6 Things you can do today to be healthy in 20 years

I don't know about you, but I'd like to live a pretty long life. But with all of the disease and heart attacks these days, it's not an easy thing to do. Then I read MORE magazine's tips on how to be healthy in 20 years and it got me thinking: what can I be doing to increase my life span? Turns out the answer is both easy and complicated. The good news is that, ultimately, your life and health is in your hands and there is a lot that you can do to be healthier. The bad news is that it's easier said than done. But I know that I can do it—and so can you! Follow these 6 things you can do TODAY to be healthy down the road.

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1. Start jogging for 20 minutes a day. In case you haven't read the research, science has both determined that just 20 minutes of exercise a day can dramatically improve your health and, according to new findings, people who jogged regularly lived 6 years longer. So stop putting it off and get to it!

2. Give up all sugary drinks, NOW! Yes, soda and diet soda are bad for you. Yes, I know that it's really difficult to give them up. Trust me, I know all this from personal experience. But you absolutely must give them up sooner rather than later. It will save your heart and help you live a longer, healthier life.

3. Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables. You're giving something up but if you add in fruits and vegetables instead, you'll increase your life even more. Many fruits are full of antioxidants (especially berries) and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, are the most nutritionally dense foods on Earth.

4. Keep your brain healthy with fish. You've probably read about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, which can help you keep your brain working better throughout the years. If you eat baked or broiled fish once a week, a study found that your brain will have less shrinkage as you age.

5. Allow yourself a mental break every day.  Stress does a lot of damage to the body. When I'm really stressed out, not only do I get cranky but I also get back pain. Giving yourself some personal "me time" to cool off, even just 5 minutes, can greatly reduce the mental hassle of always being an on-the-go mom.

6. Don't skip your self-cancer screenings. Seriously. DO NOT SKIP THEM. Not only do you really need to make sure you're doing the monthly breast cancer screenings on your own but you should also be making sure that your doctor tests your pap smear when and that you're getting checked out.

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What will you be doing to help you live longer? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via bobbyzero/flickr