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Lifestyle 

 

What is Lifestyle:
The set of habits and customs that is influenced by the life-long process of socialization, including social use of substances such as alcohol and tobacco, dietary habits, and exercise, all of which have important implications for health.

A 2007 review by Dr. Steven Schroeder of the University of California-San Francisco concluded that the largest influence on the risk of death in America is attributed to personal behavior, such as smoking, obesity, and stress.

 

Lifestyle and Epigenetics

A concept known as "epigenetics" empowers people to take control of their health by making choices that may override their genetic code. Behavior and environment can affect how those genes are "expressed," that is, how the information in a gene gets translated into proteins.

For example, if your brother or your dad had prostate cancer, there's probably an area in your genetic code that puts you at high risk for prostate cancer. Research is telling us even if your family has a history of cancer, there are things you can do to bathe that gene in a way to keep it from expressing itself. This means your genes may produce healthy prostate tissue instead of tissue that is diseased or cancerous.

Human Longevity and Life Style

Healthy aging and longevity in humans are modulated by a lucky combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. Family studies demonstrated that about 25 % of the variation in human longevity is due to genetic factors.

Life expectancy at birth has been increasing for most of the last century in western societies, thanks to the continuous amelioration of medical assistance, to the improvement of the environment (in particular clean, safe water and food), and to the improvement of nutrients. For instance, in Italy life expectancy went from 29 years in 1861 to 82 in 2011

Similarly, the extreme longevity has been growing in these years. Indeed, the number of centenarians (still in Italy) remarkably increased from 165 in 1951 to more than 15000 in 2011. These results have been attained first by a dramatic reduction of infectious diseases, which, on turn, has dramatically reduced infantile mortality, but also mortality in adult age.

Lifestyle Paradox

These data clearly show that environmental factors have a very strong impact on lifespan and on longevity in humans. Lifespan extension also brings potential for the chronicity of the age-related diseases. It is the purpose of active and smart prevention to to extend the “health-span.”

 

Here Are Some Interesting Lifestyle Factors

 
 

+ Sleeping 8-9 hours a night.

According to statistics from a 2011 mortality and morbidity weekly report, about 50 to 70 million Americans report chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders.

  • Sleep apnea: A study released by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland found that severe sleep apnea increases the risk of an early death by 46%. Studies have found that people who suffer from sleep apnea also have the following increased risks for health issues:
  • 40% higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure
  • 34% higher risk of having a heart attack
  • 90% risk of suffering from hypertension
  • 67% higher risk of having a stroke

+ Laughter

Happiness and laughter have been shown to increase natural killer cell activity in blood and free radical-scavenging capacity in saliva, as well as lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It is also thought that laughter causes the release of special neurotransmitter substances in the brain, endorphins, that help control pain.

+ Lifestyle and Healthy diet

Nutrition is a separate part on my website. Studies have shown that even people in their 70s and 80s who change their diets and other lifestyle factors show improved markers for disease risk, particularly heart disease. Visit our Nutition Page for more information on how Nutrition affects your lifestyle.

  1. Centenarian Study: Lean Is Key The New England Centenarian Study at the Boston University School of Medicine is the largest, most comprehensive study of centenarians and their families. One goal of this study is to observe lifestyle factors that study subjects have in common to try to determine the “secrets” of a long and healthy life. To date, no specific foods have been noted, but the study has shown that almost all people who reach the age of 100 are lean, particularly men. Obesity may be considered an actual risk factor for early death, so maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important dietary goals.
  2. Lessons From Okinawa Okinawa, a group of 161 Japanese islands located between the country’s main islands and Taiwan, boasts the world’s longest living people. They enjoy the lowest rates of heart disease, stroke, and cancer, the three leading killers in the United States.Okinawans eat an average of seven servings of vegetables and fruits daily, along with seven servings of grains, two servings of soy products (rich in healthful flavonoids), omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish several times per week, very few dairy products, and little meat.
  3. Water: Tried and Still True Drinking plenty of fluids promotes cleansing, flushes toxins, ensures hydration, and helps maintain healthy skin, helping people look and feel younger. In addition, adequate water intake reduces constipation and stress on the kidneys. Seniors whose thirst mechanism has declined may need extra reminders to drink up.
  4. Nuts for a Long Life Researchers tracked 34,000 Seventh-Day Adventists in California beginning in the 1980s. After 12 years, they linked the subjects’ consumption of nuts five to six times per week to a longer-than-average life expectancy.
  5. Mediterranean Diet: Worth a Try? In 2007, the Archives of Internal Medicine reported the results of the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, which followed the lifestyle habits of 380,000 people to determine which people died when, how, and why. This study found that the closer a person’s diet conformed to the traditional Mediterranean eating plan, the lower the risk of death. In fact, mimicking the traditional diets of Greece and southern Italy cuts the risk of death from all causes by 20%.
  6. Spice It Up Many recent studies have focused on herbs’ and spices’ health-protective properties. For example, sage, oregano, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon have all been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  7. Keeping the Brain Sharp With Açai and Other Berries Age-related diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease have no cure, but research suggests that diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compounds may lower the risk of developing age-related neurodegenerative diseases..
  8. Ginger for Healthy Joints Older adults at risk of or suffering from arthritis may want to try ginger to extend pain-free years. Ginger is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects that work directly on the joints to help relieve arthritis.
  9. Go Fish? Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health recently weighed the risks and benefits of consuming fish. The researchers concluded that the disease risk-reduction benefits of consuming one to two servings of fish per week outweighed the potential harm from mercury exposure, possibly helping to extend healthy years.
  10. Green Tea Covers the Bases Scientific literature includes studies on the benefits of green tea. Green tea drinkers reap the potential benefits of the prevention of and/or treatment for cancer, heart disease, skin conditions, atherosclerosis, stress, viruses, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.

+ Lifestyle and toxicity

Decreasing the journey of toxin-free living, gut healing, pregnancy & breastfeeding of a baby and fighting food & mold sensitivities to name few.

  1. Clean up your cosmetics. Parabens and phthalates are the big ones to look for. Unfortunately, even many of the organic and natural brands hide nasty chemicals in them, so you really have to look at the ingredient list before purchasing. Be sure to look for “phthalate free” on the label. What products to check? Pretty much anything you put on your body- moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, baby lotion, diaper cream, etc.
  2. Choose clean produce and meat. Recommend choosing at least one of your most consumed meats and making the switch to free, range, antibiotic and hormone free and grass-fed for Chicken and Beef. Make the switch to wild-caught. Also, speak with your meat manager at your grocery store to find out exactly where your meat is coming from.
  3. Rid your home of artificial fragrance. This is an absolute must! These items continually blow toxic fumes into your home. Bathroom air refreshers, room sprays, plug-ins, scented candles, perfume, body mist, basically anything with a smell is probably full of toxic chemicals. Replacements? We all want nice smelling homes, right? Essential oils. Beeswax candles. DIY room sprays. An essential oil diffuser is a great tool for this. If money is tight, I would recommend lavender, pine, lemon, cedarwood, cinnamon leaf, and sweet orange for air refreshing purposes.
  4. Avoid processed vegetable oils. Processed oils can contribute to inflammation, mess up the omega fatty acid ratio of your body, cause heart disease, and are just very unhealthy. Begin by switching out your cooking oils—phase out any canola, vegetable, peanut, or soybean oils. Use avocado oil for high heat, coconut oil, beef tallow, pastured lard, grass fed butter, or ghee for medium heat, and extra virgin olive oil for dressings. The next step, and honestly the hardest one, is to start looking for these vegetables oils in your food and finding better alternatives. Places to look–canned beans, chips, crackers, tortillas, popcorn, trail mix, and anything preserved.
  5. Switch out your cleaning products. This was a big one for me. One day realized I did not need a separate cleaning product for every surface in my home. I tossed them all and made one all-purpose cleaner for everything. Household cleaners may contain carcinogens, poison, and severe lung irritants.
  6. Embrace a natural laundry routine. This is another big one. Laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and fabric softeners are toxic. You are putting clothes, blankets, and towels on your body 24/7 and those chemicals are in contact with your skin all the time. Why do you think the first step to treat an unknown rash is to change laundry detergents? Among many other things, they are irritating and carcinogenic. Other options? Find a natural laundry soap that you like, and use white vinegar and wool dryer balls as softeners.
  7. Ditch the refined sugar and flour. White sugar, refined flour, and simple carbs can lead to obesity, heart disease, insulin resistance, and a myriad of other health problems. Reduce your intake of these things as much as you can. Choose coconut sugar, honey, pure maple syrup, and stevia as sweeteners. I look for buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, sprouted grains, quinoa, buckwheat, or brown rice. Thrive Market is a great place to get started with healthy snacks, flours, and baking needs.
  8. Reduce garbage. Recycling should be your last resort, because the energy it takes to recycle is not exactly eco-friendly. Look for ways to prevent garbage from even accumulating. Drink from reusable stainless steel or glass water bottles and coffee mugs. Invest in a few reusable grocery totes
  9. Phase out plastic. The plastic industry pollutes this country with so many toxic and dangerous products that it is impossible to get away from it. This goes for styrofoam as well. Plastic can contain endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals, Use glass jars for storage, glass or stainless steel cups for drinking, ceramic or bamboo plates, wooden cooking utensils, wooden or natural rubber baby toys, reusable storage bags, and reusable grocery totes.
  10. Choose non-toxic cookware. Non-stick teflon contains toxic chemicals called PFCs. When those pans get scratched, these chemicals are released into our food. Bake with over safe glass or ceramic. Cook with cast iron, stainless steel, or ceramic coated pots and pans. Cast Iron Skillet is a home–ideal for frying, sautéing, and roasting. I also have a cast iron pan that was passed down from my grandmother I love. If you can find one of those, I highly recommend keeping it! Stainless steel is good for boiling and making sauces.

+ Lifestyle and Fertility

Fertility requires the sperm and eggs to be very healthy. Some factors can be modified by changing behaviors while others can't. A poor diet and poor lifestyle habits can worsen this process, or even cause poor egg and sperm quality in younger individuals. In the past, the marked reduction of fertility with age was attributed only to the female, Successful pregnancy was found to occur less often as the age of the male partner increases

Do not try to lose weight while you are pregnant. That could result in poor growth of your baby and even a loss of I.Q. points. However, women who are overweight can gain less weight during pregnancy than women who have a normal weight, without adversely affecting the offspring. Ask your OB how much weight you should gain based on your pre-pregnancy weight

The antioxidant capacity of the semen and of the fluid and cells surrounding the egg decreases with age and is lower in individuals with poor sperm and egg quality. Examples of potent antioxidants are berries, green tea, red wine, chocolate, and a commercial antioxidant called pycnogenol.

Smoking has major adverse effects on both sperm and egg quality. With female smoking, natural fertility is decreased and the chance of successful pregnancy with IVF is decreased by 50%.

+ Lifestyle- Mental Health & Stress Management

After analyzing more than 200 studies on cardiovascular risks and emotional state, Harvard researchers reported that optimism, hope, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with lowered likelihood of heart disease and stroke. Longevity scientists have found that people who perceive aging as a positive experience are more likely visit the doctor regularly, eat a balanced diet, maintain an appropriate weight, use a seat belt, and avoid tobacco.

How to measure stress?

Physical changes:

  • Change in way of talking
  • Blood pressure increase
  • Sweating in palm
  • Dryness in mouth
  • Stomach ache
  • Changes in breathing pattern
  • Stretch in muscles
  • Frequent urination

Change in nature:

  • Changes in test results
  • Cholesterol Increase
  • Change in face expression
  • TG increase
  • HDL decrease
  • Blood sugar
  • Acidity

+ Lifestyle and Sex

Sex increases how long you live. Sex releases several endorphins and hormones in the body, increases feelings of intimacy and bonding, and combats feelings of loneliness and depression. Staying sexually active also has physical, stress relieving, social, and mental benefits. Cements relationships: Touching helps create bonds that provide vital social support and other benefits known to be linked to life expectancy. Increases self-esteem: Self-esteem is largely our perception of worth, and frequent touching is a way to communicate worth to one another. Provides physical stimulus: It is possible that touch releases hormones and other positive substances in the body, much like the effects of relaxation and meditation. Health Benefits of Sex

While sex can offer the above benefits simply because it involves touch, it also offers many others that can lead to a longer and healthier life.

  • Improves the immune system: People who have sex frequently have been shown to have higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) than those who have less or no sex. IgA is the body's first line of defense against colds and flu, which can often develop into more serious issues.
  • Reduces the risk of prostate cancer: One study that followed 30,000 men for several years found that frequent ejaculation—up to 21 times per month— reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer. While the correlation isn't crystal clear, researchers believe that frequent ejaculations allow the prostate gland to regularly rid itself of carcinogens.
  • Lowers risk of heart disease: According to the extensive research of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, men who have sex twice a week or more have a lower risk of heart disease than those who have sex less often. It is believed that the physical activity required to have sex and having the support of a regular partner both play a part in this finding.
  • Reduces stress and lowers blood pressure: Having sex is a bit of a workout and can, therefore, have a lot of the same positive benefits as exercising, including releasing endorphins that combat stress, which can also help lower blood pressure.