Top secret for a long life: an expert intervenes

Longevity and mental health are more related than you might think. “Our bodies and minds are not separate, so it’s no surprise that our mental health and physical health are intertwined, especially when it comes to aging,” said Regina Koepp, licensed clinical psychologist and founder. from the Center for Mental Health and Aging, tells Yahoo Life.

His advice: Focus on improving your mental health and longevity, while working on your physical health. “Maintaining your mental health is actually the key to living a long, fulfilling and healthy life,” she says. Working on your mental health is easier than you think if, as Koepp recommends, you can incorporate these simple steps into your life.

1. Practice goal-oriented activities.

Here are 5 expert-approved secrets for a long and healthy life

Engaging in a hobby or spiritual practice can promote good mental health. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

Goal-oriented activities, such as volunteering, pursuing a hobby, or spiritual practice, can promote good mental health. Why? They lower your stress levels, which lowers your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and depression, Koepp says. Koepp says it’s one of his “favorite tips” for improving mental health because almost anyone can do it.

2. Move regularly.

Mental health is the key to longevity, according to this expert. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week can help prevent mental health issues, Koepp says. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

“People who lead physically active lives have a lower risk of heart disease and cognitive decline,” Koepp says, noting that “stretching is not enough.” She suggests aiming for the recommended 30 minutes a day of moderate activity five days a week, as well as strength-based activities like lifting weights two days a week. This, Koepp explains, increases the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin and endorphins, and lowers your risk of depression. Just check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program to see if it’s right for you.

3. Stock up on healthy foods.

Eating well contributes greatly to mental health and longevity according to an expert.

Eating well contributes greatly to mental health and longevity according to an expert. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

A diet primarily focused on plant-based foods is key, but Koepp specifically recommends eating high-fiber foods, along with many “key foods,” like legumes, spinach, blueberries and nuts.

A healthy diet “can improve blood pressure [and] cholesterol and lower the risk of diabetes, stroke, vascular disease and depression,” says Koepp.

4. Sleep well and regularly.

Mental health is the key to longevity, according to this expert. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

You sleep, you WIN when it comes to sanity and longevity. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

Good sleep is linked to good brain and physical health, especially as we age,” says Koepp. Current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that most adults should aim to get seven or more hours of sleep per year. night.

Koepp recommends that you try to create a good bedtime routine to optimize your sleep, including avoiding screen time for at least an hour before bed, keeping your bedroom dark, and keeping your bedroom fresh. “What’s really important is going to bed at around the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning,” she says. “It will actually give you the best results with your sleep schedule.”

5. Have a healthy attitude towards aging.

Mental health is the key to longevity, according to this expert. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

You own the narrative when it comes to aging and your mental health, says Koepp. [Photo credit: Liliana Penagos]

There are many negative stereotypes about aging, and Koepp says they can be harmful to your health. “Studies have shown that people who have a more positive view of aging live seven and a half years longer than those who have a negative view of aging,” she says. “That means if you catch yourself indulging in negative stereotypes about aging, then just change the narrative. [and] counter the stereotype with something else.”

His advice: Try to stop making negative statements about yourself and linking them to aging, like saying your left hip hurts “because I’m getting old.” Remember that your right hip doesn’t hurt and is just as old. “Change the narrative,” she advises.

Focusing on the positive will increase self-esteem while reducing anxiety and stress, Koepp says.

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