Health

7 Science-Backed Habits For a Longer Life

Live your best and healthiest life.

By: Emmy Schneider-Green

If you’re like most, you wouldn’t mind adding a few extra years to your life expectancy. After all, who doesn’t want to live a long and healthy life?  And, while we certainly can’t predict or control how much time we’ll get, there are, in fact, many factors and healthy habits for longevity that are well within our control, and that can make a real difference, according to the data.

Bonus? All of these healthy habits for longevity may not just help you live longer but will keep you feeling healthier and happier each day of your life, so they’re true win-wins.

These Healthy Habits for Longevity Are Science-Backed and Totally Doable

#1 Sit Less During the Day

Have you heard the news? Sitting is being called the new smoking. But, research also suggests that sitting time has the least negative impact on those who were active. 

So, instead of spending all day seated at your desk (or on your couch, if you’re working from home), make it a point to stand up and move around, even if it’s just walking down the hall and back, as much as possible. 

Movement is key when it comes to healthy habits for longevity. Some studies suggest doing low-intensity exercise (like walking) for just 30 minutes a day when you’d normally be sitting can decrease your risk of early death by 17%. 

#2 Eat More Plants and Go Easy On The Animal Products

We all know we should be eating our fruits and veggies, and the truth is, the more you can steer clear from animal products in favor of plants, the better! Many studies also suggest that a diet high in plant foods may not only be better for longevity but for also lowering the risk of specific leading causes of death like cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and more. 

You don’t have to be fully vegetarian or vegan by the way — just prioritize putting more plants on your plate for a longer lifespan.

#3 Focus on Your Social Life

Repeatedly, the science shows that the importance of having friends and people in your life to talk to and laugh with is key. You probably don’t need any data to tell you how important it is for your mental health to have friend time, but having a healthy social network has also been linked to longevity.

Even during times where you may not be able to meet up with friends face to face, there are ways to get your social time in. Think virtual hangouts and workouts. You can even use your FitOn app to invite friends to workouts for a little friendly competition and some added motivation to get your sweat on together — check out FitOn Party to get your daily sweat sesh in with your friends.

#4 Commit To Your Workout Habit, for Life

It’s no secret, and not up for debate that the role exercise has on longevity is huge. It’s everything! Each time you’re doing a workout, you’re definitely checking off a healthy habit for longevity, and it doesn’t have to be anything super intense. 

Research suggests that as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day can decrease mortality risk by 14% — totally doable, right?

And if you’re needing new exercises, we’ve got you covered. Try out these quick 15 minute or less workouts on days where you only have time for a quick workout.

#5 Commit To Quality Sleep 

Yeah, yeah, we sound like a broken record! But maybe hearing that better sleep is linked to a longer lifespan will help you to prioritize sleep, as much as possible. While the ideal 7-9 hours a night isn’t doable for everyone, try your best to get as much sleep as you possibly can each night, working up to this goal overtime. Better quality sleep may help put you in the golden window for health and longevity. 

Struggling to get those high-quality Zs? Read about our five top hacks to do tonight for better sleep. 

#6 Prioritize Joy

Not only can you have both a healthy and long life, but it turns out the two are linked. While happiness isn’t normally something that’s thought of in a scientific sense, the data actually suggests that positive psychological well-being has a positive impact on longevity. 

Do what brings you joy and commit to your own happiness as seriously as you commit to any of these other healthy habits!

#7 Bust Stress

We all have stress, but chronic stress is something we need to be paying attention to — research suggests that it may wreak havoc on our emotional and physical health, and over time, may even make us sick. 

This is why busting stress is one of those healthy habits for longevity we all could benefit from, and practicing daily stress reduction may not only help you feel more balanced, but it’s a key part of staying healthy. 

Here are some simple ways to get some stress reduction into your day: 

  • Exercise 
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Practice deep breathing — you may be surprised at how often you hold your breath when you’re feeling tense, so when you find yourself feeling stressed, stop, and turn your attention to your breath. You may find deep breathing to be a simple but powerful tool to help better manage the stressors in your day. 
  • Meditate daily 
  • Establish a positive morning routine
  • Optimize sleep 
  • Try this calming evening routine before bed
  • Stay connected to friends and family 
  • Do at least one thing you enjoy each day 
  • Take five during times when you feel stressed — this could mean going for a five-minute walk, practicing deep breathing for five minutes, or just sitting and being present. 

Cheers to Making Your Life a Long and Healthy One!

The thing we love most about these tips? They prove that you don’t need to take any dramatic steps to help improve your odds of living till you’re old and gray. 

It all comes down to an overall healthy lifestyle, and with these simple and totally doable healthy hacks for longevity, you’ll know you’re doing everything you can to live a long and healthy life.