Healthy Habits For Longevity And Mental Health

Good physical health requires us to build smart habits related to our daily nutrition and exercise choices. Additionally, regular mental exercise and a spiritual focus can also extend our lives.More

Healthy Habits For Longevity And Mental Health

Written By Sheryl Wright / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

Taking care of your body is more than just getting in a workout in the morning or eating a salad over lunch. Good physical health requires us to build smart habits related to our daily nutrition and exercise choices. Additionally, regular mental exercise and a spiritual focus can also extend our lives.

Eat Small and Healthy Meals

The British Medical Journal has published a long-term study that indicates that you can protect your heart by eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Since a standard serving is about the size of a tennis ball, this is actually quite simple if you work at it each day.

For example, you can enjoy

  • an apple for part of your breakfast
  • grapes for an afternoon snack
  • a small salad for lunch
  • a salad and a cooked veggie with dinner
  • carrots and celery sticks for a morning snack

Such a diet would deliver regular fiber and plenty of roughage to your gut, as well as reducing your exposure to excessively salty snack foods.

Move Your Body Through Space

Instead of worrying about getting to the gym, try to work movement throughout your day. A daily walk, some gardening, a daily swim, and other simple choices can do more for a long life than hitting the weights hard each day.

During your daily movement, do your best to put your brain to use. Many times, getting out and going for a walk can make a troublesome problem easier to manage. As your body gets into the habitual movement of walking, you can more easily engage your creative brain and make connections that you may not have been able to see sitting in a chair.

Stretch Body, Brain, and Spirit

Whether or not you subscribe to a particular religion, spending part of each day in meditation or some form of spiritual focus can do a great deal to soothe your mind, relax your body and protect your heart.

In addition, combining a spiritual practice with a social connection, whether in person or online, can also extend the length and quality of your life. Look for ways to give back and help those who are struggling. Finally, sit down and read something that stimulates your imagination. Readers not only live longer, but they tend to be problem solvers and feel a stronger sense of control over their lives.

Supplement Wisely

Even the healthiest diets can leave you lacking in some vital nutrients. For long life, consider adding NMN supplements to your routine. While nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN, is naturally found in our tissues, increasing your levels of this organic molecule may help you increase your metabolism and your energy levels.

Of course, boosting your metabolism can make it easier to lose weight. If that is a goal as you age, give it time. Rapid weight loss is hard on the heart and gut, and your body will lose the ability to tolerate these jolts as time passes.

Cut Back on Meat

If you are working hard to stay healthy and live to a ripe old age, consider the Blue Zone example. Of the longest-lived people in communities around the world, one of the commonalities is that they eat wonderful food, generally locally grown, and avoid meat.

In the communities that do consume meat, it is either served during a celebratory meal or as a flavorful supplement. There is no meat or protein serving on their plate, and if there is, it is no bigger than a deck of playing cards.

Keep Learning

Like exercise stretches your body, new skills and puzzles will stretch your mind. When possible, try to learn new skills that connect the body to the mind. For example, you can learn to

  • paint, quilt, or crochet
  • play an instrument
  • speak a new language

The act of learning to shape the tongue into a German umlaut is quite subtle, but it is a new experience. Determining where to place your fingers on a flute or piano while you review a piece of sheet music for volume and rhythm actually requires a lot of coordination.

Finally, pay special attention to what you consume. If you notice that your news consumption is determined to frighten you into relying on them for the next round of what to worry about, find a new source. Build problem-solving skills by considering new perspectives.

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Written By:

Sheryl Wright is a freelance writer who specializes in digital marketing, inclusive business, and interior design. If she is not at home reading, she is at a farmers market or climbing in the Rockies. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her cat, Saturn.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash

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The U.S. COVID-19 Outbreak Is Still Bad—And it Could Get Worse

Especially in places with low vaccination rates

The U.S. COVID-19 Outbreak Is Still Bad—And it Could Get Worse
planning an August mega-concert in Central Park. I’m as hopeful as the rest of us, but I think we may be suffering from memory loss.

Let’s start from this time last year, when many Americans were exuberantly returning to newly reopened beaches, parks and restaurants after a seemingly eternal three months—three whole months!—of quarantine. Universal observance of safety guidelines was surely going to be sufficient to limit viral spread.

We know how that turned out. By mid-June 2020, there were already signs that our bleary-eyed re-emergence was premature. On June 22, 2020, the number of new daily cases of COVID-19 (33,485) surpassed the high-water mark hit on the worst day of the horrific first surge, when that figure peaked at just over 32,000.
[time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”]

A year later, the daily case count is not as foreboding—nor is it nearly as low it may appear.

If you look at a graph of new daily cases of COVID-19 since March 1, 2021, averaged over seven days, you’ll see that the slope of the curve was in steep decline until the beginning of June. Since then, progress has nearly flatlined at a figure that stubbornly refuses to dip below 10,000 people per day.

You’ll notice that this graph covers only the past 12 weeks, while virtually every chart you’ll find (including the one on TIME’s dashboard) graphs COVID-19 cases from the beginning of the outbreak. This is intentional. The toll of the pandemic in the U.S. has persisted for so long, and reached such catastrophic heights in the first weeks of 2021, that patterns such as this one are nearly impossible to see on the typical chart. Here’s what the same graph looks like against that backdrop:

My fear is that the pandemic remains much more deadly than how it looks on the page. Yes, deaths remain on a steady decline, having recently sunk below 300 people a day on average for the first time since March 24, 2020, right around the time that many offices were shuttering. But a surge in cases, particularly among the large number of unvaccinated Americans, could quickly reverse that decline. For context, let’s look at just the figures since March 1, 2021 against the same period last year (the blue portion above):

As you can see, it has been less than a month since the 2021 case count sunk below the year-over-year figure, on May 26. The massive nationwide vaccine rollout is undoubtedly a major factor, but it’s difficult to quantify the impact of vaccination on the currently low case and death figures. There are only weak correlations between states’ vaccination rates and some key indicators, like the rate at which cases have risen or fallen in recent weeks.

What we can quantify is that, in the 27 days since the lines crossed, the vaccination rate in the U.S. has only crawled upward, from 39.7% to 45.3% of Americans who have received a complete dosage. While the official vaccination rate applies to the entire population, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also includes percentages for several age groups. By TIME’s calculations, there are 97.4 million adults age 18 and over who have been eligible for vaccination for two months but who have not yet received even a first dose. This group trends heavily younger, with those 65 and over representing only 7.8% of the unvaccinated population. (These figures do no include those under 18, who constitute a small portion of the eligible population.)

On May 13, two weeks before daily case numbers in 2021 fell below the year-over-year figures from the same day in 2020, the CDC issued guidance liberating fully vaccinated individuals from wearing masks in many scenarios. I do not have conclusive proof that any of the country’s 97.4 million unvaccinated adults have abused this privilege. All I can state with confidence is that, based on the number of people I’ve seen not wearing a mask in stores places like stores, which often have signs imploring those who are not fully vaccinated to continue to mask up, it is mathematically almost certain that more than a few have done so.

Which is to say: the situation today, if one can momentarily rewind to Memorial Day of 2020, feels very familiar. There appears to be a lambent light at the end of the tunnel, yet cavalier attitudes towards the pandemic, particularly among younger people who, as a group, are under-vaccinated, resembles what we saw last summer just before the second wave.

Watching these trends, I grow more concerned every day that the country is positioned for yet another surge in cases, despite our defensive upgrades in the off-season. I hope I’m wrong, but the numbers are not nearly as comforting as they first look. That the Delta variant, which is both more transmissible and appears to cause more severe disease, is on pace to become the dominant form of COVID-19 in the U.S. in the coming months is further reason for alarm. Moreover, some states have significantly higher vaccination rates than others, leaving those with less protection more vulnerable to future spikes.

Forgive me for being a buzzkill, but unless we can institute a functional vaccine passport system, which appears unlikely, I do not think it is wise to assume that every unmasked individual is fully dosed. Short of a passport system, and with dangerous variants competing for dominance and the duration of vaccine protection still unclear, we ought to continue to ration physical space in public areas—a policy that is hastily being relaxed at places like Major League Baseball parks. I love baseball and eagerly look forward to buzzing up to Philadelphia to take in a game at Citizen’s Bank Park, which is operating at full capacity. But not while the policy is that “Unvaccinated fans are strongly encouraged to wear their masks in all indoor and outdoor areas in and around the ballpark.”

I also think there might be a backdoor to a digital passport system. Based on polling data, it appears there is a substantial population of people who aren’t categorically opposed to vaccination, just unmotivated to get around to it—what we’ve termed vaccine “meh-sitance,” not hesitance. My proposal is that bars, restaurants and other popular venues merely require each person who enters to verbally affirm that they are fully vaccinated.

This might sound about as effective as asking passengers in the exit row to individually verify that they listened to the instructions. But while it’s one thing ignore a sign at the grocery store, it’s another to lie in front of your friends. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator, and if even a fraction of the unvaccinated would take the time to resolve that dissonance, or risk missing out on trivia night, it could substantially push up the percentages. I call this the “FOMO method,” and though we are still a long, long way from eliminating the disease altogether, it could help us avert a fourth wave this summer.

Source : Time More   

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