In the 21st century, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is just over 86 years for women, while men can subtract two years from that number for a life expectancy of 84.
But for the first time in more than a decade, the life expectancy in the U.S. dropped last year.
It’s too early to identify all of the causes behind the fall in the number of years we can expect to live involve or to predict if the trend will continue.
But it does illustrate the need to take your health into your own hands and do all that you can to live longer and healthier now.
So, here are a eight easy, proven ways to extend both the quantity and quality of your life:
1. Go nuts
You may have heard that eating nuts is healthy but did you know those tasty little treats can lengthen your years on the planet?
That’s right, according to one study, tracking the lifestyle of Seventh-Day Adventists, a group known for their longevity, people who ate nuts 5 days a week or more, lived on average 2.9 years longer than people who avoided nuts.
Why do nuts help you live longer — and healthier? Researchers believe nuts help prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease because they tame the inflammation abomination.
Just 20 grams of nuts per day (roughly a handful) can:
◆Cut your risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent.
Cut your risk of cancer by 15 percent.
◆Cut your risk of dying from respiratory disease by 50 percent.
◆Cut your risk of dying from diabetes by 40 percent.
◆Cut your risk of premature death by 22 percent.
2. Turn off your television
In an eight-year study, researchers in Spain have found that you can increase your longevity with a simple wrist motion. Using only one hand.
The wrist motion: Turn off your television.
The research that looked at the lifestyle habits of more than 13,000 people during eight years found that watching TV for three hours or more daily doubled the risk of premature death during the study.
“Television viewing is a major sedentary behavior and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviors,” says researcher Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. “Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality.”
The risk of death was doubled for people who reported watching three or more hours of TV each day compared to folks who watched an hour or less.
3. Get social
Did you know that if you accept all your Facebook friend requests, you’ll probably live longer?
In fact, scientists who studied Facebook activity for more than a decade say that people who have strong social media networks and receive multiple friend requests are less likely to die.
According to the researchers, Facebook users who accept more friendships increase their life expectancy but the same doesn’t hold true for users who initiate more friend requests.
And, the risk of death was lowest for people who had high levels of offline social interaction, with moderate levels of online time…
Meaning, while spending time with your virtual friends can help, it’s very important to have real world friends to spend time with and talk to. An analysis of available research shows feeling lonely and socially isolated increases your risk of having a stroke and developing coronary artery disease.
4. Think positive
Having a positive outlook on aging could be one of the biggest determinants of your life expectancy.
In fact, according to a Yale University study, having a positive view of the aging process can extend your life longer than lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight or even giving up smoking.
In the study, those with a positive outlook lived more than 7 years longer than people who had negative views of aging. Try these happiness-building techniques to boost yours!
5. Go outside
If you spend too much time around noise and pollution the way we typically do, your body — especially each individual cell — ages faster.
If you only spend time in the kind of urban landscape that’s so common in today’s world, your cells are likely to be a shocking 12 years older than the cells of a person dwelling in a more natural, relaxed setting.
A study at the University of Minnesota shows that green, plant-filled areas that also have lakes, rivers or oceans, can help you age more healthfully into middle-age and beyond.
For optimal health of your cells, here are a few recommendations from the researchers:
When dealing with your health as you age, don’t merely consider your physical body. Take a holistic approach that includes your social and mental well-being. Interact with friends and loved ones often.
Get outside every day, even if it’s just a walk down the block.
Make spending time in a natural setting a priority. Sit in a park.
Listen to water rushing in a stream or fountain. Get friendly with your neighborhood trees.
The message in all this research is that you shouldn’t let your house, or apartment, become a prison. Get out and live a little. Your cells will thank you, and you’ll stay younger for much longer.
6. Jog for seven minutes a day
There’s a group of people in the U.S. who enjoy a longer life expectancy than the rest of us. Spend less than 10 minutes a day doing what they do and you can increase your odds of living longer, too.
The folks who live longer are runners. And even if you only jog for about seven minutes a day (That’s right: only seven minutes!), you can add about three years to your life expectancy and significantly shrink your chances of dying from heart disease.
A study at Iowa State that examined the health habits of more than 55,000 people for close to 15 years found that during the study, runners were 45 percent less likely to succumb to strokes and heart disease than people who never put on running shoes.
According to researcher DC (Duk-chul) Lee, runners enjoy this benefit no matter how far they run every day and even if they never jog faster than 10 minute miles.
7. Go spicy
Do you like spicy food? If so, go for it! It turns out that those who like it hot live longer.
A study at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont found that people that regularly eat hot red chili peppers reduce their chance of dying by 13%.
But, if hot peppers aren’t your thing, try a supplement containing capsaicin, the active component in peppers to get the same benefits.
Plus, there are many ways different spices can promote good health. Check out this handy infographic for several!
8. Get or Stay Married
Did you know that marriage decreases your risk of dying? And, having never been married gives you one of the highest mortality risks.
In fact, studies show that married couples generally outlive their divorced, widowed or unmarried counterparts.
And, if you do get sick, being married increases both your chances and speed of recovery.
One more thing… if you need an excuse to spice things up, s*xual energy does positive things for your lifespan too!
Category: Lifestyle News.