By today’s estimates, the average life expectancy for the world’s general population is 71 years, according to the World Health Organization. We have seen an increase in life expectancy ever decade as better care and treatment plans are available and we learn more about how to stay healthy and fight off illness and disease. Almost everyone knows the things we need to do to stay healthy – eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and make smart lifestyle choices. However, do we know about all those things we need to stop doing?  Bad habits can greatly shorten your life and they can have a dramatic impact on your oral health. Avoid seeing a Chicago periodontist by following the 12 items bbelow. If you want to live to be 100, you need to eliminate as many of the following bad habits as soon as possible in order to increase your chances of reaching that milestone birthday.

In Order To Live To Be 100, You Should Think About Eliminating These 12 Things

 

1. Stop Discrediting Small Changes and Victories

Although radical changes have the most dramatic and obvious impact on an individual’s health and life, they are not the only ones that matter.  Yes, cutting out all sugar from your diet is a great move but you should also be proud when you cut out single sources of sugar like soda or candy. Yes, working out 60 minutes a day is wonderful but if you have not been very active in the past then you should celebrate 15 minutes of activity a day and build from there! Don’t add more stress to your life by trying to force a lot of big sudden changes in your life all at once- star small and build from there and stop discrediting and devaluing the worth of all the small things you can and are doing to improve your health! Remember you are unique and special, love yourself for the little things you do!

2.  Put an End to All the Bad Eating Habits Starting Now

You know you do it, we all do. We enjoy comfort foods and they are always the ones that are the worst for us.  Processed foods lead to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, dementia, stroke, and cancer. We all love sugary foods which can lead to diabetes, tooth decay, cancer, brain fog, sleep problems, and even mental decline. You need to be smart and conscientious about the food you put into your body because it has a direct and powerful impact on your overall health.  Yes, eating right takes more time but if you start making changes now and start cutting out the unhealthy foods and adding in healthy foods, you will soon get there! This is one of the best things you can do if you want to live to be 100.

 

3. Don’t Avoid Those Appointments With the Doctor

How many times have you known or heard about someone who got sick and spent years in pain struggling to get their health back or how often do we hear stories about people who died needlessly simply because they didn’t go to the doctor until “it was too late”? You cannot play with your health and you cannot avoid the doctor! Even if you do not necessarily agree with all treatment suggestions your doctor giving, getting a diagnosis is critical so you know what you are facing and dealing with and can take steps to address the problem- however, it is you see fit to do so.  Early detection ensures that you will have more options, and a better chance of beating whatever condition or issue it is that is affecting you- don’t put it off any longer!

4. Put an End to Your Love Affair With the Couch and TV

“The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study earlier in 2015 which found that a lack of activity is associated with an increased risk of early death, regardless of what a person might weigh!  Exercise improves your immune system, improves both the cardio and respiratory systems, slows the loss of muscle mass, increases bone density, improves digestion and sleep, as well as prevents depression” (NaturalOn).  It may be a challenge to work out and be active but remember that small steps are better than nothing so working in 10 minutes a day at the start is great and is better than sitting for hours on end binge watching shows on Netflix. Look for ways to add activity to break up long periods where you are sedentary.

 

5. Stop Tearing Yourself  Down With Negative Thoughts

We are all guilty of this and even the most positive and confident person will have times where they feel like a failure. It is normal to feel this way but it can become detrimental to our health when these types of thoughts become the norm.  These are the types of thoughts that so often lead to the downward spiral of feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, depression, and irritability. They can also lead to other physical problems and illnesses such as overeating, insomnia, anorexia or bulimia. It takes times but challenging the voices in your head and playing a different tape recording each and every day can help you stay positive and motivated and is a great way to keep yourself mentally healthy which is important if you want to live to be 100.

6. Stop Skimping on Your Nightly Sleep Needs

It has been proven in countless studies over the decades that the amount of sleep an individual gets, as well as the quality of that sleep, can have a tremendous effect on your longevity. One study, published in the Sleep Journal in 2007 showed that both sleeping too much and skimping on sleep can lead to higher mortality rates, especially as individuals advance in age.  Several studies have also shown that getting less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep can increase your risk for premature death and other health issues and diseases that make you more likely to die an early death. If you have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, or if you tend to be overly tired and sleep a lot, it may be time to bring this up with your doctor. If you have trouble staying asleep, or if you tend to be overly tired and sleep a lot, you may be dealing with Sleep Apnea.  This can wreak havoc on not only your sleep, but your life as well.  It is important to have a screening done to rule out Sleep Apnea.  Kopp Dental does sleep screenings as a courtesy to all of their patients.

7.  Stop Avoiding the Sun and Enjoy Time Outdoors

If you want to live to be 100 years of age, you need to accept that you cannot be a hermit. You need exposure to the sun to be healthy and moderation is the key, just as it is with everything else in your life. Moderate exposure to sunlight makes it possible for the body produce vitamin D, which is vital for healthy functions and balances within many of the body’s systems. It is also an important key to the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, depression, infection, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and even cancer. The journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention published a 2011 study which found that early morning sun exposure offers the most benefits with the least instances of harmful UV exposure.

8. Put an End to All of the Stress and Worry

Stress is one of the unfortunate things that seem to be unavoidable in life today- and while that may be true, if you want to live to be 100, you must learn how to deal with your stress in a healthy manner! “Being under the gun all the time takes a real toll on our health and definitely shortens your lifespan. Stress increases the hormone, cortisol, in our bodies which over time has a negative effect on the heart, immune system, and metabolism. The British Medical Journal showed a study that linked stress and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, which definitely increases mortality rates” (NaturalOn).  Reduce as much stress as you can and find out what works for you when it comes to dealing with stress and managing your mental focus.

 

9. You Cannot Take Your Oral Hygiene For Granted

When it comes to preserving overall health and wellbeing, oral hygiene is much more important than most people realize. When you have issues like gum disease, oral bacteria, and serve tooth decay, it puts you at risk for serious health conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, even some types of cancer. The bacteria that attacks the teeth and gums and cause infections and can also travel throughout the body- when it gets into other organs of the body it can wreak havoc and cause major health problems. It is vital to your health and longevity to take care of your teeth each and every day with good daily dental care and smart lifestyle choices and decisions.

10. Stop Using Alcohol or Drugs to Deal With Problems

People turn to crutches like alcohol or drugs for a variety of reasons but for many of us today it is because we are looking for a way to numb ourselves from our problems, or we want to relieve the depressive slump our lives seem to be in. Abusing alcohol and drugs can impact your health not only in the long term, but in the short term as well. Your physical health suffers, your mental health declines, and your emotional health will also yield nothing but more pain. You must find another way to deal with the problems and struggles in your life- turn to family members or friends, religious groups, support groups, doctors, and others who are there to help you and lend a helping hand when you need it the most.

 

11. Finally, Kick the Smoking Habit Today

If you are a smoker, the temptation to skip over this section has already crossed your mind, but we hope you won’t and we hope you are still reading this because it is so very important to your health and longevity!  You already know you should quit and you know all the reasons why. We are not here to tell you why you need to quit because you know all of the whys- we are here to encourage you to keep trying to quit. Even if you have tried countless times before and not been successful, do not give up- you will get there and you will be doing the single best thing you can for your health! Talk to your doctor, find a support group, and enlist the help of family and friends. Get the help and support you need and keep trying- your health is well worth it!

12. Your Genes Are Not a Curse and They Are Not a Cure

Many people tend to be lax about their daily health routine because they claim they have good genes- grandparents and great-grandparents lived to be 90-100 so they should have the same strong genes. This is a cop-out and is no excuse to not take your health seriously. The opposite also holds true- your genes show you are prone to health issues like diabetes or cancer or obesity but this doesn’t mean you are cursed. You can do things to fight back and lower your chances of illness and disease as much as you can. Genetics only count for about one third of our longevity potential. More than 2/3 of your lifespan is dependent on your choices and the way you live your life, so take responsibility and stop using genes as an excuse!

If you want to live to be 100, you need to live your life, focused on that goal, each and every day! You have to be serious about your health and make the right choices day in and day out about what you will and will not do and what you will and will not allow to affect you. For help with this, we invite you to give us a call today at Kopp Dental. Take that first step today and take a stand for your health and wellbeing today- we are here to help you and answer any questions that you may have. When you want to live to be 100 it may seem like an impossible goal but it is easier to attain than you may think. Why wait- start eliminating bad habits or adding good ones to your life now. Call today to get started!