We all want to live a long and healthy life and, as always, we're here to help you with 100 tips that'll keep you fit, strong and living 'til you're 100!
We all want to live a healthy life but, what can you do to make sure you live for as long as possible?
It seems as though everywhere we turn, there are new reports and studies telling us which things we can’t eat, which things we should eat, and what we should and shouldn’t be doing to make sure we stay as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.
From new exercise techniques to the latest health foods, it can all start to feel a little overwhelming, so what do we really need to watch out for when it comes to living longer?
We’re here to help with 100 tips of fun and easy things for you to try that’ll help you live longer. From health tips, to things you never knew could increase your life expectancy, we’ve got it all covered.
So, read on to find out our top tips to live to 100 – who said it was just Peter Pan who lived forever?
Video of the Week
According to a recent study, making Weetabix your daily breakfast of choice could actually help you to live longer!
Experts at Harvard found that one serving of wholegrain per day prevents the risk of dying from heart disease or cancer, while eating even more wholegrains could mean even bigger benefits for your body.
Scientists reported that for every serving of wholegrain eaten (that’s 16g), there was a 9% decrease in death from cardiovascular disease, and a 5% drop in the chance of dying from cancer. Better still, for people eating a 48g serving of wholegrain, there was a 25% lower risk of a cardiovascular death and a 14% reduced chance of dying from cancer.
Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘Eating more wholegrains is a simple change we can make to improve our diet and help lower our risk of heart and circulatory disease.’
Time to fill up on that Weetabix then!
Cashews, peanuts, almonds… We absolutely love snacking on nuts. And now the health benefits make them more tempting than ever!We’re not just talking about our waistlines here. According to a recent Dutch study, eating half a handful of nuts every day could substantially lower the risk of early death. Previous studies had shown that nuts helped with cardiovascular issues, but now scientists have looked at the impact of certain nuts on certain diseases.
In the study, 120,000 55-to-69-year-old men and women consumed at least 10g (0.3oz) of nuts or peanuts a day. They found that there was an average 23% lower risk of 10-year mortality across all diseases, including neurodegenerative disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.
Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to peanut butter, though, so pop that jar back in the cupboard guys!
According to reports from Science Daily, the theory that long periods of sitting (office workers, we’re looking at you in particular!) could contribute to adverse health effects has become more and more trusted – with some experts claiming that even standing for a couple of minutes to counteract the effects doesn’t work.
Now, researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine have found that engaging in two minutes of ‘low intensity activities’ – like walking – every hour was 33% more likely to extend the lifespan of people who live a generally inactive lifestyle.
So there you have it… if you’ve been sitting at that desk or on that sofa too long, get up, go for a two minute walk around the office or garden, and you’ll live longer for it!
According to research from Harvard University, eating porridge daily
could protect your heart against disease. The study found that tucking
into the whole grain-rich breakfast could ward off many illnesses but
particularly heart disease.
In fact, scientists found that for
each 28g of whole grains (so one small bowl) eaten a day, the risk of
death was reduced by 5% and heart deaths by 9%.
Try our winter warming apple and cinnamon porridge
A study has shown that fit amateur cyclists aged 55-79 were found to be
physically and biologically younger than most people of a similar age.
The research found that the effects of ageing were far from obvious
amongst the cyclists they studied, with younger and older cyclists
having similar levels of muscle strength, lung power and exercise
Better get peddling!
Love watching Strictly Come Dancing? Well now it’s your time to take to the floor. Dancing improves the condition of your heart and lungs as well as improving muscular strength, which often starts to deteriorate in later life.
The techniques you use for dancing are thought to help keep you younger for longer by keeping your motor skills in tip top shape whilst also developing muscle memory.
If that’s not the best way of living to 100 then we don’t know what is! So grab your dancing shoes quick smart and get on the floor!
The benefits of exercise are endless, from making you feel more energetic to keeping you looking young – but, the main thing is that if you’re fit, you’re much more likely to live longer. Plus, exercise doesn’t have to be boring – try some of our easy exercise tips that’ll make putting on your trainers seem a lot less daunting!
Everyone knows that having a healthy sex life is great for your wellbeing and the benefits are endless, from giving you a good workout and releasing ‘happy hormones’ to lifting your mood. And, the best part is it can help you live longer. Studies have shown that having a good sex life can add 3 to 7 years onto your life and help you look younger as well. Sounds good to us!
Taking vitamins to get extra goodness is a great way to help you live a longer life – it makes sense after all, the more nutrients you have the healthier you are. And, there are vitamins you can take for pretty much any ailment or complaint. From vitamin D to keep your bones strong, to vitamin C that is a great anti-oxidant – so even if you’re not sure about vitamins and minerals, give them a go and see if you notice a change (just remember to only take vitamins that you need and make sure you know what they’re doing for you!)
A new report has found that the French outlive the British – they come third in the world country rankings of life expectancy, compared to the UK which is down in 14th. The study showed that it had a lot to do with diet choices, as the French tend to eat more fresh food, whereas we’re a lot more reliant on fast foods. A move to France doesn’t sound too bad to us, or maybe just a holiday…
As important as it is to make sure you do enough aerobic exercise, strength is also key to staying strong and healthy. And, that can be as easy as doing weights with two cans of beans or bottles of water at home!
A good dose of laughter can do wonders to put you in a good mood. So, whether it’s watching your favourite TV show, or meeting up with friends, do something that’s going to make you laugh until your belly hurts – it’ll work out your tummy muscles and the happier you are the longer you’ll live.
As nice as it is to have a lie-in every now and then, make sure that you’re not oversleeping. Studies have shown that people who have more than 8 hours sleep a night, have shorter lives.
People who live in the countryside statistically live longer than those that live in cities – and what’s nicer than waking up to green fields in the morning? A move to the countryside could not only save you some money, if you’re moving from a big city, but you’ll also reap the health benefits.
Now we aren’t saying you’ve got to be a slave to the scales, but keeping an eye on your weight is essential to being healthy. Being overweight puts you at all kinds of health risks, from heart disease to cancer. So, if you notice your jeans becoming a bit tighter, then it’s easy to make simple changes that’ll help you shift a few pounds.
If you’re after some more support with weight loss, then why not join goodtoknow’s Diet Club?
Even if you keep fit and eat well, making sure that your body stays as flexible as possible is key to preventing injury. Flexibility exercises are easy to do at home and the best part is, they’re completely free!
Doctors are busy and no doubt you are too – so when you go to your appointment it’s easy to rush through the urgent problems and get them sorted. But, what about that niggling pain you had or that rash that keeps appearing? There are some symptoms that your doctor needs to know about, so write a list before your appointment to make sure you don’t miss anything out and make the most of your appointment.
Getting to know your family doctor is a really good idea. They don’t have to be your best friend, but if they know you a little then they’re more likely to notice if you seem off colour. If it’s possible, try and go to the same doctor each time you book an appointment and you’ll start to feel more comfortable with them.
Most people like learning new things and not only is it enjoyable, it’s also really good for your health. Whether it be learning the piano, a new language or just a fact each day, keeping your brain active by teaching it new things is a great way to stay mentally fit, which in turn will help your overall health.
As the saying goes, you can’t choose your family and although they might drive you mad at times, having good relationships with them is key in leading a stress-free life. So, if there’s been a family feud or you’ve drifted apart from certain members, then make the effort to build bridges – you’ll feel better for it in the long run.
Checking your breasts is something that should be in your routine and it is so important to keep an eye on any changes. If you’re unsure of how to check them for lumps then follow our ‘how to check your breasts‘ guide, but the main thing is to head straight to the doctor’s if you notice anything unusual – it’s better to be safe.
Leading a busy life can mean it’s easy to read check-up letters quickly, put them down with the good intention of doing something about them, and then completely forgetting. But, they’re sent for a reason and making sure you keep on top of them and don’t miss appointments is essential.
Tip: Try keeping a small diary in your handbag just for your appointments and key dates rather than the whole family’s and you’re much less likely to forget things.
Research has shown that owning a pet can help you live longer (that’s as long as it’s not the kids’ rabbits who they don’t want to look after any more!) Pets can be great fun and are a good way to encourage you and your family to get active together – who doesn’t like a nice dog walk on a Sunday?
The main thing about checking your bowels is noticing a change to what’s normal for you. Like checking your breasts, keeping an eye on your bowel movements should be something you think about regularly. Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, but if it’s caught early then treatment is often very successful. So, look out for any change, particularly if you see any blood or a difference that lasts more than a couple of days. If you’re worried then head to your doctor and ask for some advice.
A little treat every now and then will do wonders for your happiness, so if you’re out in the shops and some shoes or a dress takes your fancy then don’t always deny yourself – just make sure you can actually afford it.
Positive Mental Attitude, Positive Mental Attitude, PMA! Ok, so we might sound a bit silly chanting this to ourselves, but thinking it and not forgetting it in tricky situations could help you out. There’s a lot to be said for believing you can do something, whether it be a simple thing like running further than you have before, or something a lot more serious like beating a disease. But, having the belief that you can do it will go a long way to helping you during the battle!
Creating a healthy work/life balance is key not only for your sanity but for the happiness of your family as a whole. But it’s not always that simple, whether it’s you, your other half or both of you who work, it is easy to get sucked into working long hours. So, try and make the most of the time you have, for example, exercise in your lunch hour so you know you’ll have the whole evening when you get home to spend with the family.
Doing a good deed, whether it be taking your elderly neighbour to the shops once a week or giving to charity, is one of the best things you can do to lift your mood. If you are low in confidence yourself then helping others is a great way to boost it and your own happiness, which is turn leads to a healthy, fulfilled and long life.
Now it’s not like we need that much of an excuse to head out with the girls for a glass of wine, but it’s actually good for us (well, the socialising, maybe not the wine!) Studies have shown that having a busy social life can help you live longer, not least due to the relaxing element of going out with your friends, but they can also encourage a healthier lifestyle, whether it be exercise or eating right. Your friends might be even more valuable than you thought!
Always look on the bright side of life they say. Well, a new study has shown that optimists live longer and are also more likely to beat diseases. So, the glass is half full mentality your mum always used to tell you about actually was true – mums know best, after all!
No matter how well you look after yourself, it’s worth thinking about going for a body MOT – they’ll be able to give you a thorough check and see if there are any issues that you need to address.
Although working hard doesn’t sound like it would help you live longer, it actually might! Reaching targets and achieving things in your working life is great for your mental health, as is enjoying your work – so, give it your all.
You may be laughing that we are telling you that having kids will actually lengthen your life, but hear us out. Ok, we know when you’re running round after them and your stress levels are high it might not seem like they are helping with your health, but think again. All those fun and relaxing times you have together and the joy that they bring to your life really will help you live longer ultimately, by brightening your life and making you a happier person.
Eating healthily sounds like an obvious suggestion when it comes to how to live longer. But, try and eat as many antioxidant-rich foods as you possibly can – the amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you’ll live for. Foods to get into your diet include, berries, broccoli, garlic, tomatoes and green tea.
Living a stressful life is a certain way of shortening it, so try and manage your stress as much as possible. Not only will stress affect your health, it’ll stop your sleeping patterns staying normal and it won’t make you a very fun person to be around. So try some of our healthy ways to beat stress and don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.
Going for a toxin and chemical-free beauty regime by using natural and organic products, is great for your skin. Although these products come at a price, they are just as effective – so ditch the toxins and your body will thank you in the long run.
Remember prevention is better than cure, so exercising, eating well and getting outdoors in the fresh air throughout your life is better than starting to live well when you notice your health declining. Making lifestyle changes that you can stick to for the long term will benefit your health and in turn help you live longer.
Your first port of call when you feel ill is likely to be the doctor’s surgery, and whilst it is really important to make sure your doctor knows about your illnesses, don’t rule out other complementary treatments that might help. Natural medicine has been around for thousands of years and could really help on its own or alongside modern medicine – so give it a go!
If the thought of heading to a gym brings you out in a cold sweat, then don’t go to a gym! You can make simple changes to your daily routine, like always walking up the stairs, that’ll help to keep you fit and healthy.
One of the most simple and easy ways to live a long life, is listening to your body. If you have an ache that’s unusual, see a change in how you feel when you exercise, or notice anything that is different to normal and concerns you, then go to the doctor. Your body is cleverer than you think and if it’s giving you signs that something isn’t right, then it’s worth checking out.
Good genes will help you live for a long time and although you can’t control the genes you got, you can look into illnesses that your family are prone to and then work out what you can do to protect yourself.
Everyone says eating your greens is good for you, but what do they actually do? Besides filling you up more and helping you to lose weight, they also decrease the hardening or arteries and therefore lower your risk of heart problems. Along with all that they help keep your energy levels sustained and can even fight off Alzheimer’s – well they all sound like pretty good reasons to cook up some vegetable soup to us.
Relaxing and de-stressing every day is something that should be in your daily routine, even if it’s taking 10 minutes away from the kids to read your book. So make sure you schedule time in for yourself and do something you know is going to chill you out.
Whilst having cholesterol in your body is good and healthy for the production of cells and hormones, having too much of it certainly isn’t good for you. It’s all about creating a healthy balance and that is best done by eating a balanced diet.
If you dread going to work then don’t just accept it, it isn’t right and most of all, it isn’t doing wonders for your health – (plus, you’re the only one who can change it!) Doing a job you love has been proven to help elongate your life, so if you want to make a change then do it.
Look happy, be happy, feel happy. Even if you don’t feel like it, smile, as the benefits are endless – from relieving stress, to making us more attractive and boosting our immune system. Go on, show us your pearly whites!
There are some things in life that you just can’t change (no matter how much you want to!) – and it’ll do you a whole lot of good to accept it and not spend time worrying about it.
Whether you love being in a relationship or thrive off living the independent, single life, do what makes you happy and don’t worry what others think. Marriage can be a wonderful part of your life and make you happier than you ever thought you could be, but it can also make you unhappy; the same goes for being single. So, find out what works for you and do it!
According to studies, anything that causes your heart to race, whether it be a scary movie, a good book, even being in love – also makes your heart stronger. Getting your heart going every now and then is like pressing its reset button – it’s what keeps it ticking!
Recent research has shown that people whose weight goes up and down have weaker hearts and worse blood flow than people who have a steady weight or lose the extra lbs steadily. So if you’re thinking about shifting some weight then go for it, but make it a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix.
Studies have shown that holidays help you to live longer – good news! Having a break and seeing different parts of the world increases your happiness and reflection post-holiday also boosts moods. The study even suggested that holidays could be used to support depression treatments.
No one likes getting ill and the most simple thing to do is head straight to the doctor’s and get a course of antibiotics to clear up the problem. But, unless it’s completely necessary, it’s best to try and avoid taking tablets as much as possible – making your immune system fight illness will make it stronger in the long run.
Keeping slim and healthy doesn’t have to be hard work. By just having a big glass of water with your dinner and drinking it all, you’re much less likely to overeat.
Avoid taking unnecessary risks such as not wearing your seatbelt – it might sound simple, but it’s surprising the amount of people who forget to strap up.
It might sound simple but having your car checked and serviced regularly could actually save your life. Make sure you never miss a service and check your tyre pressure, water and oil regularly.
Cheating in relationships increases your risk of a fatal heart attack! So that’s a good reason not to do it then – the death risk was shown to be greatest in men who were with much younger women. So being honest and loyal isn’t only morally correct, it’s also good for your health.
Water is the best thing you can drink and when you hear what it can do for you, we bet you’ll be downing a pint straight away. The lithium in water can help you live longer, it can help you lose weight, keep clear skin and wash toxins out of your body. It’s recommended we drink 2.5 litres a day, but remember that changes depending on your weight and how much exercise you’re doing.
Not looking after your teeth puts you at all kinds of risks, from swollen gums which can affect your arteries, to higher risk of stroke and heart attack. Make sure you brush and floss every day and visit the dentist annually.
If you know you need to get fit then swimming is a great activity to try. It puts very little strain on joints, like your knees, and gives your whole body a workout – it’s also great for toning up.
There are free health
screenings all over the country that check you over, but loads of people don’t take advantage of them. If you can get your heart checked and be aware of any problems, that’s much better than trying to cure something years down the line. Prevention is better than cure so keep your eyes peeled for check-ups that you can attend.
Not only could you be saving someone else’s life by giving blood, but it’s also really good for your own health. Donating your blood regularly can help prevent your blood from thickening, because when your donation is taken out of your system, the blood in your body goes through a process called hemodilution, which keeps it thin and this will help protect you against cardiovascular diseases.
We live in a polluted world now, so it’s really healthy to detox your body once in a while and try and rid it of as many toxins as possible. Detox diets are great to follow every now and then and you’ll feel so much better at the end of it.
Studies have shown that having enough vitamin D in your body can help you live longer. A great way to get your dose of vitamin D is to go outside in the sun. Make sure you stay out of midday sun and always protect your skin with a high level SPF when you’re outside.
Yoga is a great way to keep fit and give you a bit of ?me’ time. It can boost circulation and also helps with arthritis, osteoporosis and digestive disorders and depression.
Meditation will not only calm you, but it’s great for your health too. Studies have shown that the health and mental benefits can be seen in just two weeks and it can also slow down the ageing process.
You only get one set of eyes, so doing everything you can to look after them is essential. Don’t stare at a screen for hours on end and if you have to for work then make sure you take regular breaks. Make sure you go to the optician regularly and don’t wear glasses that aren’t correct for your vision.
The stress of keeping up with what has been said will leave you feeling tense and it’s completely unnecessary. If you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say it and you’ll be happier and healthier for it in the long run.
Fish is a great source of Omega 3 and is a brilliant, versatile food for family dinners. Make sure you’re eating at least 2 portions of fish a week and add plenty of veg on the side too.
Walking 10,000 steps a day might sound like a challenge, but if you’re running round after the kids all day and go for a little afternoon walk you’ll no doubt be near your target without even trying. So buy yourself a pedometer and try and reach 10,000 steps every day – it’ll be great for your health.
Often we can take a pill for so many years that we forget what we felt like before we took this every day. So don’t get stuck to taking one for ages and make sure you take regular breaks from it.
Being kind and doing something for someone else will make you feel great and it has been shown to increase your happiness levels, which also has an impact on your life expectancy. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, maybe just baking some cakes for your next door neighbour, but you’ll feel great and so will they!
Salmon, avocado, walnuts, olive oil – all these foods contain a high percentage of fat, but that doesn’t mean they’ll actually make you fat. The difference is, they’re packed full of good fats that your body needs to keep strong and healthy – plus, they can help your body to burn off fat more efficiently as well.
Eating wholegrains has been proven to help protect against life-threatening illnesses. A study showed that women who ate more grain had a 34% lower risk of heart disease, 59% lower risk of infectious disease and 46% lower chance of getting a respiratory disease.
When you have kids it’s so easy to get engrossed in looking after them
and being a good mum that you forget how important your own relationship is with your partner. Remember one day your kids will be grown up and
it will be you and your husband again and having a healthy relationship
is key to happiness and long life.
A good pamper session will make you feel great, even if it’s locking yourself away in your bathroom and turning it into your very own spa. Allowing time for yourself where you just focus on relaxing will really benefit your health – so whether it’s getting your hair cut or painting your nails, treat yourself every now and then.
Living to 100 is made a whole lot easier by putting as little unnecessary strain on your body as possible. Slumping your shoulders does just that to your muscles, so sit up straight – it’ll make you look slimmer too.
Red wine is packed with resveratrol, an antioxidant – they work to protect your body against the effects of ageing. So having 1 or 2 glasses of red wine a day can help keep your body young and it tastes pretty good too.
One way to fight of illnesses like Alzheimer’s is to keep your brain as active as possible. Whether you do the puzzles in the newspaper every day, read or try to learn something new, make sure you’re always challenging yourself.
Getting involved in a charity run is great for you fitness, mood, health and mental wellbeing – we can’t see an excuse not to do it! Apart from maybe the fact you actually have to run, but it won’t be as bad when you know it’s all for a good cause.
As the saying goes, ‘no man is an island’ and having strong relationships with your friends, family and children has been proven to help you live to a ripe old age. So work hard to keep your relationships strong and always make time for those closest to you.
There’s no better way to know where your food has come from, than to grow it yourself! So if you’ve got room in your garden, use it for a small vegetable patch and plant some veg – and you can cross some things off your shopping list.
Sleep problems can shorten your life significantly, so deal with the issue by having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. CBT has been proven to be more effective than sleeping pills as it aims to help sort the problem out by getting rid of negative attitudes rather than covering up the issue with medicines.
Eggs not only taste delicious but they are also packed with leucine which boosts the loss of body fat – so if you’re trying to shift some lbs, add eggs to your shopping list.
New research has shown that the act of simply trying to break a bad habit can really lift your mood, even if you’re only successful for a day – and that’s not even mentioning what it could do for your health. So if smoking is your vice, or always eating the last biscuit, try and stop.
A diet that contains lots of plant-based products is one of the healthiest options you can go for, but if you love a steak just as much as we do, then fear not. Eating meat is really good for you, but it’s important to make sure you get varied meats into your diet and avoid eating too much red meat. Try Meatless Mondays in your house, it’ll make the shopping bill for that day a lot cheaper!
That meal out with your friends could actually be helping towards you living until you’re 100! A study has shown that people who eat out often are less likely to be stressed or depressed – so book that table and treat yourself.
Staying slim is one way to fight off life-threatening illnesses and eating slowly is an easy way to avoid overeating. It takes your brain 20 minutes to register whether it’s full or still hungry so if you wolf down your dinner you’re much more likely to eat too much.
Try cooking with honey – it’s got more vitamins and minerals than ordinary sugar and it fights bacteria, too. Just remember never to give it to children under a year old.
Being touched, hugged or cuddled gives you a rush of endorphins, which lower your stress levels and can even help fight pain. The lower your stress levels the less likely you are to get ill. We always knew a cuddle solved everything!
Love makes you feel good, helps beat stress and boosts your immune system – and remember, the most important person to learn to love is yourself. Every day, tell yourself at least one nice thing about you.
Plants give out oxygen and help clean the air around them, so fill your home with houseplants for a breath of fresh air. Not only will they make the house look nice, they’ll also help you to be healthier and leave you feeling more fresh and awake.
Sweet potatoes and yams are packed full of protein, fibre and vitamin C and are a tasty way of making sure you get all the right nutrients to keep your bones strong and stay healthy. As if that wasn’t enough, they also help your body fight the effects of ageing – we’re putting them on our shopping list, right now!
Knowing your limits comes into all aspects of your life, whether it be exercise, or work. If you aren’t used to exercise, start slowly and build up day by day. Don’t hurt yourself by pushing yourself too far, too soon. The same applies for your work life – don’t take on more than you can actually do as you’ll only end up feeling stressed.
Spice up your food with some garlic – it’s a superfood. Not only can it help lower your cholesterol and keep your heart healthy, but it also fights bacteria and may even help to prevent cancer. Plus it makes everything a bit more tasty – just make sure you brush your teeth before trying to give your other half a kiss!
When trying to eat healthily the first thing you’re likely to do is get some fruit and veg, but, if you aren’t washing it properly then you could be putting harmful pesticides into your body. So, make sure you give fruit and veggies a good scrub – or, if you can afford it, think about buying some organic products.
Feeling stressed out and out of control is not only bad for your mental health, but it will also leave you feeling physically exhausted and drained. So, learn to say no! You’ll have more time and feel a lot more calm.