Japan, Sweden and Norway have the longest life expectancy. Here are 6 healthy habits you can learn from her.

Most of us want to live long, healthy lives, but people in certain regions of the world actually live much longer on average than others. research It shows that people in Japan live the longest on average, followed by people in Sweden and Norway. “There are a number of factors that contribute to this, including diet, level of physical activity, health care system and community system in those countries.” Dr. Rashi Agarwalassociate professor of psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, tells Yahoo Life.

The average American lives to be 76.4 years old, according to data from the research institute Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Center for Disease Control) — Shortest lifespan in the United States It has been witnessed for nearly two decades. In Japan, life expectancy is 84.3 years, per capita Global Health Organization (from). While there are some factors you can’t control when it comes to longevity, such as genetics, doctors say there are many things you can do to increase your odds of living a longer, healthier life. Here’s what they suggest.

Follow a mostly vegetarian diet

“We know a lot about what’s good for us in general when it comes to diet,” Aggarwal says. “Whether or not it’s difficult for us to do that is a different question.” research Eating a mostly plant-based diet and consuming less meat is consistently shown to be beneficial for longevity.

“As much as you can, avoid red meat. Avoid processed foods And fast foods,” says Agarwal. Dr. Scott Kaiser, a geriatrician in Santa Monica, California, tells Yahoo Life that it’s important to make sure your diet contains plenty of green leafy vegetables, berries and other foods rich in phytonutrients, which are chemicals produced by plants to keep them healthy. . Mediterranean diet In particular, which focuses on plant-based foods and reduces meat, it was also linked For longevity.

Take your time with meals

Eating healthy isn’t just about what you put in your body, it’s also about your relationship with food, Agarwal says.

“In America, we don’t sit with our food like some other countries do, where it’s acceptable to eat slowly and enjoy our meals,” she says. “Eating should be a time when you stop and eat with joy and awareness.” She says this can help reduce the risk of overeating, which can lead to excess body fat and increase the risk of many health conditions.

Try to be active

“Exercise is the closest thing we have to a miracle drug,” Kaiser says, noting that it can help support good physical and cognitive health. Aggarwal agrees. “If you’re able to, exercise is great,” she says.

the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans It recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activity each week. If you find it difficult to get a regular exercise routine into your life, Aggarwal recommends doing your best to be as active as possible. This means taking the stairs, walking to the grocery store if you’re able, going for a regular walk or even doing active chores around your home, she says.

Take care of your mental health and be social

The presence of mental health conditions such as depression linked To a shorter lifespan. Experts stress that it’s the behaviors associated with these conditions that reduce longevity, including alcohol and drug abuse and inactivity, which is why it’s important to seek help if you’re struggling.

Loneliness and social isolation can also negatively impact health and are on par with obesity, physical inactivity and smoking, according to the study. Center for Disease Control. Social isolation also comes with a 50% higher risk of dementia, according to the CDC. The good news is that you don’t have to put in much effort to combat isolation. “Just taking a moment to connect with someone — even over a short phone call — can reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression and offer brain-protecting benefits,” Kaiser says.

Don’t neglect your sleep

It’s easy to eat at a set bedtime when life gets busy, but experts say it’s important to make sleep a priority for longevity and overall health. research It appears that lack of sleep, especially in middle age, can increase the risk of dementia by 30%.

It’s generally Recommended Adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but Agarwal admits that everyone is different. However, she emphasizes the importance of sleep for health and mood. “Nothing can replace sleep,” she says. “Most people know how much sleep they need to feel good – try to get that.”

Do what you can to manage stress

Stress is inevitable, but it’s important to manage it the best you can, Aggarwal says. “Having healthy coping strategies, including Mindfulness meditation“It can help,” she says.

Bringing your attention to your breathing and finding the things you appreciate in your life “can start a very positive chain of events in your mind and body,” Kaiser says. “This simple practice can unleash the power of mediation and help reduce stress while initiating the relaxation response in your body.” This, in turn, can slow your heart rate, relax your blood vessels to lower blood pressure and improve your mood, he says.

Managing stress also involves doing your best to avoid being hard on yourself when you can’t make healthy choices all the time. “If you’re not able to incorporate these things all the time, don’t feel guilty,” says Agarwal. “Feeling guilty is worse for your health.”

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(Tags for translation)Rashi Agarwal

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