When we think about our future, most of envision a long and prosperous life. Although DNA does play a role, your daily activities can impact your lifespan as well, and making sure you engage in habits that prolong your life can help increase your chances of reaching an old age. Many studies have looked at the correlation between everyday choices and how long people live, so it's important to know what you can do to boost your longevity.
"We all know that it is necessary to integrate healthy habits into daily living to keep both the mind and body healthy so that one can not just live longer but live longer in a healthier state," says health expert Matt Riemann to Bustle ver email.
Recent research from Boston University has found that the aging process has about a 20 to 30 percent influence from our genes, which means 70 person relies on non-genetic factors like diet, lifestyle choices, environmental toxins, and pollution. "In addition to diet and exercise, which are both popular topics today, there’s also life satisfaction, positive relationships, balanced lifestyle, and stress management that play important roles," says Riemann.
If you want to try your best to ensure a long life, try adapting these 11 daily habits that can help increase your lifespan.
1. Enjoying Your Life
"The one thing I can absolutely guarantee applies to everyone is that life satisfaction can add four to 10 years to your lifespan," says Riemann. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that people who have positive moods are 35 percent less likely to de in the next five years than people who are frequently in bad moods, even taking their life situations into account.
2. Sprinkling On Some Turmeric
"Add turmeric to your daily diet," says Dr. Larry Goldfarb DC, CSSP to Bustle over email. "Turmeric is the main spice in curry, and is arguably the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices available. It decrease inflammation, acts as a powerful antioxidant that fights cancer-causing free radicals, helps ease pain of osteoarthritis, promotes healthy digestion by easing upset stomach, bloating and gas, and may prevent buildup of plaque in arteries."
There's no surprise here — regular exercise can contribute to a longer life. Research published in the journal PLOS Medicine found an association between daily exercise and longer life, and the more minutes you add to your workout routine, the greater gains in longevity. "Even if you add 10 extra minutes of walking to your daily routine, you are on the path to a longer, healthier life," says Dr. Matt Tanneberg, CSCS to Bustle over email.
4. Eating Breakfast
Eating breakfast daily reduces the risk of becoming obese, developing diabetes and having a heart attack, according to a study from Harvard Medical School. "Starting your day with a balanced breakfast, such as a Greek yogurt (filled with gut healthy probiotics, protein and calcium), fresh fruit (filled with fiber and vitamins) and nuts (healthy fats), will set you up for a day of success," says Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RD, CLT to Bustle over email. Another study from Harvard even found that eating whole grain cereal daily can decrease your risk of dying by 19 percent.
5. Enjoying Some Drinks
Drinking too much alcohol can definitely take a toll on your body, but moderate drinking is linked to a lower mortality rate, according to research from the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. People who drank one to three drinks daily experience a lower mortality risk than people who abstain from alcohol or who are heavy drinkers.
6. Doing Yoga
As if you needed any other reasons to get in your daily zen, yoga can improve your lifespan by boosting various aspects of your health. According to The Whole U of University of Washington, yoga can boost your immune system, calm your nervous system, lower your blood sugar, and improve your blood sugar, among other benefits.
7. Looking On The Bright Side
Keep your chin up — it could add years to your life. A study from Umeå University in Sweden found that people who were pessimistic had twice the risk of dying in the next five years than those who were optimists. Optimism can help people cope with disease, and it even helps maintain good blood pressure, according to Harvard Health.
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to cope with stress and anxiety, and keeping calm is a great way to encourage a long life. One study led by UC Davis found that participants who meditated daily had on average 30 percent more activity of the enzyme telomerase, which is associated with longevity.
9. Cleaning The House
Your chores can feel annoying, but you can rest assured knowing they do more than just keep your house clean. Frequent housework has been linked to a longer life, especially more vigorous activities that involve frequent walking, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
10. Working Hard
Even though it's all about work/life balance, focusing on meaningful and productive activities throughout your life can help prevent early death, according to an eight-decade study that looked at what contributes to a long life. Not all hard work is unhealthy, especially if it keeps you motivated.
11. Snacking On Nuts
You can't deny the many health benefits of nuts, but they do more than just act as a good, heart-healthy snack. People who eat nuts daily are 20 percent less likely to die from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease, according to research done by Harvard University.
Taking on these daily habits will have you not only living an extra-long life, but a healthy and enjoyable one as well.
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