Living a long life is what every living human being want for themselves. But are you willing to work to make sure you live to a ripe old age. See some things you need to do.
We all want to live to a ripe old age don’t we? But how good are we at actually trying to achieve that?
“We’re regularly bombarded with information about how to maintain good health and therefore live longer, better quality lives,” says Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director of insurance at savings and investments company Aviva.
“But our research tells us that too many of us are not taking even the most basic steps to protect our health.
“This has led to a situation where more than half of humans are now overweight or obese.”
He says making simple changes to our lifestyle not only reduces our risk of developing potentially life-threatening diseases, but will help us feel happier and healthier too.
“Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a good diet, exercising regularly and cutting down on alcohol and smoking all help.”
But, aside from the obvious, what else can you do to ensure you fly past the three score years and 10 mark and hurtle into your 80s, 90s and beyond?
You might be surprised to know that the following actually help you live longer:
1. Shop till you drop
It’s a fact: shopping every day reduces mortality rates by 23 per cent for women and just over a quarter for men.
The health benefits are less to do with a new handbag but more to do with walking and socialising.
Either way women everywhere will thank the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health for its retail therapy green light!
2. If you’re ill, have a day off
Going to work when you’re under the weather doubles your risk of suffering a heart attack, according to a recent study.
No-one’s indispensable so climb back into bed.
3. Watch your thermostat
More than 35,000 people die from heat stroke every year and hypothermia contributes to more than 30,000 deaths in Britain annually, so it’s important to keep an eye on your temperature.
Watch that thermostat!
4. Eat chocolate
Dutch scientists have proved that eating 4g of cocoa per day can halve the risk of heart disease.
That might only be around two regular size chocolate buttons but a bit of chocolate’s better than no chocolate, right?
5. But then floss
Ageing expert Dr Tom Perls says flossing daily could add more than a year to your life.
It helps prevent gum inflammation – a sign of chronic bacterial infection that can negatively impact your heart.
Your body allocates resources from your immune system to fight the bacteria and over time these can cause arteries to narrow.
6. Steer clear of the kitchen
Half of all people experience a domestic injury each year and your risk of dying as a result is one in 1,500.
Forty-two per cent of these mishaps occur inside the home, the kitchen being the most dangerous room. So our advice? Avoid it!
7. Exercise with your mates
A report in the British Medical Journal suggests people who exercise in a group burn an extra 500 calories a week compared to those who work out alone.
Taking them nearer the 1,100 calories a week you need to prevent dangerous fat forming around your middle – fat that can lead to diabetes and heart disease.
8. Think happy thoughts
Scientists suggest worrying can shorten your life expectancy by as much as 16 years so don’t sweat the small stuff.
Save worrying for only really important things.
9. Don’t be bored to death
Research proves those who are bored at work are twice as likely to succumb to a heart attack or stroke over the next 25 years than those who are challenged and enjoy their job.
10. Go for a walk
Walking can act as an anti-depressant, giving you up to seven extra years of life, a study introduced at the European Society of Cardiology congress reported.
11. Address the mess
Whether it’s piles of clutter in your home or a tangled web of debt, stress can send your pulse rate and blood pressure soaring.
Stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin damage major organs. So have a sort out once in a while.
12. Get a pet
A US study found those in stressful jobs who have a pet have a significantly lower heart rate and blood pressure than those who don’t.
13. Men: have more sex (as if you need to be told)
Men who have at least two orgasms a week are half as likely to die early than men who have less – and they’re less likely to develop prostate cancer, too.
14. Invest in earplugs
Scientists believe noise pollution accounts for up to three per cent of deaths from coronary heart disease each year.
Your body reacts to noise even when you’re asleep – changing the way your heart and blood vessels behave, which can lead to a stroke.
15. Get hitched
People who never marry are two-thirds more likely to die early than those who wed, Californian research has revealed.
Being married also means you’re less likely to suffer mental health issues, are less stressed and having an ‘other half’ can also speed up your recovery if you do get sick.
16. Keep the faith
Scientists in Iowa claim those who attend a religious service at least once a week are a third more likely to live longer than those who don’t.
And they’re not alone. More than 1,000 studies have found a link between faith and a long life. Amen.
17. Find the funnies on Facebook
You might get fed up of people posting crazy dog videos or other silly GIFs on Facebook but open them and have a giggle.
Researchers at the University of Maryland say laughter lowers the chance of blood clots forming and reduces the likelihood of a build up of cholesterol.
18. Pick your doctor carefully
One in 10 people in the UK suffer a medical error each year and while most are fixable there’s thought to be a one in 100 chance your doctor could kill you with a mistake!
19. Don’t blow your top
Those who regularly get angry are twice as prone to strokes, so deep breaths everyone…
20. Breakfast as soon as you wake
Massachusetts’ scientists found those who wait more than 90 minutes before breakfast are 50 per cent more likely to be obese.