Your Lifestyle Choices Matter

Researchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville have shown that your lifestyle choices definitely matter for your life expectancy.  They have linked longer life to a combination of five key healthy lifestyle factors.

Following the lifestyle choices of Chinese women, Dr. Wei Zheng and colleagues found five key components.  These include: normal weight, low belly fat, regular physical activity, limited secondhand cigarette exposure and a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.

In a statement, Dr. Zheng explained that,  “The results show that overall lifestyle modification, to include a combination of these health-related lifestyle factors, is important in disease prevention.”

Published in the journal PloS Medicine, the research tracked 71,243 non-smoking, non-drinking Chinese women aged 40-70 for nine years.

Giving Of Your Time

There is so much to learn when you are in college.  Of course, there is the academic side that you signed up for but there is also much in terms of life lessons.  One really needs to make the most of all the opportunities that are there for them.  One good thing to do – especially for those people who enjoy animals – is to volunteer with the elderly using an animal.  So often the elderly are incredibly lonely but it is difficult for strangers to just come and talk to them.  If you take a dog with you however, then you break the ice easily and you may enjoy the visit more too.  Sometimes it can even be advisable to take a more senior dog along with you; that way it won’t be so feisty and the elderly individual can feel an affinity with them.  A friendly, licking dog can really make an old person feel good.  There are no judgments, no questions, no “why don’t you do anything all day?”  All dogs want to do is give love.  And students have the opportunity and often the time to take these loving pets to the homes of the elderly in the community.  It’s just a great way to give back.

Broaden Your Horizons Learning Meditation

College is a time of unparalleled opportunity.  You have perhaps more time to justifiably explore new things in life than maybe ever before. Soon you’ll be working around the clock trying to make mortgage payments, so use these precious years to discover something new that also might act as a good tool for you in later life. Something like meditation. The benefits of meditation are tremendous and include: a) reduction in anxiety and depression; b)  increase in capacity to concentrate; c) reduction in oxygen consumption; d) assists in relaxation; e) decreases pre-menstrual syndromes; f) can reduce blood pressure; g) increase blood flow to the heart and more. By learning meditative methods when you are not stressed or pushed for time (like in college), you can take the tools and apply them at a time when things are getting too much. As well, knowing how to meditate may later on lead to you not having to take drugs for anxiety or depression.  You will be able to deal with these trials through your meditative skills.

Cooking in College

There is quite a lot to learn for students who have always had their meals cooked for them until they are suddenly out on their own.  The big challenge is also how to keep it all healthy.  It is so easy to get into very bad habits when you are first beginning to test out your culinary skills.  So make sure you always have a lot of fruit and vegetables on hand and check on the Internet for recipes.  You can even type in “easy vegetable recipes” if you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.  The more fresh produce you have, the better.  And make sure you make stuff that you like.  There is no point in making healthy dishes that you know you are never going to eat.  Soups are very good for winter; they pack in a lot of essential vitamins and minerals through the vegetables and are incredibly filling which means that you are less likely to eat junk after.  So start doing some internet searches and see what you can come up with.  It really does make a difference and will give you a ton of energy if you do it right that you will need for your college experience.