Last Updated on
Many studies and much research has been done on how to live a long life.
The latest science, technology and research taking place globally to increase the human lifespan, is always in the news somewhere.
This article comes from Robert Fox, aka BeachBabyBob on Youtube, who is an educator, researcher, world traveler, fitness instructor, and youtube blogger, from Cambridge Ontario Canada.
Here’s a picture of Bob’s local YMCA where he walks around the track every day. He leaves the basketball down below for the teens and young adults who come there to shoot hoops daily…
At age 72, Bob continues to teach fitness at his local YMCA, and has done so for over 20 years. Every morning, Bob walks the track, pictured above, at a quick pace for about 5 minutes, as a warmup for his daily workout routine. He had to climb 25 steps to get to the track too!
Let’s find out what Bob thinks about how to live a long life.
A yoga teacher once told me that there are 5 things that will help you live a longer and healthier life:
1. Genetics (Where you came from)
2. Food (Have a bowel movement every day.)
3. Sleep Get 8 hours of sleep every night.)
4. Stress (Meet as many strangers as you can every day.)
5. Exercise (Keep moving with proper form)
These 5 tips are simple and so important to a longer life. Let’s get into the details.
Genetics, Environment, Lifestyle
Longevity is influenced by genetics, the environment, and lifestyle.
As time passes, humans have been living longer, but not by much, until the beginning of the 1900’s. That’s when significant environmental improvements started to happen.
These changes extended the average life span dramatically! Food and clean water, better housing and living conditions, a reduction in the exposure to infectious diseases, and access to medical care, all got better for people.
Public health care reduced premature death of infants by helping them avoid infections and communicable diseases.
Today, the average survival age in North America is 80 years.
Some individuals survive for much longer. Let’s find out why!
The famous saying, “You Are What You Eat” has been around for as long as I can remember.
Many researchers believe that food is the biggest factor in determining how long we live.
I was raised on meat, potatoes, and vegetables … but the meat determined the meal. I would ask my mother, “What’s for supper?” She would reply, “Meat loaf tonight, Bob!”
After experiencing some digestive issues in my early 20’s, my eating habits changed drastically.
Today, I live by the research presented by the Mayo Clinic, which is a nonprofit academic medical center based in Rochester, Minnesota.
They focus on integrated clinical practices, education, and research.
More than 4,500 physicians and scientists, along with another 58,400 administrative and allied health staff are employed at this world renowned hospital.
Foods to make you live longer according to the Mayo Clinic
- wheat germ
- sweet potatoes
- red kidney beans
Whenever my body is telling me that something is out of order, I return immediately to this list of superfoods. It only takes me about 2 days of eating super healthy to get my “system” back in order.
Almonds are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fibre. They are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants. If you value your heart, eat almonds.
Apples are a good source of soluble fiber, which can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. They contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells from damage.
Vitamin C also helps form the connective tissue collagen, which keeps your capillaries and other blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron.
Eat the red ones!
The colour of Sweet Potatoes tells you that they’re high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in your body, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C too. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin B-6 and potassium, and are low in calories i.e. 150 cal. = 1 sweet potato.
Boiling sweet potatoes keeps the sugar levels heading for your blood stream at an acceptable level. That’s all you need to know.
Baking a sweet potato will increase the “Index” of carbs in your system. These potatoes are still much healthier for you than the common white potato.
That’s all I have to say about food, except stop eating at least 4 hours before bed!
Get Plenty of Sleep
My mother use to say this to me every night, “Sleep Tight! Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite.” I don’t think we had bedbugs thank goodness.
We live in a very complicated world! More stress is everywhere. i.e. low wages with no pension. Foods were can afford are filled with chemicals. The air and drinking water are polluted.
A solid “sleep tight” 8 hours is more important for your body than ever before. Sleep is a time for the body to repair after a long day.
Research on Sleep and Health
- Short sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity, in both children and adults.
- Poor sleep affects hormones that regulate appetite. Those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories.
- Good sleep can maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory.
- Sleeping less than 8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Sleep deprivation can cause prediabetes in healthy adults in as little as six days. Many studies show a strong link between short sleep duration and type 2 diabetes.
- Poor sleeping patterns are strongly linked to depression, particularly for those with a sleeping disorder.
- Getting at least eight hours of sleep can improve your immune function and help fight the common cold.
- Sleep fights inflammation. Poor sleep is strongly linked to inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Sleep deprivation may reduce your social skills and ability to recognize people’s emotional expressions.
So, turn down the temperature in your room. Get on a sleep schedule. Meditate mid day. Throw away the phone at bedtime. Use blackout curtains. Watch when and what you eat.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Method
And let’s learn how to breathe using the 4-7-8 breathing method.
Benefits of Talking to Random People
“Never Talk to Strangers”, was what most parents told their children just before they left for school. It was also a 1995 psychological thriller of a movie. Erma Joyce produced a kids book in 1967 that used a lighthearted manner to warn children not to talk to strangers.
Today, author Kio Stark wrote a very in-depth book on the subject called, “When Strangers Meet”. Kio Stark talks to Zosia Bielski about the benefits of interacting with random people.
In an age when our heads are buried in our tablets and smart phones, and earbuds hang from our heads, and when people sit or walk next to their best friends, and only chat to them via the World Wide Net, we know we’ve got a problem.
Here are some of the benefits of talking to strangers face to face Kio that the research claims will extend your life in a very good way …
• It will make you feel human!
Even a brief, “Hello. How are you today.” is an affirmation of your existence and those around you. You will see and acknowledge each other as humans in this place and time, if only for a moment.
Your brain will register the fact that it is ok to be with others doing what you are doing.
• It breaks the monotony.
When you start looking around the world, looking people in the eye, and saying hello, you are forced to focus on something new. Your brain works better when you learn new things. Be present in the moment.
• It helps you be understood.
Sometimes strangers understand us better than our friends and family.
We tend to explain things more clearly, and more freely, to strangers than to loved ones. This critical distance from those who know you best, helps you release stress that is commonly carried around by all of us.
• It’s good for introverts.
If you’re the “quiet” type and when you find yourself in a group, and you really don’t know those around you, you might be able to say something a lot easier.
You know that you can get away from them very easily if you need to. You could say something to these people like, “Tell me a little about yourself”, which will take the focus off you.
• It might give you something real.
Talking with strangers will allow you and them to say things about how they actually feel about a situation.
If you are there with them and willing to listen to what they have to say, they will feel that you care about them and vice versa, which is a good thing.
• It’s an antidote to fear.
Talking with strangers is a giant step towards mutual respect. will probably not solve major geopolitical problems, it’s a start toward mutual respect.
Getting to know people who aren’t like us and try to understand what it’s like to really be them will extend your empathetic abilities, complicates your thinking about political situations, and gives you more nuanced conversations.
You will learn that we are all the same no matter where we live and no matter what our background is.
For those of you who believe that talking with strangers can be dangerous, you are correct. But the research shows that the benefits of talking to strangers outweighs the risks. Just be careful!
Exercise – Get Out and Walk!
Staying active doesn’t have to mean a gym membership. The best way to keep moving with proper form is to think of your waking hours as one giant exercise programme.
There seems to be a contradiction happening in our world today. Unless you’re living alone in a remote mountain cabin, you know that to live longer, you must keep moving!
But, just look around at how many of us are staring at a cell phone. Instead of going and getting what we need, we order it online and it gets delivered.
So let me remind you one more time of the benefits of regular physical activity …
- reduce your risk of a heart attack.
- manage your weight better.
- have a lower blood cholesterol level.
- lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
- have lower blood pressure.
- have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of developing osteoporosis.
- lower your risk of falls.
But! There is more.
Doctors and scientists in the Uk did a recent study on exactly how we should carry out this thing called “a workout”.
Watch the video below with Michael Mosley and if you want more, Dr. Mosley has lots of videos on “living longer” on youtube.
Back Expert Stuart McGill
Another famous back expert from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo Ontario Canada, is Stuart McGill.
Because of our sedentary lifestyle, many of us have or will have back problems and with health care the way it is, a sore back will not be something that you can fix quickly or easily.
Watch this video and learn 3 simple exercises that could prevent you from becoming one of those people with a chronic back issue.
I remember my father telling me that he didn’t need to join a gym or be on any kind of an exercise programme because he was a construction worker. He carried and lifted heavy things.
According to the NFPT (National Federation of Professional Trainers), ” One of the most important reasons to maintain proper form during weight lifting exercises is to prevent injury.
When we lift a lot of heavy weight, this can cause the body to become misaligned that can place your tendons, muscles and joints in positions that can potentially cause strains or tears.”
Each movement or exercise you do has its own “form” that needs to be followed.
Because we begin to lose muscle mass around the age of 40, and muscle mass or muscle tone is so important to movement, weights are a vital part of your daily exercise programme.
Just keep the weights “light” until you can manage the weight through a full range of motion with perfect form. Only increase weight a little at a time. There should be no pain.
Overall Health Tips for Living a long time
Bob’s golden rule for living longer is … “Ready! Fire! Aim!”
No matter what your age, you have the power to change your life for the better. Once you’re ready, take action.
- Don’t smoke.
- Enjoy physical and mental activities every day.
- Eat a healthy a Mediteranean diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
- Take daily vitamins such A, B, C, D, E and get enough calcium to support your bones.
- Maintain a thin body shape.
- Become a life long learner.
- Build a strong social network.
- Follow preventive care and screening guidelines.
- Floss, brush, and see a dentist regularly.
- Ask your doctor if medication can help you control the potential long-term side effects of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, or high cholesterol.
- Think positive and happy thoughts.
BeachBabyBob’s 8 Bills of Wellness