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