There's no doubt about it, we all want to look and feel our youngest. To help us out, About.com's longevity expert Sharon Basaraba lets us in on how to stay young, one habit at a time.
Where To Start
We all want to live a longer life, but those extra years won't mean much if we don't feel healthy and energetic. Thankfully there's an easy way to make healthy lifestyle changes and stick to them. The trick to staying young is to develop healthy habits. Research shows that there is more success with small habits than big resolutions. By creating habits based on a few simple and well known principals such as eating a plant based diet, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and staying active and social we can all inject youth back into our lives.
Habit 1: Quit Smoking
This isn't actually a habit to develop, it's a habit to quit. There are amazing studies that show how quickly the body can recuperate from the damages of smoking. If you quit by the age of 30 the body can make a 97 per cent recovery. Quitting before the age of 40 the body will make a 90 per cent recovery.
Habit 2: Get 5 Minutes of Vigorous Exercise
The first minute of any exercise activity always feels the most difficult but chances are good that you'll stick with the activity if you just get started. Make sure to keep it vigorous and break a sweat! This will contribute to your cardiovascular fitness and help you ward off cognitive decline.
Habit 3: Contact a Friend
You may be surprised to hear that the health risks of being isolated are comparable to the risks of obesity and smoking. In order to stay young you have got to stay social. Try your best to contact a friend once a day. But be careful which friend you choose to call, the goal is to reduce stress, not increase it!
Habit 4: Meditate For a Few Minutes
Start this habit by using typically unproductive time spent in a bank or grocery store line-up to focus on your breathing. Mini meditations can start to give you the same brain changes and long-term health benefits associated with much longer sessions
Habit 5: Have a Green Smoothie Every Day
Hands down, a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to lead a younger life. By having a green smoothie you'll get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables while fighting off heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The best part is you can make your smoothie with no cooking and little effort.
Remember that you need to do these actions daily or as often as possible in order for them to become habits. You'll know you've successfully made an action a habit when it becomes automatic. You'll find you don't even have to think about it doing it. These habits will help your body work at their fullest potential leaving you feeling more energized and less stressed and above all, younger.
To learn more about these habits check out Sharon's article here.