14 Components of a Longevity Lifestyle
- PAC mindset. A Positive, Active, and Creative mindset provides the foundation and direction for your Longevity Lifestyle. Maximize a ‘growth’ mindset with a can-do attitude. If you have an enemy outpost of negativity inside your brain, get rid of it. Avoid worry and anxiety. They can trigger the stress response, suppress immune system function, and rarely (if ever) solve anything.
- Positive self-talk style. Take responsibility for your self-talk. Tell your brain what you are doing as if it’s a done deal and stop talking about what you don’t want to have happen. Avoid using words such as don’t and can’t and shouldn’t. Remember that you tend to communicate with others in the way you talk to yourself.
- Optimum sleep. Obtain the optimum sleep your brain needs. Take a fifteen-minute nap during the day if you missed sleep the night before. Sleep deprivation can drain your energy, accelerating aging, suppress both brain and immune system functions, trigger weight gain, and shorten your potential longevity. Sleep in as dark a room as possible to avoid interfering with melatonin production.
- Appropriate hydration. Dehydration is deadly. It can increase the production of free radicals, which can wrinkle your internal organs as well as your skin. Learn to differentiate between genuine physiological hunger and thirst. Unless medically contraindicated, drink enough pure water to have one or two pale urines per day. Drink a glass of water fifteen to thirty minutes before you plan to eat a meal.
- Brain protection. Avoid brain trauma in every way possible (e.g., protect your ears and save your hearing, avoid pugilistic sports, arrange your environment to prevent falls, wear a helmet when bike-riding and for other sports activities such as skiing and skate-boarding). If you smoke, stop; if you don’t smoke, never start; and do what you can to avoid inhaling side-smoke, insofar as it is possible to do so. Avoid excessive radiation, toxins and poisons, vehicle exhaust, air pollution, and infections insofar as it is possible to do so. Protect your brain mentally, too. Be careful what you put into it. You only have one brain and neurons typically do not multiple and divide and replace themselves as do most other body cells. Take care of your neurons!
- Physical activity. Move it or lose it. Minimize sitting and maximize physical activity. Aim to exercise for thirty minutes each a day, in sections of ten or fifteen minutes, if you prefer. Physical activity and exercise help tone your body and promote balance (homeostasis). Include a combination of stretching, aerobic, balance, and flexibility exercises. Variety is key to keep your brain interested and motivated. Select activities you enjoy and have fun doing them by yourself or with others.
- Brain Stimulation. Engage in stimulating, mental activities for at least thirty minutes a day to keep your brain active—a gift to yourself and everyone who knows you. Include a variety of brain aerobic exercises to keep your mind interested and alert. Read aloud for ten minutes every day—to yourself, your pet, or others. Minimize passive mental activities such as zoning out in front of the TV. Maximize active mental picturing: Read; Listen to books on tape; Play mental and word games; Travel (locally or abroad) to expose your brain to new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, people, and environments; Include music in your life and favorite hobbies; Hone your creativity in any way that works for you. A healthy body without a healthy brain is less than half the picture.