The topic of longevity has been in my focus for the past several months. I have been listening to podcasts, reading books and articles on this subject , trying to figure out how I can improve everyday routine in order to live healthier and longer life. Here are a few take-aways that I personally have been following that make me feel my best:
- I live according to cycles of nature and cycles of my own body. Circadian rhythms regulate our metabolic processes, so it’s very important to rise with the sun and go to bed when it gets dark. I also try eat during at least 2 meals during the day (breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and early dinner) and avoid eating after it gets dark. Meals consumed earlier in the day tend to be more easily digested and give me energy to live the day actively. Being a woman, I also stay tuned into my hormonal cycles, which can be a completely different article in itself.
- I am active and move around every day. Exercise doesn’t have to be super intense. Some days when I don’t have time or energy to go rockclimbing or doing anything intense, I just take a 20- 30 minute walk, stretch, or go for a bike ride. Timing of the exercise is quite important too. My energy is great in the morning and also early afternoon. Midday, the hottest time of the day, is a time for a nap, not for an intense workout!… I never do anything intense after 7pm, because it would keep me up at night!
- Intermittent fasting has been a popular type of “diet” or lifestyle for many people, and there’s been a lot of research done in this field to prove that it promotes longevity. I fast anywhere between 12-16 hours every day. For me it means early dinner (5-7pm) and breakfast at 7-9am. It really is the best schedule in my opinion as it also aligns with feeding time suggestions from 5-element traditional Chinese medicine theory (7-9am stomach organ time; 5-7 kidney organ time).
- I sleep in a pitch dark room and I keep my bedroom cool and free from electronic devices. I also get off my devices by 9pm, to make sure my nervous system is not overstimulated before bedtime. I try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and I LOVE power naps in the middle of the day.
- I go to a sauna 2-3 times a week for 20-30 min. The sauna I go to is not super hot, so I often stretch or just lie down and meditate while I’m in there.
- I eat mostly whole foods, some dairy, and a little bit of meat. 70-80% of my diet are vegetables, fruit , nuts, seeds, grains. I prefer organic produce. I eat red meat about once a week, the rest of the week is seafood and pork. I choose grass fed beef over conventional, wild caught local seafood vs farm, and pork without hormones and antibiotics and if it’s bacon, low sodium. Being vegan ultimately didn’t work for me, after being vegan for 14 month, I quit because I started having health issues.
- I feed my brain with new information every day. As I drive a lot, I listen to podcasts. I read books and articles. I take courses to advance in my career, I go to museums and art shows… I load my brain with as much new information as I can. If you don’t use it , you loose it. Learn something new every day!!!
- Being around people who love me and who I love. Friends and family make me happy and give me the purpose to live my life. It is a well-known fact that we people do better in a community vs alone.
What are your longevity tips?