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By Dr. Maoshing Ni

The good news is that your body was designed to be 100 — but, you have to get out of the way. Getting out of the way means taking an honest look at the habits and lifestyle you are living with today. Most of us have developed habits that limit our true health potential. But don’t let these bad habits of the past discourage you. What matters is what you do from this moment forward. Leave behind the habits that aren’t serving you — smoking, eating fast food, and so on — and start choosing habits that your body needs to thrive.

The culprits that will most quickly age you and negatively affect your health are:

1. Poor diet

2. Lack of exercise

3. Stress and worry

4. Exhaustion

5. Unhappiness

6. Lack of love

7. Toxic overload

8. Blockages and congestion of the transportation highways within our bodies.

Healthy habits to live long

It takes 14 to 21 days of repetitive behavior to form a new pattern in your brain. Once the pattern is formed, it becomes an automatic behavioral response. As you develop new healthy habits, they will begin to replace bad habits. Here are some of the most transformative longevity habits:

1. Drink more water

Drink 8 glasses of fresh, filtered water every day. Water is very important for proper lymphatic drainage and hydrating the cells to prevent buildup of toxic waste products. Your safest bet is filtered water. The best kind of filtration processes for removing contaminants use activated charcoal, which removes the impurities but leaves the water-soluble minerals. Avoid water softeners, which take away essential minerals.

2. Eat like a centenarian

The rural community of Rugao, four hours north of Shanghai, enjoys the reputation as the “longevity county of China” because there are over 200 centenarians in the small region — the highest number per 1,000 residents anywhere in China. Rugao residents eat mostly fish, vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, corn and buckwheat. There was virtually no meat or poultry present in the majority of their diet. Scientists have confirmed the health benefits of a diet high in fish and vegetables and low in animal products.

3. Restore with regular rest

Get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night.

4. Take the stairs!

Take a walk. Go for a swim. Join the gym. Find an exercise activity that works for you and stick to it, practicing at least four times a week for thirty minutes a session. Regular exercise can strengthen your immune system, uplift your mood, maintain joint mobility, increase energy – the list goes on and on!

5. Manage your stress.

Stress is the root cause of most of the diseases that shorten our life span. Meditation is a powerful way to manage your stress level. For the best results, meditate every day. Start with five minutes and work your way up to fifteen or twenty minutes. (Get your exercise and stress-management all in one by beginning a tai chi practice.

6. Detoxify your surroundings.

With environmental factors causing ever more damage to our well-being, it is important to know what to look out for and avoid. For starters, you can avoid many dangerous chemical compounds if you buy organic foods and use glass and recycled paper products. In addition, it is beneficial to undergo periodic detoxification treatments with special dietary and herbal regimens to lower your body’s toxic load. An herbal blend that is specially formulated for helping your body detoxify is Internal Cleanse.