At More Years More Life we have categorized the most important aspects of longevity into four dimensions:
While there are mountains of research and opinions about what are “the most important” parts of longevity these four areas consistently encapsulate the “big hitters”. Here we will get the ball rolling by highlighting the “best of the best” and call this THE SECRETS. To dig deeper hop over the THE SCIENCE where we explore the evidence behind these key areas. Each of these four dimensions contain elements that are in the very top essential ingredients of longevity.
Without a doubt, we need to move to live. Healthy movement is a key to longevity. While we will dive into this topic in significantly more detail, from a longevity point of view we can boil this down to just two key things.
FIRST – Move throughout the day.
SECOND – Elevate your heart rate at least once each day.
THE number ONE element of all health and longevity is sleep. Many aspects of health and longevity are interconnected and nothing has a bigger impact on our overall health than sleep. We will do a deep dive on this topic in THE SCIENCE section but for our purposes here we will summarize down to two key points.
FIRST – Consensus seems to be that around 7 hours of sleep has the highest correlation to longevity and better health.
SECOND – Getting the vast majority of our sleep in a consistent pattern is also correlated to better health.
There are an endless number of books, programs and opinions on the topic of healthy eating. Here are three of the most important conclusions.
FIRST – Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a primary factor of healthy eating for high quality longevity.
SECOND – The most highly correlated eating approach for longevity is plant based eating. On average, plant based eaters will live 7 years longer. Whole food, plant based is a high priority. Mediterranean is close to this as well. In THE SCIENCE we will explore these and other eating approaches in more detail.
THIRD – Hydration. Drinking an adequate amount of water is absolutely a key to virtually every good eating approach.
A positive mindset has a very high correlation to longevity. As we will describe further in THE SCIENCE, this isn’t a superficial focus on only good things and ignoring difficult things, but a realistic view of our lives and circumstances that places emphasis on seeing the good and achieving resilience in the face of the difficulties of life. The field of positive psychology has discovered and proven some of the biggest drivers of thriving and flourishing in our lives. This is truly putting more life in our years. Here are two of the biggest contributing factors.
FIRST – Purpose/Hope. We all need reasons to live. The stronger and more compelling our “why”(s) the more likely we are to live for many more years. When we lose hope for the present and future not only does the quality of our lives decline but the length of our lives also literally decreases.
SECOND – Gratitude. No single character trait has a higher correlation to happiness than gratitude. Thousands of research studies continue to prove this reality. Even in the most difficult of circumstances we can find things to be grateful for that will improve our circumstances and our resilience. This will be explored in detail in THE SCIENCE.
The very highest correlated factor to longevity is strong and deep relationships. Not only do great relationships increase our longevity but the opposite is also true. Caustic relationships dramatically increase stress in our lives that leads to both lower quality of life and shorter lifespan. We explore this extremely important topic in greater detail in THE SCIENCE.
You are Unique – One size does not fit all
One absolutely essential thing to understand when it comes to life, happiness, health, longevity and fulfillment is that YOU are unique. Not only are you unique, but you are also unique at different phases of your life. Comparing yourself as a baby to yourself as an adult makes this very clear but sometimes we don’t see those differences when we compare ourselves at 30, 40, 50 or 60.
An absolute KEY to longevity is forming the healthy habits of longevity so they are automatic in your life. Click below to find the best approaches for making these habits a permanent part of your happier, healthier, longer and more fulfilled life.