Sam Makhoul outlines 21 tips to ensure not only a longer life, but a more fulfilling and wholesome one.
In the current generation Y and millennials, more and more will get the chance to live until 100. You can be one of them if you play your genetic cards right. There is no doubt that medicine also makes this goal achievable.
But if you look closely at the statistics, you will notice that whilst people are living longer, they are not living a quality life. The following list of lifestyle tips have been carefully researched as having the most impact on our wellbeing. They will sharpen your mind, keep your body strong, resistant to disease and help you live a long happy life without reliance on medicine.
1. Have long-term goals.
Having something to wake up to every morning is the strongest of motivations for living with vitality. There are a cocktail of healthy chemicals that give life to our creativity, our energy and our zest for living. Having a purpose in life releases these chemicals daily. It is the difference between waking up with an energetic burst or waking up with lethargy and a headache.
2. Socialise more with friends.
Research shows that people who have a wide circle of friends and who socialise often are much healthier than people who are isolated and lonely.
3. Stay in a good relationship.
Research has shown that people who are in a loving long-term relationship are much happier and healthier than their single counterparts.
4. Travel regularly.
Humans are nomadic by nature. When we stay in one location, we stagnate. When we roam, our five senses are stimulated. We feel most alive when we experience adventure. Travelling does not have to be overseas. In fact, it’s healthier to travel locally. Get out and explore your own part of the world. Make a habit of going for weekend trips with family and friends. You may drive to the mountains, visit apple orchards in autumn or go to the beach in summer. The main thing is to get out of the house.
5. Wake at sunrise and sleep within two hours of sunset.
Research shows that every hour of sleep before midnight is the equivalent of two hours after midnight. Research also shows that waking at sunrise reduces our blood pressure, which is the single most dangerous factor leading to heart disease and stroke.
6. Follow a diet that’s true to your heritage.
Before air travel, we did not travel long distances within hours. This meant that our bodies evolved over many years by eating essentially the same food. That’s why I think it is overly simplistic to claim that some diets followed by certain cultures are best for everyone. If you are Japanese, then eat Japanese food; if you are Italian, eat Italian food. It is in your DNA.
7. Read often.
Reading not only sharpens your mind, but if you read the right material, it can enlighten your view of the world and this keeps you inspired. I would also add doing crossword puzzles and other brainteasers.
8. Mix it up – by using your opposite hand and foot.
I try and use my left hand whenever I can, especially before I have to do some creative thinking. Using the opposite hand/foot sharpens the mind and keeps both sides of your brain working. If you have a stroke in older age, you have greater chance of recovery.
9. Have afternoon naps.
The siesta was made famous in Spain, which had one of the lowest rates of depression in the world. It is a modern tragedy that the cities in Spain that have abolished the siesta now experience the highest rates of Prozac prescriptions. Having a nap may be difficult because most of us work Monday to Friday, but even a 10-minute power nap is sufficient. If you are unable to do this on weekdays, then definitely make it a ritual on weekend afternoons.
10. Watch comedies and hang out with friends who are funny.
We are often told to adopt the “don’t worry be happy” mantra. The easiest way to do that is to have more reasons to laugh in life. Laughter releases so many feel-good hormones that replenish our cells.
11. Move your body – naturally.
Exercising in a mechanical way on expensive equipment in gyms is not what primes your body for natural strength. Walking, running, swimming and moving your body in natural movements does. Squatting while doing gardening is natural. Bending to clean your home is natural. Push-ups, chin-ups, squats and sit-ups are also natural movements. In fact, I think the best form of exercise you can do is to join a martial arts club. You can be eight or 80 years of age and still get the benefits. The best form I have come across is Wing Chun.
12. Drink filtered or spring water.
One of the best investments you can make is the installation of a reverse-osmosis water filter. It gets rid of the most harmful chemicals in our water supply. In particular, fluoride in water is the cause of many ailments, which lead to premature aging.
13. Never eat when you’re stressed or upset.
Go for a long walk or cardio the stress right out of your system. If you are going through a period of emotional stress, it is better to eat very small meals. Or better still, drink vegetable juices instead.
14. Keep your bowels clean.
Nobody likes to talk about this subject, but the fact is that stagnant food in the colon is the cause of much toxicity. And this is easily preventable. There are two easy lifestyle tips to follow. First, consuming lots of fruit and vegetables. Second, schedule “no. 2” toilet breaks as part of your morning and nightly ritual. A lot of people are so busy being busy that they neglect this routine. They don’t realise how much harm they are doing to their body.
15. Brush your gums and tongue.
The link between gum disease, heart disease and stroke. Poor periodontal health causes certain oral bacteria to make the arteries sticky and inflamed. Excluding this risk factor is easy. All you have to do is floss and brush your teeth regularly – but at least at night.
16. Do your pelvic floor exercises.
Also known as Kegel exercises. This assists in preventing prostate cancer in men and avoids incontinence in both men and women, which is listed as the single most demoralising ailment for old people in nursing homes.
17. Listen carefully to your body.
Whilst you may not experience obvious signs of intolerance to food and situations, it may be affecting you in a subtle way that undermines your energy. Often, we are too distracted with life to really notice what is going on in our body. Paying attention to what drains us and what lifts us is the single most important thing that we should bring our self-awareness to. It can be the food we eat, the company we keep and our surroundings – like noise or air pollution. Just because the body gets used to something, it doesn’t mean that it’s not affected by it in a negative way.
18. Meditate – most people do not meditate because they think it is a complex eastern philosophy.
The truth is, sitting quietly in a warm and comfortable spot can be meditation. Listening to the sounds of nature can be meditation (sitting at a beach or natural reserve). So too is having a warm bath. Even going for a long walk in nature is meditative. The magic happens around the 45-minute mark. Your “monkey mind” will switch off and slow down.
19. Give yourself to charity.
Why do celebrities go to Africa and put their time and energy into helping others? Because when you have all the money in the world, you will realise that giving to others is the single most important way we can connect with other people. Do not underestimate the power of good wishes bestowed upon you by the people you are helping.
20. Do a 12-15 hour fast daily.
Start by not eating three hours before you sleep. Research overwhelmingly shows that this habit helps your body clean itself. It improves the function of all your organs, reduces insulin resistance, cleans your arteries in your heart and in your brain to prevent dementia and arteriosclerosis.
21. Learn a new language or a musical instrument.
Research shows that this is the only powerful way to promote neuro-plasticity as you age and therefore prevent old age dementia.
If you want to know your genetic type and learn three amazing bio-hacks that will help you live until 100, then you absolutely need to be in the room with me and a lineup of 10 leading global experts at Upgrade Your Life 2019, January 18-20 at The Hyatt Regency in Sydney Australia.
Numbers are limited to 200 people due to the personalised nature of the sessions and the one-on-one access to all 10 speakers. Tickets are selling fast and will sell even faster as we get closer to the event. Secure your spot now. I strongly encourage you to not defer or procrastinate and make the decision that you’ll look back on as the single most important decision in your life.
Honestly, the way I look at it, being in the room with these amazing speakers is actually priceless and is an investment that you’ll make back MANY times over.