There are so many 'secrets' to living a long life, and a lot of them have to do with good health. You don't have to be an extreme health freak to live longer. In fact, these five habits can be easily included in your daily life:
1. Get off that couch!
We're prone to a sedentary lifestyle, limiting the time we have to go outside or hit the gym. An Australian study of 8,800 adults with no history of heart disease found a correlation between the amount of time spent sitting in front of the TV and a risk of premature death and heart disease. Participants who watched four or more hours of TV per day were nearly 50 percent more likely to die from any cause than those who limited their TV consumption to under two hours.
2. Eat a handful of nuts every day.
You probably know about the benefits of omega-3s. But if those fish capsules aren't really your thing, try adding nuts to your daily diet.
In a 30-year study, Harvard researchers found that people who ate nuts every day were 20% less likely to die from any cause during the study, than those who didn't. The more frequently people ate nuts, the lower their risk of death was. Experts say that nuts' cholesterol-balancing qualities are what's good for life-expectancy. Try eating some walnuts or almonds! You can add them to your salad or cereal to make sure you get your daily dose of nuts.
3. Take it easy on the red meat.
The occasional steak is fine, but don't overdo it. One study found that women and men who were initially healthy became more prone to develop heart disease and cancer if they regularly indulged in red meat. A daily serving of red meat increased the likelihood of death by 13% while processed meat increased changes by 20%. Also, processed meats like hotdogs and lunch meats have linked to cancer and heart disease.
So where would you get your source of protein from? Swap the red meat for fish, chicken, and dairy products to lower your mortality risk.
Exercise is great for your mind and body. Danish researchers believe that jogging is the key to a longer life. "We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity,” researcher Peter Schnohr said in a release. “The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.”
Schnohr's study found that jogging can increase life expectancy in men by over six years for men and over five years for women when they jogged just one to two and a half hours total per week. If you can't jog, try brisk walking instead.
5. Find your Zen.
A study at University of California-Davis found that people who meditated regularly have higher levels of telomerase - an enzyme responsible for lengthening the telomeres at the ends of your chromosomes, which affect aging. Another study also found that cancer patients who combined meditation with other healthy lifestyle changes over several years were able to lengthen their telomeres.
In addition, meditation is a great way to manage stress and blood pressure, which can in turn protect you from a number of diseases.
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