughts and feelings that so often put strain on the cardiovascular system. There are a number of apps I often recommend to patients to try in order to build a habit of pressing pause mindfully in their day.”


Quit Smoking

Dr. Cherie P Erkmen, a thoracic surgeon and director of the lung cancer screening program at Temple University Hospital, and professor of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University reminds us, “Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for lung cancer. Even if you have a history of smoking, quitting at any age can reduce your lung cancer risk. In fact, in a 2018 analysis of the landmark Framingham Heart Study, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that former smokers who quit greater than 15 years ago have roughly the same risk for lung cancer as a non-smoker. For more information on smoking cessation programs, talk to your health care provider.”


Express Gratitude

Francine Waskavitz, M.S., SLP, IHNC, Owner at Longevity Coaching states, “If you want to live longer, you have to get your mind right. Chronic stress is toxic to your health. Expressing gratitude has been shown to reduce blood pressure and boost your happiness and overall mental health.”


Incorporate Strength Training into Your Workout

Kent Probst, personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder with Long Healthy Life says, “Strength training produces an enzyme that contributes to longevity.  The enzyme is AMPK. It stands for adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase.  AMPK works at the cellular level to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also reduces your risk of cancer and helps control weight gain, just to name a few benefits.  You increase AMPK activity in your muscles during resistance exercise.”


Include Fiber Rich Foods, Vitamins and Minerals into Your Diet

Dr. Dave Candy, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CMTPT, FAAOMPT explains, “Eating a heart healthy diet high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and low in saturated fat and cholesterol reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other leading causes of death.”


Antioxidants Supplements

Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD says, “There are two primary causes of accelerated aging that appear on the skin; excessive unprotected sun exposure and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGE’s form as a result of sugar combined with fat or protein. This description describes most processed convenience foods like potato chips, baked goods, and ice cream to name a few. These products increase aging and also lead to poor gut health. Both of these side effects are damaging to overall health. Vitamins and supplements provide the body with antioxidants which work to counteract this damage through vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Antioxidants are plant compounds that stimulate the immune system and are also responsible for reducing inflammation by preventing clumping of blood platelets. Chronic, low-level inflammation causes oxidative stress in the body that leads to many of the chronic conditions common to Western nations. The most common of these conditions caused and / or exacerbated by inflammation include heart disease, obesity, and most notably aging.”


Breathing Exercises

Niraj Naik – a certified pharmacist turned holistic health expert, and founder of the international school of breathwork Soma Breath shares, “When using a number of the core Pranayama principles, a slower rate of airflow is caused. This creates increased CO2 levels and more efficient oxygenation of body tissue levels. Despite our societal belief that CO2 is not beneficial for the body, the opposite is actually correct. In fact, ancient knowledge speaks of the amazing benefits of CO2, and explains the importance of increasing its levels to tap into our potential. 
Breathwork that Helps with Longevity
Steps For Breathwork
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