People often ask me what are the daily habits holding back their natural longevity that they can change today. Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about sci-fi longevity ideas. We are focussing on some simple daily habits that many of us repeat without realizing we can influence our natural longevity by changing them. You have more control over your health than you think!

It goes without saying that what and how much you eat has the greatest impact on your health. If you smoke, you will be taking a fast route into the aging zone. However, there are other key influencers that can be easily changed and will have almost an immediate effect on how you look and feel.

1. Not drinking enough water

Drinking more water has to be the easiest and cheapest way to better health.  It’s easier than you think, but admittedly many people struggle to drink enough water. 

Invest in a good, affordable water filter, and you will have great water on hand all day long. You can infuse your drinking water with lemons, mint, cucumbers, and even strawberries to add variety to the taste. Sparkling mineral water is often preferred over still water, but be careful not to drink too much as it can be acidic in your body.

Kick-start your day with hot water and lemon. It’s an excellent way to reboot your metabolism.

Good hydration is essential for your digestion, fat loss, and energy.  You need to drink 1 – 3 liters a day at least. Don’t get too analytical about it. Just do it. I have a reusable metal water bottle that keeps my water how I want it. Hot or cold and on hand, so I don’t forget to drink.

Natural longevityWater suppresses the urge to splurge

It’s a calorie-free substitute for liquids like coffee,  sodas, lattes, and other popular beverages.

Hydration helps your digestion and reduces bloating and fatigue. It’s a must if you want glowing, clear skin and natural longevity.

2. Drinking (too much) alcohol will hold back your natural longevity

Call me a killjoy, but hey, we just have to deal with the facts here. Of course, people love to drink, that’s why it is such a massively profitable industry.  

When it comes to your health, the fact is, drinking alcohol has no nutritional value at all. It’s actually a powerful stimulant that can relax or excite you, affects your mood, sleep quality, and definitely your waistline. Drinking too much can also be extremely dangerous to your health in the long term.

It’s a quick and often expensive thrill.

Alcohol is full of calories. As for me, I just have to look at white wine and my fat handles grow. So if you are going to drink, choose carefully and drink in moderation.

Here is a list of some popular alcoholic beverages,  courtesy of Medline Plus. They list serving sizes and the number of calories in each.

Calorie count – alcoholic beverages

BEVERAGE SERVING SIZE CALORIES
Beer
Beer (light) 12 oz (355 ml) 103
Beer (regular) 12 oz (355 ml) 153
Beer (higher alcohol, craft beers) 12 oz (355 ml) 170 to 350
Distilled Alcohol
Gin (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Gin (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Rum (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Rum (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Vodka (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Vodka (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Whiskey (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Whiskey (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Liqueurs
Coffee liqueur 1.5 oz (45 ml) 160
Coffee liqueur with cream 1.5 oz (45 ml) 154
Crème de menthe 1.5 oz (45 ml) 186
Mixed Drinks
Bloody Mary 4.6 oz (136 ml) 120
Chocolate martini 2.5 oz (74 ml) 418
Cosmopolitan 2.75 oz (81 ml) 146
Daiquiri 2.7 oz (80 ml) 137
Highball 8 oz (235 ml) 110
Hot buttered rum 8 oz (235 ml) 292
Mai Tai 4.9 oz (145 ml) 306
Margarita 4 oz (120 ml) 168
Mimosa 4 oz (120 ml) 75
Mint Julep 4.5 oz (135 ml) 165
Mojito 6 oz (177 ml) 143
Pina colada 6.8 oz (200 ml) 526
Rum and Coke 8 oz (235 ml) 185
Rum and Diet Coke 8 oz (235 ml) 100
Tequila sunrise 6.8 oz (200 ml) 232
Vodka and tonic 7 oz (207 ml) 189
Whiskey sour 3 oz (89 ml) 125
White Russian 8 oz (235 ml) 568
Wine
White table wine 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Gewurztraminer 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Muscat 5 oz (145 ml) 129
Riesling 5 oz (145 ml) 129
Chenin Blanc 5 oz (145 ml) 129
Chardonnay 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Sauvignon Blanc 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Fume Blanc 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Pinot Grigio 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Dry dessert wine 3.5 oz (90 ml) 157
Red table wine 5 oz (145 ml) 125
Petite Sirah 5 oz (145 ml) 125
Merlot 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Cabernet Sauvignon 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Red Zinfandel 5 oz (145 ml) 129
Burgundy 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Pinot Noir 5 oz (145 ml) 121
Claret 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Syrah 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Red dessert wine 3.5 oz (90 ml) 165
You get the drill. Now, is it worth the thrill?

The reality is your body cannot store alcohol. It has to rush to convert it into energy to get rid of it as soon as possible. This distracts your system from burning fat and instead, it has to be hard at work metabolizing the alcohol until it is out of your system.

Drinking alcohol can also increase your appetite, especially the next day. Think about how you feel after drinking a lot of alcohol the evening before?  You wake up wanting to devour  calorie rich food… right? 

Alcohol dehydrates you. You will not sleep properly.  It also takes away your focus and makes you feel lethargic. Make it a treat, not a habit, and it will change your life, your looks, and your natural longevity.

3. Letting your stress get out of control

Most of us are guilty of this. Stress management is such a challenge. When stress runs riot, you will eat badly, drink more alcohol, take other stimulants or medication to counteract it, and end up damaging your health and losing years of your life.

Stress management is not a doddle, but if you commit to a good daily routine, you can at least keep this monster under control. Explore different methods. Here are my favorite few:

Eat healthy

I can’t say enough. It’s not rocket science. Eat hearty home-cooked meals that are primarily plant-based. Fewer carbs, more plants, and all in moderation, with naturally grown ingredients.  Enjoy wholesome meals cooked with love and leave the junk alone!

Sleep well

Sleep and exercise are both keys to controlling stress. Exercise releases endorphins into your body, which counteract any stress and anxiety naturally and make you feel great. Sleep is critical to our body’s restoration. We all know this, but again it is one of those healthy habits that are hard to stick to.

If you’re struggling to sleep properly, look at what may be holding you back. Have you optimized your sleep space? Put away all your devices. Are you having enough sex? It’s a great sleep remedy.

Today, with legal access to CBD, you can find relief.  If natural remedies aren’t helping, and you’ve tried everything else, then please seek professional help. Don’t wait for sleep to become a chronic condition.

Exercise more 

Exercise is medicine. There are countless studies to prove this. Too many to even cite in this article.  

Not all of us are born to run (or even go to the gym). So the key to moving regularly without it being burdensome is finding an exercise routine you like. Even if it is just walking, and doing it every day. Then challenge yourself by engaging in more cardio exercises. When you get your heart pumping and muscles moving, you will see your life shift into a great space. As you age, muscle strengthening exercises are key. Even if you love walking and yoga-like me, I have to commit to cardio at least three times a week to keep the slack at bay.

Find a friend to exercise with or join a group.  Social pressure can work very well, and it is all for a great cause. Best of all, if you can combine exercise and get out into nature, you will get the double effect of boosting your serotonin as well as your vitamin D levels. Both of which are critical to good health and longevity.

Meditate

Take time each day to meditate. Find a good guided meditation – there are so many to choose from these days online – and commit to 20 minutes a day.

Meditation teaches gratitude and living in the present. It slows the mind and calms the body. Which is a good stress reliever. The more you practice, the better you will get until it just becomes a normal and enjoyable part of your daily routine.

In closing

The road to better health and natural longevity is not for those few who are more advantaged or have access to some super-secret new scientific solution. Small incremental shifts daily, like those listed above, will go a long way to ensuring you live happier, longer, and healthier.

Main photo credit: Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

References

Medline Plus: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000886.htm .

Quoted:

Nielsen SJ, Kit BK, Fakhouri T, Ogden CL. Calories consumed from alcoholic beverages by U.S. adults, 2007-2010. NCHS Data Brief. 2012;(110):1-8. PMID: 23384768 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23384768/.

U.S. Department of Agriculture; Agricultural Research Service website. FoodData Central, 2019. fdc.nal.usda.gov.

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Gisèle Wertheim Aymes

Gisèle is the owner of the Longevity brand and a self-proclaimed health hedonist. When she is not working, you'll find in her in a yoga class or active in the great outdoors. Gisèle is passionate about health and sharing information. You can follow her @giselewaymes on Twitter and Instagram or read her Linked-In profile for full bio details.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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