Once it was rare for someone to celebrate a 100th birthday, but not so much anymore. More and more people are living longer, more comfortable and healthy lives than ever before. The good news is that half the children born in the developed world this year may be celebrating that milestone 100th.
Continuing our series of tips for living longer, here are nine more smart, research-backed tips on how to increase the years you have, and make them good years.
1. Lose weight: Nobody likes to hear this kind of tip, but if you’re carrying too much weight and you lose even some of it you protect yourself against diseases like diabetes, heart disease and more. Fat in the belly area is particularly bad – a 5-year study of African Americans and Hispanics finds that eating more fiber and regular exercise are two effective ways to get rid of that belly fat.
2. Keep moving: Here the evidence is impressive; those who exercise regularly live longer than those who don’t. There are dozens of studies that have shown regular activity (2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week) cuts the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, even some cancers as well as depression. It might even keep you mentally sharp as you age.
3. Drink in moderation: Get this; heart disease is less common in those who are moderate drinkers (one drink a day for women, one to two for men) than in those who don’t drink at all. Of course too much alcohol adds belly fat, boosts blood pressure and can bring on many other health problems and no one advises you to start drinking if you don’t already.
4. Get spiritual: Those who go to religious services tend to live longer than those who never go. In a 12 year study of those over 65 years old, people who went to services more than once a week had higher levels of a key immune system protein than those who didn’t go to services. It seems the strong social network that comes to those who worship together may contribute to longer life and better health.
5. Forgive: Letting a long held grudge go has unexpected health benefits to the body as well as your spirit. We know that chronic anger is linked to decreased lung function, heart disease, stroke and other dangerous conditions. Forgiving cuts anxiety, lowers your blood pressure and helps you breathe more easily and fully. What’s more, the benefits only go up, as you get older.
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Longevity – 18 Unusual Secrets , Part 2 Continued…
6. Use safety gear: Accidents are the 5th most common cause of dying in the
United States, and the top cause of death for those aged 1 to 24. Wearing your
helmet, seatbelt and other safety gear is a smart way to up the odds that you’ll
live a long, uninjured life. In the event of a car crash, your seatbelt cuts
the risk of death (or serious injury) by half. On a bike, most deaths come from
head injuries, so the helmet is a must.
7. Sleep: Getting the right amount of good, restful sleep can bring down the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease as well as mood disorders. Sleep also helps you recover from illness faster. Sleeping under 5 hours a night boosts the risk of early death, so make sure you’re getting more than this on a regular basis.
8. Manage stress: Stress management may help hold off heart disease or perhaps reverse it according to Dean Ornish, MD who has published research that suggests lifestyle changes can have such an impact on the body. Of course you can’t avoid stress completely, but there are easy to learn, effective techniques to manage and control it… to keep it from taking hold and taking over. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing all work great.
9. Have a sense of purpose: Finding hobbies or other interests that have meaning for you may help lengthen your life according to Japanese researchers who found men with a strong sense of purpose were less likely to die from stroke, heart disease or other causes over 13 years compared to those who did not have that strong sense of purpose. It may also foster a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease according to a study at Rush University Medical Center.
To your good health,