What’s the real key to a long healthy life?

Health and happiness are something that we all desire, especially those seniors living in your residential assisted living home. But living a long and healthy life comes down to so much more than simply luck or genetics. Here is a list of simple habits that your seniors can explore to promote health and longevity.

While genetics impact many things relative to good health, it is not the ultimate answer to longevity.

Genetics does not solely determine life expectancy. Genes are just as affected by their history as they are the environment in which they exist. If that environment is toxic, the body will suffer. If the climate is optimal, the body will thrive.

Recent data suggests genes play a much smaller role than initially believed. It turns out that environmental factors like diet and lifestyle have a more significant impact on vitality, morbidity, and mortality than genetics.

Below you will find seven habits that lead to long life. These habits are proven to increase vitality and reduce, if not offset, morbidity and early mortality.

EAT THE RIGHT STUFF

While it may taste delicious, an entire pound cake is not yours for the taking. Indeed, not in one day. Caloric intake, especially non-nutritional calories, is a significant morbidity and mortality factor because of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the diabolical trifecta of weight, heart disease, and metabolic disorders.

Syndrome X afflicts millions of Americans, and the results are sickening. The dangerous over-consumption of non-nutritional calories results in rapid and insidious weight gain. Following this weight gain is:

  1. Hypertension and the many medications used to control it.
  2. Hyperlipidemia and the many drugs used to control cholesterol.
  3. Insulin Resistance, the precursor and underlying cause of Type II Diabetes.
  4. Decreased Libido and Decreased Testosterone in Men

So, what’s the fix? We Americans love non-nutritional calories. They are quick, easy, and tasty.

From fast food to prepackaged snacks, these sugary and fatty treats are favorites of many. However, if you want to avoid or thwart the effects listed above, replace sugary and fatty snacks with whole food.

EAT MORE FRUITS, NUTS, AND VEGETABLES

Consuming a wide variety of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans, may decrease disease risk and promote longevity.

Assisted living homes need to monitor the healthy intake of whole quality foods.

Plant foods’ nutrients and antioxidants, including polyphenols, carotenoids, folate, and vitamin C, are credited with longevity.

Studies show that consuming vegetables and fruits consistently result in a 12–15 percent lower risk of premature death and a 29–52% lower risk of dying from cancer or heart, kidney, or hormone-related diseases.

Nuts are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds.

Additionally, they’re a great source of several vitamins and minerals, such as copper, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, and vitamins B6 and E.

Two recent reviews, including over 350,000 people, noted that those who ate nuts had a 4–27 percent lower risk of dying during the study period.

These options are beneficial.

They give you nutritional food in place of empty dangerous calories. Your body will begin to burn unwanted fat, and your health profile will improve.

Obtaining proper health is best done quickly, therefore, do not be afraid to reduce caloric intake.

There is no need to use the word “diet,” which suggests temporary change, because what we are aiming to achieve is lifestyle modification.

ATTAINING BODY WEIGHT AND BODY FAT GOALS

With whole food only, you want to advance to a level of prolonged caloric reduction.

The replacing of non-nutritional foods with nutritional foods is essential to improvement in your overall health profile.

Caloric reduction for that overweight is critical to offsetting disease processes and overall health and wellness.

Therefore, the two strategies combined contribute significantly to your vitality and longevity.

HOW TO HANDLE INFLAMMATION

Inflammation is a natural and helpful response to disease and injury. It is your body’s way of containing trouble until it is adequately eradicated or resolved.

However, the results of consuming empty calories and a lack, if not a dearth, of whole foods results in a chronic inflammatory response in the body – this is problematic.

An inflammatory response mounted by your body without good cause is called an unnecessary auto-immune response.

Many diseases are associated with an extreme auto-immune response. The following five are the most popular:

  • Graves’ Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Crohn’s and Colitis
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer

The root of all of these diseases and many others is inflammation, the body’s first-line official immune response.

Poor diet and lack of exercise suggest to the body the need to inflame when there is none.

Once you’ve adopted a better habit of eating and make the necessary lifestyle modifications in food choice, the body will continue to inflame until there is no longer a need to do so.

Chronic inflammation demands attention.

Turmeric is a powerful natural treatment for inflammation and is associated with anti-aging – it is also well-documented that spices help.

  • Turmeric spice contains a potent bioactive compound called curcumin.
  • Curcumin has high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Curcumin is associated with maintaining the viable function of the brain, heart, and lungs.
  • Curcumin is also studied and shown to be protective against multiple cancers and age-related diseases.
  • Curcumin extends longevity in both insects and mice in clinical studies.

As a result, healthy spices are essential to seniors in assisted living.

As a staple spice in India for over a thousand years, turmeric is safe and effective. It is essential, even vital, for you to handle inflammation in your body.

The best way to combat chronic inflammation is to use turmeric and use it with an improved lifestyle change of whole foods.

Combat chronic inflammation and improve your overall health.

EXERCISE IS KEY

Staying physically active is essential to health and wellness. Exercise of any amount increases oxygen in the body, releases endorphins, and burns unwanted fat.

People who exercise are generally more optimistic, have tremendous energy, better focus, and less disease in their bodies.

Fifteen minutes of daily exercise reap immense benefits. Some studies even suggest an extension in life expectancy by three years.

The body was made and designed to move.

When forced into a sedentary lifestyle, the body withers, decays, and atrophies. Therefore, exercise.

Consider helping your seniors get the exercise they need, at least 15, perhaps even 30 minutes daily with:

  • Seated exercises
  • Gardening
  • Taking an aerobics class
  • Stationary cycling
  • Swimming

Many residential assisted living homes offer organized fitness classes.

Daily exercise is linked to a decrease in premature death.

There is even a reduced risk of early death in individuals who exercised less than the recommended 15 minutes daily.

So, how much should you exercise?

Start out slow and exercise as much as your body desires – listen to your body. When you are adequately fatigued, stop.

Take the time to build your body’s strength and endurance.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Exercise can be a time of play and glee, it does not have to be a monotonous chore.

POISONOUS PRACTICES TO AVOID

The consumption of the poison – nicotine – will speed your death. Therefore, do not smoke. It is proven to cause early death.

Smoke causes the loss of nearly ten years of life. The human body can not thwart the short-term and long-term effects of chronic poisoning.

Therefore, smokers are three times more likely to die young than those who never engage in the poisonous practice.

What do you do if you are a smoker? Quit.

There are a variety of ways and treatments available to help people stop smoking. The benefits of cessation are pretty encouraging, making the withdrawal and its many side effects worth the trouble.

A recent study has proven those who quit smoking by 35 years of age prolong their lives by 8.5 years. In other words, the 10-year reduction is “rolled back” nearly 8.5 years – this is outstanding and quite encouraging.

If you cease smoking in your 60s, you can add nearly three years to your life.

What does that mean? You may very well see your grandchildren witness their growth, even matriculation into adulthood. It’s worth it.

People who quit smoking in their 80s have improved their quality of life.

Taste improves, and so does smell. Smoking chronically deprives you of the intangible beauty life offers. It’s never too late to stop.

PAY ATTENTION TO ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

For many years, prohibiting alcohol legalization in America was said to prevent human maddening.

It was also associated with sickness and disease:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Early death

Moderate consumption of alcohol is quite the opposite of over-indulgence. Reasonable alcohol usage is associated with positive effects on the body.

Wine consumption is quite beneficial to the body.

  • Polyphenol antioxidants are abundant in fermented grape drinks.
  • A 29-year study showed that men who drank wine were 34% less likely to experience premature death than beer and spirit drinkers.
  • Wine provides protective properties for heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, and metabolic syndrome.

One-two glasses are moderate consumption.

While no study shows the difference between moderate wine consumption versus abstaining from wine altogether, the days of prohibition are long over.

Therefore, be smart and drink in moderation.

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

Anxiety and stress may significantly decrease longevity. The levels of cortisol in the blood of anxious people are much higher than in those relaxed.

Cortisol is the hormone released to support the psychological response known as “fight or flight.”

Cortisol is damaging to the body when left unchecked. The results of anxiety on the body are well-founded.

  • Women suffering from stress or anxiety are reportedly up to two times more likely to die from heart disease, stroke, or lung cancer.
  • The risk of premature death is three times greater for anxious or stressed men than those who are relaxed.
  • Recent studies show pessimistic individuals have a 42% greater chance of early death than optimistic.

Optimism is believed to contribute to longevity. So, the anxious and stressed person can combat the dangers of their state by choosing happiness.

Happiness is an elixir for many physical and emotional disorders.

Happy people tend to live longer and live better than the anxious or depressed. Happiness is a choice. Choose happiness.

Not only is happiness beneficial early in life but throughout one’s golden years as well, so make sure your senior home is a happy place to live.

Do what makes you happy, not what others expect of you. Don’t Worry, be Happy.

STAY IN TOUCH WITH LOVED ONES

Social networks are key components to a happy and healthy life.

Social networks are essential for wellness. No man is an island. People with viable social networks tend to live longer than those who are isolated.

Isolation is punitive.

It is also quite unnatural. Having just three social ties can significantly decrease premature death. Social networks support the mind and often motivate the body. They provide benefits that no medication can.

Benefits of Social Networks

  • Positive changes in heart rhythm
  • Enhanced brain activity and stimulation
  • Proper hormonal response
  • Improved immune function
  • Reduction in chronic disease effects
  • Alleviation of stress and depression

The benefits of socialization are pretty extensive.

Achieving health and wellness is reinforced when people have relationships. It is good for humans to be together.

A NATIONAL SOURCE FOR ALL THINGS ASSISTED LIVING

Living longer is a goal many desire, and The Residential Assisted Living National Association insists that quality care demands that living better ought to be the aim.

The above information is essential to longevity while reducing the severity of morbidity and mortality.

Eating the right stuff, exercising, choosing happiness, and maintaining good relationships transform an unhealthy person into a healthier one.

Longevity is within reach; learn more by clicking here, www.RALNA.com.

For consistent, helpful information, become a Residential Assisted Living National Association member at no cost.

Members receive discount group purchasing, legal support, blogs, and newsletters to support senior living quality.

Take action now to help seniors be well and live long.

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