Seven ways to extend your life span. Who doesn't want to live longer? Read on.
live in the country +2
It's official: move to the countryside and you live longer. Men in rural areas on average can expect to celebrate their 78th birthday – two years longer than those in the city – while women will pass 82, almost a year and a half more than their urban peers, new figures show.
The Office for National Statistics, which looked at Britain in the seven years until 2007, examined whether a "rural idyll" populated by older, wealthy migrants from the cities had demonstrable health benefits compared with the life of their urban peers, living in more crowded, less green spaces and served by more pressured public services.
The result was unequivocal. Life expectancy at birth, according to the research, "improved with increasing 'rurality' and those born in village and dispersed areas could expect to live longer than those in town and fringe areas. Even the poorest people fared better in the countryside. Rural poor men lived for a year longer than their urban peers."
eat raw vegetables daily +2
Italian researchers found that eating as little as 1 cup of raw vegetables daily can add 2 years to your life. Why raw? Cooking can deplete up to 30 percent of the antioxidants in vegetables.
To eat your quota, fill a ziplock sandwich bag with chopped red and green peppers, broccoli, and carrots. Toss the bag into your briefcase, along with some dressing if you need it.
stay slim +3
University of Alabama researchers discovered that maintaining a body-mass index of 25 to 35 can shorten your life by up to 3 years. (Excess body fat raises your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer.)
If you’re allergic to exercise, sweat with your significant other. A Duke University study shows that sedentary men are 50 percent more likely to work out three times a week if their partners participate.
eat nuts 5 days a week +3
When Loma Linda University researchers tracked the lifestyle habits of 34,000 Seventh-Day Adventists–a population famous for its longevity–they discovered that those who munched nuts 5 days a week, earned an extra 2.9 years on the planet.
make & keep friends +7
In a study of seventysomethings, Australian researchers found that those with the largest network of friends had the longest lease on life. For the average man, this could add up to 7 additional years of existence.
Yes, some buddies may encourage risky behavior from time to time, but friendship ultimately provides more protection than peril. So try to learn a few new faces at work, trade lifting tips at the gym, or simply say “hey” to that neighbor you’ve never met. You can all thank each other later.
maintain a positive outlook on aging +7 ½ years
In a Yale University study of older adults, people with a positive outlook on the aging process lived more than 7 years longer than those who felt doomed to deteriorating mental and physical health.
Already envisioning decades of decrepitude? Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about: Selfless actions can put a positive spin on life and distract from unhealthy obsessing, reports a study in Psychosomatic Medicine.
quit smoking +14
On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years sooner than nonsmokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Since about 20 percent of the United States' population smokes, that means almost a fifth of the country could live at least a full decade longer. Are you one of them?
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