Want to live longer? 3 practical ways to boost your longevity you didn't expect

The number of centenarians around the world is on the rise. According to estimates from the United Nations, there are currently around 722,000 people aged 100 or more. By 2054, estimates suggest that this figure could reach almost 4 million.

If you’re keen to live a long life, certain lifestyle changes could make a difference to your health and boost your chances of living to 100, or beyond.

Typical changes that are believed to help extend longevity include spending time outdoors, socialising, and sticking to a primarily plant-based diet. These suggestions and more have been backed up by various scientific studies.

If you care about your health, you’ll likely already steer clear of processed foods, but a bag of carrots today, however well sourced, typically contain fewer nutrients than they would have in your teenage years. 

As a result, it can be helpful to supplement your diet with the right vitamins and minerals. 

Many doctors and health professionals now acknowledge that vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K2 can all make a difference to your health and wellbeing. The amount of vitamin D you need will depend on where in the world you live, and may be less essential if you live in hot, sunny climes.

With the basics covered, here are three lesser known ways to boost your longevity.

1. Start your day with a shot of apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a fermented food that is growing increasingly popular in celebrity circles, thanks to its valuable health-boosting properties. 

Apple cider vinegar can:

  • Aid weight loss
  • Reduce the effects of indigestion and heartburn, by calming acid reflux
  • Reduce congestion and clear stuffy noses
  • Neutralise bad breath
  • Help lower blood sugars
  • Relieve an upset tummy. 

According to CNN Health, there’s substantial evidence to suggest consuming vinegar can help keep your blood sugar under control, helping to reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, among other conditions. 

With so many benefits, a daily shot of apple cider vinegar could put a little more spring in your step and, potentially, add years to your life.

2. Dip into the Scrabble Dictionary

Crazy as it sounds, reading the official Scrabble Dictionary, could be one way to increase your brain plasticity. 

London cabbies memorize 320 major routes, 25,000 streets, and 20,000 landmarks. Neurologists at University College London discovered the average cabbie's brain hippocampus – the area of your brain associated with memory and spatial navigation – grew much larger after memorising these extensive details. 

With 276,000+ words, the official Scrabble Dictionary may be going to extreme lengths but is one way to engage the neuroplasticity of the brain and bolster against cognitive ageing. 

Alternatively, complete a daily crossword, crack a sudoku puzzle, or simply tackle Wordle over breakfast.

3. Invest in the thickest of curtains for your bedroom

Getting quality sleep every night can make a significant difference to your mood, health, and brain performance. On the flip side, not getting enough sleep increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and dementia. 

Circadian rhythms play a vital role in your ability to sleep in one solid block of time at night and stay awake during daylight hours. 

If you don’t sleep well, your circadian rhythms may become misaligned with the cycle of day and night. For example, if you don’t sleep when your body tells you, or if you sleep for long periods during the day, this could have serious health consequences, and shorten your lifespan.

Reducing your exposure to light as you approach bedtime can help, but another way to enjoy better quality sleep is to ensure your bedroom is pitch black at night. 

A bedroom free of any light pollution can help to sync your circadian rhythms and improve your sleep and long-term health. 

With a variety of blackout curtains and blackout linings on the market, investing in the best could be a super simple solution to help increase your longevity.

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