While genetics and healthcare can play a significant role in determining longevity, there are a variety of lifestyle changes that can help to increase your longevity, as well.
Maintaining these habits won’t just affect your longevity; they may also provide a positive change in your quality of living. CaraVita Village believes our retirement years are a time to be enjoyed - to discover a whole new life! Our independent living team would like to provide you with five ways to increase your longevity and make the most out of your retirement.
Longevity Foods and Diet
Longevity foods, commonly referred to as superfoods, are nutritionally dense foods that can work to fight off medical conditions and increase longevity. While there are no set criteria for what determines a “superfood,” common foods with a surplus of health benefits include:
Blueberries - High in fiber and antioxidants, blueberries are sweet and can be easily added to many dishes. When blueberries are out of season, you can buy frozen ones with the same health value!
Tomatoes - Rich in vitamin C and lycopene, tomatoes are an easy addition to any salad, soup, or pasta. Many experts believe lycopene can lead to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Olive Oil - A great source of vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenol, using olive oil over butter or margarine, can have some fantastic results and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Adding these longevity foods to your diet can help to improve your overall health!
An Active Mind is a Healthy Mind
An important staple to increasing longevity is maintaining an active and healthy mind. Mental exercises, like reading, puzzle-solving, listening to music, socializing, and even playing games, stimulate the brain and help it remain engaged.
Mental exercises can increase longevity while helping to reduce the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Physical Health and Exercise
Harvard University researchers recently stated that as little as 15 minutes of physical activity a day could boost your lifespan by up to three years. What’s important to remember about exercise is that it’s about going the pace your body requires. Experts don’t expect you to run a marathon every day, but a daily walk around the block can help with increasing longevity.
In a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, researchers discovered that regular aerobic exercises significantly increased hippocampal volume (the hippocampus is involved in the formation of new memories) in a group of older adults. This finding suggests that physical activity can improve the brain's functionality, which could decrease the risk of developing dementia or memory impairments.
Handling stress in healthy ways or finding ample stress-relieving activities have a hand in helping increase longevity. Stress management is also listed as a key to preventing disease. Oregon State University states that even small hassles and stressors can cause major issues.
Finding ways to manage or reduce stress is important; it's all about what makes you happy and being able to shed some of those unwanted stressors. You can walk, meditate, listen to music, play games, socialize, or whatever helps you to forget about the small woes we encounter in our day-to-day lives.
Socialization and Community
Socialization is a key to increasing longevity and leading a more fulfilling and happier life. In fact, studies have begun rolling out and showing that socialization goes hand-in-hand with increasing longevity. While more studies are needed to fill in the gaps, researchers are beginning to use socialization as a biomarker of good health that promotes reduced stress and a more active brain.
At CaraVita Village, we give our residents ample opportunities to socialize and participate in engaging and fun activities. We invite you to join us in our all-inclusive resort-style community, located in beautiful Montgomery, Alabama. If you would like to learn more about our independent living community, we encourage you to contact our team, schedule a visit, and stay for lunch!