Recently I came across an article in AARP magazine that highlighted 50 Great Ways to Live Longer.
Many of the tips were related to your health and how to increase your chances of a longer life by eating well, exercising and taking better care of yourself. However, there were a few that highlighted some interesting facts and surprising ways to improve your chances of living longer.
1) Experiences boost the body’s defense system, according to research from the University of California, Berkeley. The things that we experience, such as a walk in nature, listening to music or beholding art has a direct influence upon your health and life expectancy. Plan that trip to the Grand Canyon or take in a concert.
2) Do something that matters. Finding your purpose in life, whether it’s working in the community or helping your children is correlated with seven extra years in life, according to researchers. Find what gets you motivated to get up in the morning and reap the benefits.
3) Vacations matter. Taking the time to unwind from the stresses of everyday life can reduce your chances of coronary artery disease. According to the Framingham Heart Study, women who vacationed just once every six years were eight times more likely to develop coronary artery disease or have a heart attack than women who vacation twice a year.
4) Get a pet. A number of studies indicate that owning a pet can reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and even improve the odds of surviving a heart attack. The American Heart Association has weighed in on a report published in the journal Circulation that recommends owning a dog for those seeking to reduce their risk of deadly heart disease. Dog owners are more likely to be physically active and are less vulnerable to the effects of stress according to the report.
5) Read, read and read. Scientific research supports the longevity benefit of reading (books are the best but newspapers and magazines are also helpful).
6) Forgiveness is beneficial and will lower your stress level. Chronic stress can lead to premature aging and a vast array of serious diseases according to research from the University of California, San Francisco. Holding a grudge is not helpful to your mortality. So forgive your family and friends and live longer. Easier said than done, but give it a try.
We all strive to live a long and healthy life. So take that vacation to the Grand Canyon, share your life with others, read a book, forgive someone, and best for last, get a dog.
Work hard, live long and plan right!
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