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5 Essential Tips To Live Longer From a Neurosurgeon

Take control of your health, fitness, and well-being to add more years to your life.

Living a long, healthy life is likely a dream many individuals strive to make a reality. There are many factors that contribute to longevity, such as genetics and life choices. If you are serious about increasing your chances of enjoying life to a ripe old age, read on to learn five tips to live longer, according to a neurosurgeon.

There are plenty of aspects in life that are out of your control. One example is a career that's extremely stressful. It's important to focus on what you can control, such as looking for a job that suits your happiness, interests, and stress level much better. When it comes to how long you live, it really boils down to how you take care of your body and mental well-being. Once again, there are things like illness or genetics that are uncontrollable factors. But by making your daily routine the absolute best and healthiest it can be, you will absolutely increase your chances.

To help you out with some golden lifestyle habits, Eat This, Not That! spoke with Dr. Brett Osborn, a board-certified neurosurgeon, section chief at St. Mary's Medical Center, and president and founder of Senolytix, a preventative health care and anti-aging facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, who shares with us his five tips to live longer. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out These 4 Things Can Predict How Long You'll Live, According to Science.

Take control of your health.

man dealing with high blood pressure, measuring it at home

You are your own best advocate. Good health is the result of hard work and a solid understanding of what can put you at risk for age-related illnesses and health conditions, including stroke and heart attack. Both of these serious conditions can be the result of insulin resistance, being in a prediabetic state, and poorly controlled blood pressure.

"But here's the thing: Both are easily monitored from the comfort of your own home," Dr. Osborn explains. "Everyone should own—and use—a blood pressure cuff and home glucose monitor. For less than $50, everyone can identify and then potentially treat (with the assistance of their provider) these two main risk factors for the diseases that statistically kill most Americans, heart and stroke."

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Maintain an anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic index diet.

sheet pan salmon with roasted veggies

Sticking with this kind of diet will keep your insulin levels in check, promote fat burn, and keep inflammation at bay, which is an underlying culprit of many diseases you can develop as you age.

You are what you eat. Many foods in the American diet, such as synthetic sweeteners, fried foods, refined flours, antibiotic-packed animal products, and artificial additives, can cause inflammation. That's why incorporating some of the best anti-inflammatory foods into your diet is essential. Items like raw oats, blueberries, tart cherries, wild salmon, dark chocolate, ginger, green tea, beets, peppers, broccoli, and black beans can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your health and longevity.

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Get your fill of exercise on a daily basis.

woman doing dumbbell pushups exercises to lose belly fat in 30 days

Working out on the regular, most especially performing strength training exercises, will help you build and maintain muscle mass as you grow older. Not only will it help your body, but it will also benefit your brain health via what Dr. Osborn tells us is "BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor." He explains, "This chemical messenger stimulates the formation of neuron-to-neuron connections or synapses, the basis of learning."

Additionally, being stronger can help you lead a longer existence. According to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, those who performed strength training for a moderate amount of time seemed to live longer. Any aerobic activity is a bonus!

To ensure you're soaking up all the benefits of daily exercise, Dr. Osborn recommends maintaining your mobility and flexibility, learning proper exercise technique, and living a "holistically fit" lifestyle. "In order to maximize the benefits of strength training, you must overload the working muscle properly and intensely," he tells us. "Exercise should be hard. If it's not, likely you're doing it wrong, and you will not reap its many benefits."

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Consider taking supplements.

woman holding collagen supplement, concept of best supplements for women over 50

Supplements can help you avoid the risk of disease, in addition to maximizing your biochemistry. "Even the 'healthiest' of people have glitches in their biochemistry," Dr. Osborn explains. "This may be due to low mineral intake, for example, in which case they may benefit from a magnesium supplement. Or consider the aging individual with faltering hormone levels who feels fatigued and is having difficulty losing weight? Testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen replacement may be a game changer and markedly improve their quality of life."

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Minimize your stress level.

mature woman meditating

Everyone has short bouts of stress, but when it comes to chronic stress on the regular, that's something to be mindful of. "Chronic stress causes an increase in cortisol levels and a resultant rise in blood sugar and blood pressure, two things you desperately want to avoid," Dr. Osborn says. "High levels of circulating cortisol are also bad for your brain, as they disrupt healthy sleep patterns and memory formation. To boot, sleep deprivation further worsens matters by causing an increase in cortisol release from the adrenal glands."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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