8 Health Hacks for Longevity and Vitality: Simple Tricks for Better You

Ever notice people who don’t follow the perfect diet and live until they are 90 with no health issues whatsoever. What’s the secret to their vitality? Want to know the secret health hacks for longevity? Happiness, positivity, and feeling whole is an incredibly important part of health, we’d say it accounts for 80% of your health. The rest is eating well, exercising, and getting some shut-eye. Now we are not saying to go out and eat donuts and pizza every day. However, learning to manage your stress and living your life to the fullest is a sure way of boosting your health and wellbeing! In this article, we will explore the 7 lifestyle changes you can start implementing today that will help you feel better on the inside and out! These simple recommendations are not substitutions for medical advice. Rather, they are a few hacks based on our experience and scientific data that have increased our own health and vitality. If you’re needing a boost or even kick in the bum, continue reading about our best health hacks for longevity...  
  1. Silence the Noise: Meditate

I bet you weren’t expecting my first tip to be non-food related did ya? Biology has programmed our bodies to respond to stress to protect us from dangerous predators. Since our stress responses have not evolved, our brains respond to everyday stressors as if we were being chased by a lion or a tiger. This is called the “fight or flight” or sympathetic response. Because our modern-day lives expose us to so much noise and chaos, we live in a loop of this sympathetic response. Faced with stressors like unpaid bills, annoying bosses, family guilt, and traffic – we are chronically stressed! This can wreak havoc on our health. Science is increasingly finding that many chronic health conditions are associated with stress, putting us at risk of developing depression, insomnia, heart problems, poor digestion, and impaired concentration. [1] Instead of letting stress control our lives, we can take the driver’s seat and learn to manage it. We may not be able to silence the noise on our planet, we can, however, quiet our minds. The first step, remove the toxic individuals or situations out of your life when possible. Next, change your mindset and work on accepting the things you cannot control. Finally, and most importantly, start incorporating a meditative practice which will help you deal with step 1 and 2. The positive effects of meditation go beyond the mind as it is now scientifically proven to affect your health in many ways. In fact, daily meditating has been found to lower blood pressure, aid with pain management, and increase concentration. [2] You don’t need to be sitting in a cross-legged position chanting OM to be meditating. You’ll get the same benefits from practicing moving meditations like yoga or solo walks in the park. Whatever your preferred style, try carving up 10 or 20 minutes every day and watch the magic unfold! This is probably one of the easiest and most effective on our list of health hacks!  
  1. Spend time in Nature

Spending time in nature has been proven time and time again to strengthen the immune system. Studies have found that areas surrounded by greenery had a lower incidence of criminal activity and anti-depressant consumption. What’s more, the world is catching on to the wonders of mother nature. Two of Norway’s largest hospitals have recently built woodland cabins as part of a project to heal young patients with nature. [3] We feel the difference when we spend time in the outdoors as opposed to locked up in our office. Considering not everyone can live by the beach, taking your lunch break outside or going for an early jog would be a fair solution. At least, we think so!  
  1. Spend time with loved ones

Connection is so important to our mental health. This is a big one guys. The human is built to connect with others. There are literally chemical hormones that are released when you build bonds with other people. I know how easy it is to retrieve and hide behind our Netflix sessions and our workload, afraid to share a piece of our vulnerable selves. We urge you to get out there more and speak to others. Share your fears and your joy. The good, the bad, and even the ugly! Spending quality time with friends/family has been shown to release stress and improve health! A recent Harvard study demonstrated friendships can boost longevity and well-being.[4] So please, get off your computer and start chatting with people. Crazy we'd need to tell you that on a list of health hacks, right?  
  1. Stay Hydrated

Yup. You heard me. It’s so simple, yet so overlooked. If our bodies are made of 60-70% water, isn’t common sense that it needs just as much or more to function? Nearly all the major body systems depend on proper water intake to function.[5] Not to mention your memory, cognitive function, and energy levels are impaired when dehydrated. Your body depends on water for everything. From lubricating joints to regulating body temperature, eliminating waste, to filtering out toxins and excess minerals through your kidneys [6] [7] The reality is that most people either don’t drink enough water or have a highly acidic diet causing them to lose a lot of the water they do drink. Moreover, the body’s queue for thirst and hunger is the same and often we tend to confuse the two. When you think you are still hungry after having a huge lunch, think again. That’s your body telling you I’m thirsty mate!  

How much water do you need?

According to experts, the amount of water you need to drink every day varies by weight, level of activity, gender, and location. Generally, it is recommended to drink half of your body weight of water in ounces. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces of water per day. Moreover, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is another great way to get hydrated as most contain up to 90% water content, so you’re basically eating water and vitamins, yay! The bottom line is: drink. more. water.  
  1. Health Hack: Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet

With all the fad diets out there, its easy to get caught up and confused, wondering if your sugar-free, carb-free, dairy-free, meat-free, food-free diet is working. You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to figure out that a carrot is good for you and French fries and coke are not. Get back to basics. Stop counting calories, and start counting nutrients. Eat plenty of whole plant foods and drink water. Consume loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole fibrous grains, and healthy fats like coconut, avocado, and omega 3s such as nuts, flax seeds, walnuts, and chia seeds. Having adequate levels of vitamins in the body is necessary. These can be found largely in fruits and vegetables which are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. The most important part of your nutrition is that you love what you eat and it makes you feel happy and energetic. If you are constantly stressing about your next meal, it will be hard to sustain a healthy lifestyle as stress is the biggest inhibitor of healing! Our outlook is to live by the 80-20 rule, eat clean 80% of the time and leave a little wiggle room for some treats. Because at the end of the day, you need to enjoy your life! We know how hectic life can get, and although supplements should not replace food, you can also opt to add some antioxidant-rich supplements to your diet. Great sources of bioflavonoids and anti-inflammatories include Rutin, Piperine, GABA, Curcumin, to name a few. Of course, before starting any new supplement, always consult your doctor to avoid any interactions or side effects.  
  1. Eat Less Sugar

We all know that sugar is bad for us. Researchers found a diet high in sugar can significantly increase inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the body’s natural defense response to foreign entities such as bacteria and viruses. In periods of infection or injury, your immune system responds to the attacks by sending healing chemicals to the affected areas. This can result in swelling, redness, and heat.[8] A little inflammation is healthy as it indicates the feedback systems in the body are working. It becomes problematic when inflammation is chronic, putting you at risk for serious health conditions including diabetes, obesity, and allergies. [9] [10] The best way to fight off sugar cravings is to ensure you have balanced meals every day. This includes having fresh fruits. Do not fear the fruits people. They are rich in a variety of superpowers and phytonutrients. The soluble fiber in fruits can slow the absorption of sugar which helps to improve blood sugar levels. In fact, a diet rich in fiber has been shown to provide a variety of health benefits including maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases. [11] Also, make sure you eat adequate amounts of healthy fats and proteins. Our brain will naturally gravitate towards sugar when it is lacking energy, glucose being the quickest source of energy. Without adequate fats, proteins, nutrients, and fiber, your body turns to sugar first for an energy boost. This explains why when you’re eating a bag of chips or cookies, you can’t stop at one, your body is screaming out “give me real food”! Another great tip to stave off the sugar cravings is to have whole grains such as quinoa, oats, millet, buckwheat, or starchy vegetables with your meals like sweet potatoes and pumpkin. The sweetness and resistant starch will keep you full for hours, leaving no room for snacks. If that doesn’t do the trick, we at Liftmode love this healthy treat: Take 1 or 2 frozen unpitted dates, Medjool is best +          Open the date and fill it with 1 teaspoon of almond butter (optional: add a square of 85% dark chocolate)  
  1. Get Sufficient Restful Sleep

Sleep is the pillar of our well-being, and yet it is so elusive. When we can’t sleep, everything else in our life seems chaotic and miserable. We feel irritated, hungry, angry, and forgetful. [12] In simple terms, without adequate rest (at least 7 hours, 8 hours is best) your body just doesn’t function optimally. Chronic conditions are worsened, energy and focus are impaired and hormones are out of whack. Even the healthiest people seem to sacrifice sleep. The go-getter sleep-deprived mentality is a sure way of burning you out, leading to several other health issues. On top of that, sleep deprivation is a major cause of weight gain. Losing sleep causes an imbalance in the hormones responsible for appetite regulation, leptin, and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that suppresses appetite[13] whereas Ghrelin is a peptide that stimulates appetite.[14] When Leptin decreases, and ghrelin increases, we feel constantly hungry. One study looked at the effects of sleep deprivation in 2 groups, one with 5 hours of sleep and one with 8 hours of sleep. The participants with short sleep had a decrease in leptin levels and an increase in ghrelin which resulted in a higher BMI and slower metabolism. [15] That being said, some of us have a harder time falling asleep than others. If you need extra help falling asleep, consider these following tips:
  • avoid electronics 1-2 hours before bed: exposure to blue light from screens hinders the release of the sleep hormone melatonin [16]
  • eat foods that induce sleep: almonds, goji berries, kiwi, walnuts [17]
  • avoid sugar/caffeine before bed
  • supplement with Magnesium or L-tryptophan: both induce relaxation and sleep
  • sun exposure: boosts melatonin production via an increase of serotonin
  • sex or spending time with loved ones: several studies indicate sex releases certain hormones which help you sleep better[18], a sleep physician suggested the act of connecting with a loved one releases stress and enhances sleep quality[19]
  • herbal teas: valerian, chamomile, peppermint are all great for their calming effects.
  1. Exercise

Health hacks for vitality and wellness... This blog post simply couldn't be complete without mentioning the importance of regular exercise. We all know moving our bodies is good for us. Exercising has incredibly positive effects on our body. From boosting energy levels, making you happier, and increasing cognitive function to eliminating toxins, exercising is so crucial to health and well-being. We believe you working out should be fun, that way you can keep at it. Find an activity you enjoy. Whether it be swimming, surfing, running, walking, jumping on a trampoline. Just make sure you get your sweat on every day. Recent studies suggest 30 minutes a day is really all you need! [20]  

Health Hacks for Vitality and Longevity... 

Living a healthy life can be confusing, and for some, overwhelming. With the internet, we are constantly bombarded with information overload. The next gadget, the next diet or the next pair of shoes you need to buy. We are here to tell you that the recipe for health is quite simple. With a few simple health hacks for longevity, you're on your way to a better you! Get enough sleep, quit smoking, spend time outdoors, and with loved ones, eat to feel nourished not to be skinny, and drink plenty of water!

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