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5 Everyday Habits That Add Years to Your Life, Say Experts

Here's five things we should do everyday that help prolong your lifespan, according to health experts.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Want to add a few years to your life? You absolutely can, but not with trendy diets and so-called miracle pills. And if you're hoping good luck will help, maybe you'll have good fortune on your side, but living a longer life is really about healthy and positive lifestyle choices that can increase your lifespan. There are several simple tricks to prolong your life, according to experts we spoke with, so read on for five habits to do daily and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Get in 10,000 Steps a Day

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Dr. Michael Roizen M.D., and author of the forthcoming book The Great Age Reboot says, "Walk or do other physical activities that get you to at least 10,000 steps or step equivalents a day. Studies show that being active turns on certain genes that keep your brain and body younger for longer .That is the key –you are a genetic engineer and making healthy choices changes gene functioning to produce proteins that keep you younger and better functioning for longer." 

2

Stop Trying to Achieve Weight Loss and Focus on Health Instead

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Health and fitness expert Alicia Jones explains, "Health is #1! Absolutely. And there's no denying that the body changes with age ( a reason many women don't care to get "bikini ready" as they feel that ship has already sailed.. although I choose to disagree). In the midst of searching for more health and a better wellbeing, and to dissociate from years of horrible dieting experiences, women may inadvertently increase their chances of chronic disease and poor health. Statistically we can't deny that obesity and being overweight increases the risk of certain cancers, heart disease (a major killer for women over 50 now that estrogen levels have declined) not to mention Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.. I want to be clear, we are all beautiful at all shapes and sizes, but each of us has a healthy weight we were meant to be, whether that's a size 8 or a size 20. The goal is still the same. It's not necessarily about fitting into a bikini, but it's absolutely about getting to your healthiest weight in order to balance hormones and stave off disease."

3

Own a Dog or Cat

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Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, New York City-based plant-forward culinary nutritionist and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook states, "If you don't have a dog or cat, adopt one. Owners say that their pets bring so much joy to their lives. And studies that go beyond that. A research review published in Circulation finds that dog and cat ownership is linked to a lower risk of death, which is potentially due to reduced cardiovascular mortality."

4

Eat a Little Chocolate Every Week

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Newgent says, "While indulging in daily candy bars is not the way to go; savoring a small bite (slightly less than one serving) of chocolate every week may be a smart and scrumptious way to boost longevity. And it appears to be better to have it than to not have it at all. John Hopkins Medicine states that dark chocolate increases heart health, balances the immune system, combats diabetes, improves brain function and more. "Dark chocolate has many health benefits and can definitely be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. There are many healthy ways to incorporate chocolate into your lifestyle, so find what works for you."

5

Have a Handful of Walnuts Five Times a Week

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Newgent shares, "Harvard researchers found that walnut consumption may be linked with a lower risk of death and an increase in life expectancy among older adults in the U.S. The magic number appears to be five. When compared to people who didn't eat walnuts, eating five or more servings of walnuts a week was associated with a gain of about 1.3 years of life expectancy. And, of course, you can have the nuts as a snack or enjoy them in delightful recipes."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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