1. Go outside
According to a recent study, people should spend at least 120 minutes a week outside in nature. While spending time outside, not only is your body absorbing much-needed Vitamin D, but your mental health is likely improving.
It doesn’t matter how these 120 minutes are achieved, just that the total each week is above two hours. You can achieve these outdoor minutes over the weekend or multiple days of the week. If you choose to spend time outside each day of the week, that’s a little under 20 minutes a day outside!
2. Get more exercise
You’ve likely heard this a hundred times from your doctor or high school health teacher: Get more exercise. They wouldn’t keep saying that if it weren’t true.
Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights at the gym or hopping on a treadmill. Exercise should mean different things to different people depending on how much activity you need and what your health goals are.
Here are a few creative ways to get more exercise:
- Do more chores: Doing household chores burns calories. Don’t wait for spring to start cleaning; doing daily chores will help keep your home tidy and your body moving.
- Purchase smart fitness equipment: If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership or don’t want an additional commute, look into smart fitness equipment. Smart fitness equipment helps make exercise more accessible and affordable. Simply purchasing and wearing a fitness device or tracker can help motivate you to get your steps in.
- Play pickup sports: Search social media for sports leagues or pickup games that are happening in your area. Many of these leagues are inviting and welcome new players. It’s also a great way to meet new people and to have fun exercising.
3. Quit smoking
Another tip you’ve heard before because it can drastically increase life expectancy is to quit smoking. Tobacco smoking products and electronic cigarettes contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals.
If it helps, know that you or your loved one are not the only ones trying to quit. In 2019, nearly 23 million Americans tried to quit smoking. Achieving this difficult feat can improve your life expectancy by 10 or more years.
4. Be social
Humans are social creatures. One of the main factors when it comes to both happiness and living longer is having a strong social community. One study found that having just three social ties may lower your risk of early death by over 200%.
5. Visit your doctor
One reason life expectancy is lower in the southern part of the United States is due to the lack of healthcare. According to America’s Health Rankings 2019 Annual Report, 9 of the 10 least healthy states are in the South, which falls in line geographically with The Zebra’s findings.
Part of being a healthy person and extending your life means getting an annual physical, which under most health care plans counts as preventative care and is free.
If you’re concerned about what information you might learn from your annual health screening, it’s best to be in the know rather than putting it off. Also, following the above-mentioned tips can help make your annual physical quick and easy.