What is your main life goal? It could be graduating college, building your own family, or getting that dream job. What we all really want, however, is to live long enough for all that to happen.

Research by Lifetime Daily shows that people over the age of 60 are likely to ask for 50 or more years to live, although most interviewees stated that they wouldn’t want to live forever. 

Although an additional few years are definitely a tangible goal, changing your habits as early as possible can add 12 more years to your life, science says. Below, we’ve listed the best tips for longer, healthier life. 

Put those cigarettes away

And we mean far away. In the 1950s, cigarettes used to get away with their toxicity thanks to adverts that featured real doctors. Back then, the connection between smoking and death wasn’t clear enough, but now we have solid evidence that cigarettes will not only lead to lung cancer and kill you, but also harm the health of those around you with secondhand smoke

Other potential health-compromising effects of smoking include cataracts, tooth loss, osteoporosis, and reduced fertility. If you don’t plan on losing a decade of your life due to tobacco, begin your research on how to quit smoking right away. 

Eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and veggies 

You saw this one coming. Fortunately or not, the kinds of food we put in our bodies will always be some of the main determinants of a healthy life. As to why fruits, veggies, and grains are the “winners” in the healthy food category, we’ve got answers:

Vegetables: aside from lowering your calorie intake, vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients like potassium, as well as vitamins A and C. They help keep blood pressure at a healthy level, protect your skin and eyesight, and aid in wounds and infection healing, respectively. These are only examples–there are other ways veggies can make you healthier. 

Fruits: A fruit-rich diet, when combined with vegetables, may reduce a person’s risk for heart diseases and strokes, bone loss, and type 2 diabetes. 

Grains: Grains are rich in fiber, which is essential for healthy bowel movements and prevents constipation. They’re also packed with phytochemicals, non-essential nutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

The bottom line: make sure most of the plates you consume are as colorful as possible. 

Exercise your mind and body daily

You either hear it or read it everywhere: exercise is one of the cornerstones to a healthy life. But how exactly should we exercise? Whether you hit the gym twice a week or go out for a jog every morning, the secret is to remain active. Exercise keeps your energy levels high, improves quality of sleep, and helps relieve stress. 

Also, remember your mind–if your mindset is focused and positive, you’ll be able to achieve your goal of a better life even faster. A healthy mind also prevents physical illnesses, such as ulcers and high blood pressure. 

Simple and fun exercises such as journaling and solving puzzles are great mind fitness techniques you can do every day in your spare time. 

Don’t forget to take your multivitamins

The nutrients we get from food might not always be enough to complete our daily intake, which doesn’t mean we should use supplements as a crutch, either. Taking multivitamins should be a healthy solution to replace nutrients that aren’t correctly absorbed and processed by our bodies through food or natural sources, like calcium and vitamin D.

Note that not all multivitamins are reliable. Choose multivitamins produced by FDA approved vitamin manufacturers and thoroughly research the company’s history, reputation, and methods before making a purchase.

Be ready for emergencies

What’s the point of exhaustively caring for your health if one accident or unexpected illness could ruin everything? 

That’s what short term medical insurances are for: this type of plan is affordable, quickly approved, and provides medical coverage in case of unanticipated emergencies. This insurance can last up to 36 months and is cancellable anytime. Having a powerful backup plan will make your efforts towards a longer and healthier life worthwhile.

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