How to live a long and healthy life (50 science-backed tips)

How can you live a long life? The answers may be easier than you think. A few lifestyle changes, dietary modification, and exercise may add years to your life. Let’s take a look at 50 tips on how to live a long life. 

1. Reduce calorie intake 

Reducing calorie intake (not to the point of malnutrition) reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. 

2. Take coffee

Coffee consumption lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improves liver function. For best results, take your coffee black or add honey instead of sugar. 

3. Try a Mediterranean diet

This diet includes eating fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. It helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

4. Exercise

Exercise helps to maintain a healthy body weight which improves the cardiovascular system. It lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.

5. Watch less TV

Sedentary lifestyles such as watching long hours of television have been linked to a decrease in life expectancy. It also contributes to unhealthy weight gain. 

6. Eat less red meat

Red meat consumption has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Swapping your intake of red meat with healthier proteins helps to improve longevity. 

7. Don’t smoke

Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and weakens the immune system. Not smoking reduces your risk of many diseases. 

8. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight has dire effects on overall health. The more overweight you are, the more likely you are to develop life-threatening diseases. 

9. Have home-cooked meals

Making your own food gives you total control of your diet. Most restaurants use a large number of additives which could cause health problems over time. 

10. Floss

Flossing regularly helps to prevent gum disease which increases the risk of cancer. It also prevents harmful bacteria from getting into your arteries. 

11. Eat your veggies

Studies show that people who include vegetables in their diet live longer than people who do not. 

12. Use safety gears always

Taking precautions by using a seat belt can add years to your life. Sportsmen also benefit from wearing helmets which protect the brain from damage during a fall. 

13. Maintain social relationships

Having healthy social relationships helps to boost longevity. It helps to manage stress and strengthens the immune system. 

14. Reduce stress

Stress increases the risk of early death in people who have chronic illnesses. Try traditional methods of stress relief such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. 

15. Drink tea

Whether black or green, tea contributes in many ways to having a long life by reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity

16. Marriage

The emotional and sexual intimacy that comes with marriage has been shown to make people live longer. Partners act as a check for each other on their health and lifestyle choices. 

17. Spice up your meals

Spices such as turmeric and chili contain antioxidants that help to promote brain, heart, and lung function. Curcumin, found in turmeric, is linked to increased lifespan.

18. Drink whole milk

Contrary to popular belief, a full-fat dairy is beneficial in lowering the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. It also protects against the development of type 2 diabetes.

19. Have some red wine

In small doses, red wine has proven to be beneficial for the heart which may help you to live longer. If you don’t drink alcohol, try dealcoholized red wine which may have similar benefits 

20. Eat fewer proteins

As you grow into middle age, growth is no longer a priority. A protein-restricted diet improves lifespan by reducing the risk of cancer which is the result of ‘uncontrolled growth’. 

21. Lose excess weight

 If you’re looking for how to live a long life, it is good to start with healthy food choices that will help you shed excess weight naturally. 

22. Be conscientious

Being hardworking, orderly, and self-controlled can extend your life. Studies show that these people live happier and healthier lives too. 

23. Minimise sugar intake

Limiting your intake of sugar can help you to live longer. Too much sugar makes you prone to heart disease even if you are not overweight. 

24. Take care of your oral health

The mouth is connected to all parts of the body. Good oral hygiene helps prevent diseases like periodontal disease and dementia. 

25. Eat antioxidant-rich foods

Diets rich in antioxidants help to decrease oxidative stress causing a positive impact on longevity. 

26. Use sunscreen

Using sunscreen protects you from the harmful rays of the sun. This reduces your risk of skin cancer. It also helps to prevent sunburn and wrinkles caused by the sun.

27. Get some vitamin D

We get most of our vitamin D from the sun. It engages longevity genes to increase longevity. It also helps the body absorb calcium from the food that we eat. 

28. Get a massage

Apart from the good feeling you get after a massage, it improves circulation, boosts immunity, and lowers cortisol levels.

29. Skip the soda

A lot of these drinks are full of sugar with little or no nutritional value. Consuming soda drinks also increases your risk of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity. 

30. Cut out red meat

Studies have shown that people who do not eat meat live several years longer than those who do. It reduces your risk of diabetes and heart-related diseases. 

31. Cut back on painkillers

To live a long life, take pain medications only after consulting a physician. A lot of deaths are caused by the abuse of painkillers

32. Drink plenty of water

Drinking water helps the body get rid of toxins and aids digestion. Being constantly dehydrated increases your risk of living a short life.

33. Don’t eat close to bedtime

Eating certain foods close to bedtime can make food difficult to digest, cause reflux and other complications. 

34. Save up

People with more savings worry less about the future. Saving money gives security and could help you live longer. 

35. Go for regular health checks

People who go for regular health checks tend to live longer than their counterparts because diseases are diagnosed and treated early.

36. Own a pet

Older people who own pets live longer. Studies show that walking a pet, such as a dog, helps people relieve stress and makes people feel better.

37. Intermittent fasting

Fasting has been linked to a healthier, longer life. Try alternate-day fasting where you fast for one day and eat healthy meals the next day. 

38. Take naps

Taking an hour-long nap in the afternoon helps prevent the brain from aging. It also improves memory and helps you live longer. 

39. Read more

More tips on how to live a long life? Studies show that reading engages more brain matter than other activities. It can also help fight Alzheimer’s disease

40. Ditch the elevators, take the stairs

Taking the stairs contributes to your recommended daily exercise. It also helps to strengthen the muscles and helps you to live long. 

41. Meditate

Meditation helps to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. It also has several other benefits which could help you to live a long life. 

42. Eat foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids

People who consume Omega-3s are less likely to be depressed, it also helps fight age-related mental decline. 

43. Socialise

By being around people you care about, you’re more likely to live longer, happier, and healthier than those who do not socialize at all.

44. Monitor yourself

Being able to detect changes in the way your body works could add years to your life. People who are conscious of their health are more likely to detect diseases early. 

45. Dodge the fumes

Exhaust fumes from cars, trucks, heaters, contain carbon monoxide which is extremely dangerous to health. They’ve also been shown to cause cancer. 

46. Drive less

 A lot of deaths are caused by auto crashes. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in a car crash. 

47. Go on a vacation

A vacation is a good way to relieve stress. It also helps boost your productivity when you return to work.

48. Get active

Spending a large part of your day sitting behind a desk is harmful to your health. Incorporating some stretching exercises into your routine can help to combat the effects of sitting for a long time.

49. Give up grudges

You may be surprised to find this in our list of how to live a long life but studies show that people who are able to forgive those who hurt them have lower blood pressure and stress levels. 

50. Take things slowly

Radical lifestyle changes may be inspiring but can also be daunting. Try to aim for small improvements over time so you don’t get discouraged. 

There you have it! 50 proven tips on how to live a long life. It’s always beneficial to eat healthy foods to help you on your journey. You should also learn about the foods you should avoid. You can live longer if you commit to following these tips as much as possible. Cheers to a long and healthy life!

Jude Uchella is a research writer and a strong advocate for health and fitness. He takes pleasure in helping people live their best life. When he's not writing, he's probably researching the next topic to write about. :)