How to live a longer, healthier, and happier life

General Healthcare

  13 Minutes
Life expectancy has doubled in many countries since the 1900s. It continues to rise which means that more people are making it to 100 and beyond. Healthy is indeed the new wealthy. With age comes knowledge, and knowledge transformed into wisdom is priceless.

We offer you easy-to-follow tips on how to live a longer, healthier, and happier life, the Living Naturally way. Why? Because although nobody knows how long they’re going to live, one thing is for certain, the world is richer for having you in it.

What role does my DNA play in my longevity?

It’s a bit like anything in life that you’ve been given, it only lasts as well as you look after it. 20% of how well you’re going to age is out of your control because it’s based on your DNA. The good news is that the remaining 80% is something that you might have some influence over. This includes your lifestyle choices, your behaviours, and your environment. These impact your biological age, and something that the scientists call your epigenetics.

Your chronological age is the number of years that you’ve lived. Your biological age refers to the number of years that you’ve lived in good health. Your epigenetics refers to how well your body reads, repairs, and replicates your DNA sequence to keep your cells strong and resilient.

Unlike genetic changes which are permanent, epigenetics is reversible, and change over time. The better you become at living in good health holistically, the younger your biological age becomes, and the more durable your body becomes against the ravages of time.

Our top wellness tips for ageing gracefully

We’ve researched deep into nature to provide the following top anti-ageing tips – backed mostly by science – to help you live your best life, the natural way.

Our top wellness tips for ageing gracefully

Love creation and notice the seasons

Start to pay attention to creation by noticing how miraculously it moulds form to fit function, including yourself. Summer, autumn, winter, and spring all serve their purposes in the most remarkable ways. Stay curious about this miracle. Curiosity is an emotion and is believed by psychologists to be the root emotion of creativity, a key marker of intelligence. Ask yourself why there are oranges in winter? Or why the storks arrive in spring? Why the leaves fall in autumn? And why the sun shines its brightest in summer?

Eat a nutritious diet of what’s in season

Eat what your body is designed to naturally digest. We recommend eating the healthiest, most balanced diet possible. Increase the amount of whole foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, fermented foods as well as raw nuts and seeds you eat.

Remember to eat a variety by making your plate as colourful as possible. Colourful fruits and vegetables contain more of the good stuff such as antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and phytonutrients. Look to the seasons for guidance as to what you should be eating. Try your best to avoid processed foods such as margarine, ready-made meals, and refined carbohydrates. When it comes down to preparation, fresh, grilled, and steamed are always best.

Drink at least 2 litres of good quality, filtered water daily

Water is the miracle elixir of life. It is one of the planet’s foundational building blocks. Two-thirds or about 60% of the average human body is made up of water. As we age, we tend to lose body water. That is because lean muscle comprises the most water at around 75% while fat tissue only contains about 10%.

We tend to lose muscle mass as we age. As we get older, it’s increasingly important to drink at least 2 litres of good quality filtered water every day to avoid getting dehydrated. It happens a lot faster than you think.

Be aware of the products that you use all over your body and around the house

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It accounts for about 15% of your total body weight. Because it’s porous, it absorbs more than 50% of the water-soluble molecules in the everyday products that you use.

It’s a really important organ because it’s your body’s first line of defence from the elements and disease-causing pathogens. It’s worth looking after. From the soaps, suds, and shampoos that you use, to the sunscreen you apply.

Pay attention to your personal hygiene

Many common infections can be prevented by paying attention to your hygiene habits. In fact, simple hygiene is the most cost-effective solution to reducing diseases globally. An effective hygiene routine is proven to save lives, increase productivity, reduce antimicrobial resistance, and even boost self-esteem.

Have 7-8 hours of sweet sleep every night

Your sleep patterns are vital to the healthy longevity of your mind and body. You need between 7-8 hours a day. It’s as important as eating and breathing. While you sleep, your body moves cyclically in and out of phases of light and deep sleep. On average, each cycle is between 90-120 minutes long.

Deep sleep, also called the REM (rapid eye movement) phase, is the restorative stage. You ideally need 4-5 cycles to hit the right amount of REM every night to harness its benefits. If you’re still feel tired after 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, it could mean that you didn’t get enough deep or REM sleep.

Did you know?
Your body has a built-in 24-hour clock called a circadian rhythm. It regulates your sleep-wake cycle and impacts many other internal bodily functions and processes.

Science has proven that the blue light emitted from the screens in certain cell phones, computers and laptops, tablets, and other handheld devices as well as televisions disrupts this natural rhythm and prevents you from getting a good night’s deep sleep.

Blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colours in the visible light spectrum. These cooler tones create alertness and promote wakefulness in the body. It is therefore important to unplug from time to time, limit your screen time to get restorative ZZ’s. Experts recommend unplugging at least one hour before turning in. And don’t sleep with your phone next to you.

Exercise by staying active

Exercise has a host of benefits. It’s good for brain function, circulation, deep sleep quality, heart health, mood, muscle tone, and it keeps your weight in check amongst many other things.

On average, you should dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to moving your body. If you double this to one hour a day, you could lower the chances of an early death by as much as 31%.

We recommend exercising and moving in a way that supports your joints and muscles to reduce inflammation. Walking, cycling, swimming, and stretching are all recommended exercises. If you can exercise outdoors, even better! Make this a way of life.

Did you know?
Forest bathing refers to spending time gently exercising, breathing deeply, and observing nature. It is incredibly healing, and good for your health. Plants produce many life-affirming natural elements and phytonutrients such as oxygen and phytoncides that promote longevity by lowering anxiety, stabilising mood, and bolstering the immune system. Some German hospitals prescribe this as a wellness treatment to their patients.

Have fun and laugh often

Science confirms that laughter might be more healing than we thought. It’s known to break the ice, soothe tension, and form social bonds. The sudden intake of air results in oxygen reaching all the vital organs, notably the heart. This has an anti-inflammatory effect that protects blood vessels and heart muscles from the damaging effects of cardiovascular disease.

Have fun and laugh often

Furthermore, it releases endorphins in the brain, and other feel-good hormones including serotonin. These are the body’s natural anti-depressants. It’s proven to boost immunity and decrease pain. All the more reason to lighten-up and laugh a little.

Did you know?
Married people, or those in committed relationships, on average tend to live three years longer. Fun and laughter might just be the secret ingredient to finding, and keeping your partner for life.

According to the stats, women laugh 126% more than men do. Men on the other hand tend to ‘rate’ women who laugh at their jokes more highly than those who don’t. Women value a sense of humour as one of their top three traits in a potential partner. Unsurprisingly, couples who laugh together more often have better quality long-term relationships.

Have a good reason to get up every day

It is said that the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Science says that having a sense of purpose will instantly add seven years to your life. And remember, we cannot always do great things every day, but we can choose to do small things in a great way.

Choose your friends intentionally

Cultivate close-knit friendships with intention and be selective about who sits at your dinner table. Focus on making friends and socialising with people who have healthy habits. Choose friends who bring the very best out in you. Those we associate with, we become.

Did you know?
Belonging to a faith-based community promotes healthy ageing and longevity. In fact, going to faith-based services at least four times a month can add as many as 14 years to your life. The community provides a sense of life-affirming structure, deeper understanding, and may promote community service, and therefore may also offer further meaning and purpose.

Practice the pause with mindfulness

Words hold power. They do not shape reality, but they do have the energy to shape the perception of reality – your own reality and that of someone else’s. These perceptions create dialogues in our minds forming our belief systems. This leads to actions and certain behaviours which shape our existence. Positive, encouraging and life-affirming words are thought to build similar destinies. Experts even recommend unplugging from the negativity of sad news from time to time.

Did you know?
Mindfulness is a powerful mental state, practice and technique that allows you to be more aware of your words and as a result, your behaviours, choices, and their consequences. It provides a command of the point of power that is always available in the present moment.

To do this, THINK before you speak by asking yourself: T: Is it True? H: Is it Helpful? I: Is it Inspiring? N: Is it Necessary? K: Is it Kind?

Making healthier lifestyle choices

When it comes to living your best life, let common sense prevail. Pay special attention to how much alcohol and salt, and how many stimulants you’re consuming. While moderate amounts can be beneficial to your health, excess can wreak havoc in the long run.

There are many hidden stimulants in the products that we use and the drinks that we swallow. For example, your average cup of tea contains no less than four stimulants. And your average over the counter, non-prescription headache medication contains pharmaceutical grade caffeine. Certain non-drowsy allergy medications or cough mixtures might also include other stimulants such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. And if you think that you’re safe from soft drinks, think again. Many of these also have caffeine. Always read the label.

Did you know?
If you stop smoking before the age of 40 years old, you reduce your chance of dying from a smoking-related disease by as much as 90%. If you want to live longer, don’t smoke. It will add at least another 10 years to your life. If you want to look younger, guess what… don’t smoke either! Smokers by the age of 40 look like they’re 60. It’s estimated that smokers at the age of 70 look at least 14 years older too.

Choose your supplements with care

Fruits and vegetables aren’t as nutritious as they used to be for many reasons. Laboratory testing has proven that you need to eat 21 oranges today, to get the same nutritional health benefits from eating one orange grown 50 years ago. This combined with our fast-paced, do-more-with-less-time lifestyles means that we need to take supplements to stay healthy, fit, and strong. Research and select your well-being supplements with care, and always look to nature for inspiration.

Living Naturally recommends:

  1. Bio-Strath – This daily nutritional supplement is a 100% natural, Swiss plasmolysed herbal yeast supplement containing 61 essential nutrients (11 vitamins, 19 minerals, 20 amino acids and 11 building substances) in a highly bioavailable format with 39 scientific studies and publications confirming its effectiveness over a period of more than 50 years. Bio-Strath is also scientifically proven to improve micronutrient bioavailability and significantly improve the absorption of iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B1.
  2. A.Vogel Dormeasan – A Western Herbal formulation for the relief of sleep disturbances, stress, and anxiety. Ingredients support the nervous system by having a calming action and address symptoms such as restlessness and anxiety and when taken at bedtime promotes restful sleep. A. Vogel Dormeasan is made from fresh, organic Valerian root and Hops, is non-habit forming and will not cause grogginess on waking the next morning.
  3. A.Vogel Molkosan – A.Vogel Molkosan is made from lacto-fermented whey and is a prebiotic food supplement. It assists in promoting better digestive health. It can be taken either alone, before or alongside a probiotic supplement. It is a source of high levels of lactate (L (+) lactic acid) and butyrate.
  4. A.Vogel Multiforce – This is a source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as citrate and bicarbonate salts (alkalising minerals) and has a systemic alkalinising effect. It supports the body’s acid buffering mechanism by supplying essential alkaline minerals required to combat a typical acidogenic diet (high in animal protein and low/deficient in fruit, vegetables, and minerals) and lifestyle, thereby assisting in addressing the negative consequences thereof.
  5. A.Vogel VegOmega-3 – These capsules are a source of the Omega-3 essential fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are essential for the maintenance of good health and must be included in the diet as the body does not produce them. They are non-GMO and gluten-free.

Manage your health proactively

Get hands-on with your health by getting to know what you don’t know. Remember that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Prevention is always better than cure. We recommend staying on top of your health by going for your annual check-ups and adhering to a routine screening schedule.

Living Naturally has a dedicated helpline to see you through every season of your life. Feel free to get in touch on Tel: +27(0)31-783-8000 between 09:00 – 16:00 Mondays to Fridays.


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