How to live a long and happy life

Live fast, die young?
These habits can either make you age faster or live longer 

Photo: Getty Images

Do you wish to live a long and happy life? Then you better say goodbye to your vices and heed some of these methods

If you fall off the wagon when it comes to exercising and healthy eating, nasty habits can creep in faster than might you think. Munching away on fast food and regularly skipping the gym can have a significant impact on your life.

That said, you can get your health back on track and extend your time on this earth significantly with small changes to your everyday life.

These are the dos and don’ts if you want to stick around on this planet for a long time.

Why nudists are happier people

If you feel the glowy warmth of nostalgia as you remember running around in the garden as a toddler minus your clothes, this probably isn't a coincidence. In order to establish a correlation between nakedness and the perception of one's own body, quality of life and self-confidence, all participants completed an online questionnaire.

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These tricks will help you live longer:

The power of puppies

Social media was virtually founded on the principle of sharing images of cats, dogs and other furry creatures, and it turns out that looking at cute images can improve your focus and relieve stress, therefore reducing the likelihood of illness. The more positive your outlook on life, the longer you’re going to live. Simples.

An active sex life

A study by influential medical journal The BMJ found that your mortality rate drops nearly 50 per cent if you have sex regularly. So next time you think about passing on a bit of nookie because you’re feeling tired, just remember it could add years to your life.

Love records

That's how long the longest hug lasted for as 26 couples got all clingy in Pattaya, Thailand onValentines Day 2014. 90 YEARS and still in love Karam and Kartari Chand have been married for 90 years, going into the record books as the longest married couple.

Married bliss

It’s quite a radical step in life, but if you meet the partner of your dreams, you’re well-advised to settle down. A long-term study from the University of North Carolina found that unmarried people are twice as much risk of dying as those that are already hitched.


If you’re already settled down, then it’s worth considering taking the next step and thinking about starting a family too. A study from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health revealed that 80-year-old men who had children had a longer life ahead of them than their childless counterparts.

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Live a green life

Perhaps children aren’t for you. In that case, you should consider nurturing and taking care of something else. A study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that those living in a nursing home lived longer if they kept plants. The other group of residents, whose plants were tended to by the staff, died earlier on average.

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For your health’s sake, abandon these bad habits:

Lack of sleep

It’s an oft-repeated line, but there is truth to the saying that you need your “beauty sleep”. Not getting those eight hours won’t just affect your good looks by making you appear tired and older either – it can make you more susceptible to diseases.

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Napping has a bad reputation, which is unsubstantiated, says Littlehales. Before the light bulb was invented people would sleep a shorter period at night, but also around noon or early evening. Hence he recommends controlled recovery periods between 1-3pm and again between 5-7pm. Tip: drink an espresso before you nap.

Too much sugar

It’s sad but true, sugar isn’t only bad for your figure, but it makes you age faster too. A study in the trade publication Age showed that people with the highest blood sugar levels had a significantly higher biological age.


Sitting is one of humanity’s worst habits. Many of us spending our working day sitting down, then drive home in our car before getting comfortable on the sofa for the evening to binge on Netflix or watch some football. This is bad, very bad. Studies have shown that people who spend more than ten hours a day sitting have a higher biological age by around eight years.

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Are you something of a workaholic? Then this should give you pause for thought: permanent stress increases your risk of being diagnosed with just about any disease there is. According to a study published in the journal PLoSONE, stress can even damage your DNA. You also have a higher probability of getting cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

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03 2017 The Red Bulletin

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