There are no secret formulas to a healthier life. All of the things listed below are well researched and established truths. That does not mean it is easy to follow them all. But the more of them you follow, the healthier you will become.
Exercise might be the most important change we can make to affect the length and quality of our lives. Our bodies were meant to move, and the science is very clear on the power of exercise, even if it is just three hours per week. And the good news is; it´s never too late to start. If you only have three hours, try to mix cardio with some sort of resistance training.
According to Mayo Clinic, strength training cannot only help prolong life, but also help develop strong bones, manage weight, manage chronic conditions and sharpen thinking skills, while cardio exercises help increase the capacity of pumping around oxygenated blood in your body. There is also a very strong correlation between good cardio (measured by VO2max) and a long life. So just get started, you will not regret it.
We will try to keep this simple: Don’t be overweight. That’s the most important nutritional advice we can give you. If you are, we know that its not the easiest thing to change, but with a balanced diet and an exercise program, you are halfway there. So what is a balanced diet? It includes a variety of fruit, vegetables, protein and whole grains:
Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
Choose unsaturated oils, preferably olive oil
Drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
According to Livsmedelsverket 87% of men don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. If you are one of them, we urge you to change that habbit. If you find it difficult to reach the daily recommendations, a multivitamin might help you buffer sufficient nutrients on your journey towards a healthier you.
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. The way you feel while you are awake depends in part on what happens while you are sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.
The general recommendation is around seven to nine hours a night, and the case for a minimum of seven hours per night has grown stronger by each year.
Without enough sleep we are more likely to have problems with thinking, concentration, memory, reaction times and mood, all of which make it harder to perform our daily tasks and increase the risks of mistakes and accidents. Regular insufficient or poor sleep contributes to long-term health problems such as;
Type 2 diabetes
Poor mental health
Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.
Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being:
Under stress, your heart pumps faster. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict and divert more oxygen to your muscles so you’ll have more strength to take action. But this also raises your blood pressure.
As a result, frequent or chronic stress will make your heart work too hard for too long. When your blood pressure rises, so do your risks for having a stroke or heart attack.
Type 2 diabetes
Under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. If you’re under chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with this extra glucose surge. Chronic stress may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If stress continues for a long time, a man’s testosterone levels can begin to drop. This can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may also increase risk of infection for male reproductive organs like the prostate and testes. People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like the flu and the common cold, as well as other infections.
Social connections not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking. Dozens of studies have shown that people who have social support from family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.
Conversely, a relative lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline, as well as with increased mortality. One study, which examined data from more than 309,000 people, found that lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50% — an effect on mortality risk roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and greater than obesity and physical inactivity.