7 Things You Can Do to Live Your Longest Life

How do you improve your chances of living a long life?

Sep 13, 2018

(Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash)

You may think to live to be 100 years old you have to work out every day, eat nothing but vegetables and never drink a sip of alcohol. But did you know this isn’t actually true?

Living long isn’t about spending hours at the gym. And no, it isn’t about having an extremely strict diet either. What if we told you having good friends is one of the most important aspects of a long life?

But for now, here are 7 things you can do to live to be 100 years old.

Number 1: Don’t Go to the Gym

No, we’re not talking about becoming a couch potato. You’ll still need to do physical exercise. Just differently. Studies have shown that societies in Sardinia, Italy, and Okinawa, Japan, where it’s common to live past the century mark, don’t work out in the traditional sense.

Instead, they’ve built their lives so exercise comes naturally. They bike to where they need to go, garden and take care of their families. These low impact exercises put a lot less stress on your body, leading to fewer injuries while also burning calories.

Number 2: Retire Later

We know, early retirement sounds like the best thing in the world, but it might just slowly kill you. A 2017 study showed that the mortality rate in American men increased by 20 percent if they were to retire at age 63, rather than if they were to do it later.

The routine of doing something every day, being social and using your brain and body is good for you, no matter the age.

Number 3: Eat Purple Food

Foods like grapes, plums and even red wine all have amazing benefits that can decrease the chances of heart disease and have been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s.

They all contain polyphenols, a compound that keeps blood vessels and arteries more flexible and healthy. In fact, in Okinawa, one of the main things they eat are purple sweet potatoes and they have one of the highest centenarian populations in the world.

Number 4: Have the Proper Diet

This one may seem obvious, but what exactly should you be eating to live long? First off, stop ordering takeout and cook from home. A Cambridge University study showed that people who do this are 47 percent more likely to live an extra 10 years.

And surprisingly, societies with the most centenarians even drink alcohol – some every day! They’re not getting drunk toasting to a long life, but small servings of alcohol have been known to reduce heart disease.

Number 5: Live at a High Altitude

It might be time to move to a place with a higher elevation, like Colorado. According to a University of Colorado study, the state has multiple counties where life expectancy is nearly two years higher compared to other American men who usually live to 77 and women who make it to 82.

The study says this most likely has to do with the higher altitude at nearly 2000 meters (6561 ft.) above sea level. The lower oxygen that comes from this is suspected to increase blood flow, leading to a lower chance of heart disease.

Number 6: Find Your Sleep Sweet Spot

Over in the UK, a Warwick University study found that people who get less than six hours of sleep each night are 12 percent more likely to die before the age of 65.

But don’t get too much shut-eye. The same study showed that people who got nine hours of rest had a 30 percent higher chance of dying early.

Number 7: Have Great Friends

Studies have shown that being lonely can literally kill you. If you have a great social network it can lower stress, making you feel not only physically healthier but also mentally.

And it also helps if they’re healthy. Research has shown that if you have unhealthy friends, your chances of the same happening to you increase by 57 percent.

So although the average life expectancy around the world is 70.5 years, why be average? You’re anything but that and your body can do amazing things – like live to be 100.

This article
 first appeared on Interesting Shit and was published here with permission.

Interesting Sh!t is an Educational Media Company with the aim to connect curious readers with the world's greatest stories and to build a community around history, geography and world culture.

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