Longevity|The Four Pillars of Health

Many people say that they plan to live life to the fullest but they have very little or no concern about longevity. The four pillars of health that I will be discussing and what I feel are most important for longevity and a life full of vitality are

  1. Nutrition
  2. Exercise
  3. Sleep
  4. Environment

By living life to the fullest, some people mean smoking, overeating, partying and generally abusing their body.

Our challenge for those of us who want to live a healthy life full of vitality is making correct choices regarding nutrition, exercise, proper sleep habits, and controlling your immediate environment in order to live to be 100 or over.

Nutrition

After eliminating all the things that obviously negatively impact your health, nutrition is the most important positive thing you can do to increase your chances of longevity.

The western industrialized diet is the biggest contributor to the poor health, obesity, and most chronic illnesses we experience in this country today.

If you are serious about improving health, I implore you to investigate the Non-GMO project. GMO means genetically modified organism and you should also look into glyphosate (AKA) Roundup by Monsanto. It might not be easy to avoid all GMO products but if you are health conscious I guarantee you should be trying to eat as much organic as possible.

My favorite is a Mediterranean diet which is high in mono and poly unsaturated fats and mostly complex carbohydrates.

The best food you can eat does not have a list of ingredients on it. Eat lots of fruit, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and healthy fats that are used for energy and burned off instead of stored and turned into body fat like carbohydrates.

Avoiding processed junk food and sticking to fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and cage free grass feed beef and chicken will help your gut stay healthy. You might wonder how or why that is important?Food for Thought

It is becoming a widely accepted fact that most if not all serious chronic diseases start in the gut. The gut microbiome is what helps our body process the nutrients from the food and supplements we take. You will keep the good bacteria working in the gut with a plant based diet and taking a probiotic supplement if you have any chronic disease.

Many people take supplements to increase the nutrients they may be lacking from their diet. Supplementation of high quality vitamins, minerals, and herbs can be a very important part of increasing your health span.

Think about this: The one thing that will affect your health and possibility of longevity the most is proper nutrition, or the lack of it.

Exercise

No matter what your age, exercising should be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. What I have found is that people that workout and exercise regularly are also the ones that put a priority on eating a good healthy diet.

Exercising can be done in any way shape or form. Don’t look at it as a dreaded activity. I have found that by starting out with just some stretching and light calisthenics will then get me motivated to a more vigorous workout.

Consistency in your workout program is important and will pay off big dividends. Some people are very organized and have no trouble with consistency but as for myself I will try to get some form of exercise in every day.

If I am at work and know that because of a busy schedule there will not be time for a workout I have the luxury of being able to take a few moments and do some isometric exercises. Even stretching and light calisthenics or anything to keep your body in shape and be consistent with toning and strengthening your muscles is good. It is even more important as we get older.

Is it possible to stay in good shape without exercising you may ask? I know there are a few lucky people that have a metabolism that allows them to stay thin but I still believe that our body’s organs function better and longer by taking proper care of them through good nutrition and plenty of regular exercise.

It keeps the blood circulating through the entire body so that all vital organs are properly nourished and enriched. Healthy blood circulation is so important to staying healthy and living a vibrant long life.Tae Bo

Proper Sleep habits

According to the Center for Disease Control around 35% or over one in three adults do not get enough sleep. The result is millions of people on sleeping pills which have many side effects including dependence on them.

There are several causes of not getting enough rest including, stress, anxiety, caffeine, and sleep disorders.

You might not think getting enough sleep is important but on a regular basis it can lead to depression, obesity, chronic issues such as Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

On a more practical side sleepiness during the day causes slowed thinking, impacts cognitive function, poor attention and inaccuracies leading to loss in productivity. There is also a greater risk for accidents and injuries.

Quality sleep is critical to our health and there are better ways to insure we are resting well besides pharmaceutical drugs.

Many people are aware of chamomile tea and the calming effects it has to help induce sleep. However, there is an even better herb that helps people with sleep disturbances and mild or moderate anxiety. Lemon balm extract has been used in several studies and shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and a quicker time to fall asleep.

Our subconscious mind is being programmed while we sleep and it is said that the last five minutes as we are laying in bed and ready to sleep that the things running through our mind could be all the stress we encountered throughout the day. That is why it is important to meditate, pray, and clear all negative thoughts so that our subconscious is programmed with positive affirmations.Dream Catcher

Environment

Are you aware of all the environmental toxins in your immediate environment? If you are like most people, you probably don’t even give it too much thought.

Chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs are invading our lives and results to our health can be devastating.

The sad fact is that our environment is being abused from the soil our food grows in to the air we breathe to our water we bathe with and drink.

We are powerless to change these humongous industries so the only thing we can do is try our best to bypass them.

I am going to give you a list of the most common things in your immediate environment you may not be aware that could have toxic effects.

  • Wall to wall carpeting – Carpeting and pads are filled with chemicals and when damp can be a perfect medium for mold growth. It traps dust, pesticides, dirt, which becomes airborne when walked on contributing to allergens and asthma. The American Lung Association recommends vacuuming 3 times a week. (Who seriously does this?) Better solutions are wood and tile floors.
  • Cell Phone and Wifi Router – There is “clear evidence” that high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) is linked to cancer in animal studies. Results from a November 2018 study by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) showed male rats developed cancerous heart tumors. Don’t sleep with your cell phone under your pillow and store it as far from your body as possible.
  • Mattress – Most mattresses contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). When you are in the market for a new mattress consider getting natural latex, wool or organic mattresses made from at least 95% organic content.
  • Nail Polish – You are potentially being exposed to triphenyl phosphate which is known to alter hormone levels and act as an endocrine disruptor.
  • Cleaning products – Most contain caustic chemicals that could cause blindness if you get them in your eyes and lung irritation and inflammation if you inhale the fumes.
  • Scented candles and air fresheners – They emit toxic or hazardous chemicals known as carcinogenic air pollutants. The best solution is pure essential oils in a diffuser.
  • PFAS-Containing Cosmetics – Foundation, mascara, moisturizer, eye shadow, or anti-aging products containing “fluoro” ingredients. These are linked to cancer, thyroid disease, immune system effects and developmental damage.
  • Shower Curtain – Vinyl or plastic shower curtains contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and are toxic. A better alternative is a natural fabric curtain or even a glass shower door.
  • Printer – They can emit particulate matter 2.5 (PM) or tiny inhalable particles less than 2.5 micrometers or fewer in diameter. These particles can travel deep into your lungs or bloodstream causing numerous serious problems. They also release carcinogens at high enough concentrations that researchers advise putting printers as far away from your work space as possible.Longevity

To Sum it all Up

We make choices every single day that could potentially affect our longevity.

There are positive things we can do and negative things we should avoid with each of the four pillars of health.

As you make the choice to start living a more healthy lifestyle and start feeling better about yourself, you will find it kind of “grows” on you. Good health is not a given, but we can make some choices to give us a better chance at being healthy and free of chronic diseases.

Please feel free to leave your questions and comments below. Thank you.

Doug

doug@increaselifespan.com

2 thoughts on “Longevity|The Four Pillars of Health”

  1. This post is really good…Of the four pillars written here, I am guilty of not adhering to two…I’ll explain…I take my excercise really seriously and I am a member of a  health centre, as a result of this, I take good meals, fruits and healthy vegan foods… When it comes to sleep, I can sometimes confess to using drugs to enhance that…I have really irregular sleeping patterns and it’s painful, I think it is due to stress…My environment is something I have not been too conscious of and I would have known if not for this post…Thanks for the informative post…it’s an eye opener.

    1. You have the first two pillars and they are the most important.  I only brought up our immediate environment to bring peoples attention to all of the toxic things most don’t give two thoughts about.  Concerning sleep it seems to be overlooked because of a lot of factors.  With stress and a busy lifestyle it just doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day.  

      I personally get by just fine with between 6 to 6 1/2 hours of sleep every night but it is consistent throughout the week.  My suggestion is to not use the drugs but to try meditation.  Most everybody has ear buds and there is an abundance of meditation posts on YouTube.  It will help to get into the deeper brainwaves of sleep.  I don’t know if it will help you but it does help me. I don’t do it every night but if I am feeling restless I will use meditation.  You will be surprised how rested you feel when you wake up.  Restful sleep is very important to our health.

      Diet and exercise I would say are 70 % of the way to a healthy lifestyle and add sleep you would be 90 to 95 %.  Environmental factors are somewhat of a concern to me now too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *