Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life

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Have you ever asked yourself why some people live longer? Are they born lucky? Do they have good genes? Ever thought about what you are doing to improve the quality of your own life and those of others? These questions were among the primary reasons I studied at Duke University to become a certified integrative health coach. Advances in modern medicine will help us live longer lives than our parents and grandparents, but what about the quality of increased longevity? Research continues to show that the better the quality of your life the longer you will likely be around. So how do you improve your quality today so you can live longer and enjoy life to the fullest?

Consider the following:

— We all know about cleaning our teeth. But did you know doing so lessens the
chance of having inflammation in your body? A recent study at Emory University notes
that periodontal disease constricts blood flow and can lead to heart disease and stroke. It
can also jack up your white blood cell count making it harder for your immune system to
fight off infections. So floss daily, writes Michael F. Roizen, M.D. in his book “Real
Age.” It adds an average of 6.3 years to a person’s lifespan.

— Socialize! People with poor social connections are twice as likely to die young,
according to research conducted by Brigham Young University and the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But those with strong social ties are usually more active,
more likely to seek medical care, have lower stress, improved quality and live longer.

— Fall birthdays are a plus. Who knew? Researchers at the University of Chicago
found that people born during September, October and November are much more likely
to live to be 100 than people born at any other time of year. One reason is seasonal
vitamin deficiency during critical periods of fetal and infant development may affect a
child’s later health and longevity. Also, fall babies are less likely to be exposed to
infectious diseases, which were more common during summer, early winter and spring
months.

— Get spiritual. Practicing your faith, whether it’s a mantra or a prayer, helps you
find inner peace. It also encourages a desire to be of service to others. Studies show that
spiritual people who have altruistic leanings are happier than those who don’t. This is
especially true for women.

—Yes, your friends matter. The fatter your friends, the fatter you are likely to be, for
instance. Same goes for overindulging in alcohol, mindless eating, and other unhealthy
habits. Doing unhealthy things just because your friends do them interferes with your
perception of what is healthy. When friends are indulging in bad habits, the more likely
they seem normal for the rest of the group. So strive to set good examples for your
friends and you might find that they will improve their lives as well.

— Clean house your house. The less dirt and clutter you surround yourself in, the less
chance you a likely to get sick. Besides, the more you dust shelves, mop floors and push a
vacuum, the more exercise you get. Staying active throughout the day is the key.

— Get outside and enjoy nature. You have a 12 percent chance of living longer if you
stay close to nature. This is especially true for women. Green spaces have less air
pollution, and there are so many interesting things to see. This also encourages you to
exercise your physical body as well as bringing you peace of mind.

It’s never too late to start improving your quality of life. I offer a free, 30-minute Optimal Health Breakthrough Session. Let’s find out what’s holding you back from having the life you want.

Lisa Burbage

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