5 Simple Steps To Live a Much Longer Life, According to Science
Living longer is a goal many of us strive to achieve. Although we can't casually fill up our water bottles from the Fountain of Youth each morning, there are certain lifestyle habits we stick to that are believed to promote longevity. From fitness to diet to wellness, we try to make our daily routines the absolute best they can be—and make improvements when necessary—in order to boost our chances of leading a long, healthy, and happy life. But there are even more good-for-you habits to implement into your routine that you might not have thought of just yet. That's totally okay, because we did the hard work for you. Eat This, Not That! took to science to find out the absolute best steps to follow to live a longer life. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, don't miss These 4 Things Can Predict How Long You'll Live, According to Science.
Be happy and optimistic.
Looking at the glass as half full and not sweating the small stuff in life is sometimes much easier said than done. Amid a hectic work schedule and life commitments that always seem to pile up, chronic stress is incredibly common in today's society. As a matter of fact, according to a 2022 survey from ValuePenguin, 84% of Americans experience stress a minimum of one day a week. Stress is associated with plenty of mental and physical health issues—even death—so it's important to keep it at bay with effective stress-management tools.
If you want to live longer, research suggests that maintaining good psychological health is a key player in the game. A 2022 study examined survey data from individuals over the age of 50. As part of the research, the participants were required to reveal how optimistic, happy, and all-around satisfied they were with their lives over four-year time brackets. The researchers discovered that the participants who were still living scored higher when it came to their psychological health, compared to those who passed away at the same age.
Maintain a healthy body weight.
This is something that's been proven by science time and time again. Carrying around excess body fat can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, negative metabolic effects, and more that's linked to aging, among other health risks. According to a paper published in Aging Cell, research shows how beneficial maintaining a healthy body weight and sticking to a nutritious diet can be when it comes to leading a long, healthy existence throughout your adult years. The "adiposity triad"—aka, your waist circumference, BMI, and weight gain since you were a young adult—are major assessors in the relationship between aging healthily and adiposity.
Have an active social life.
Making social plans and surrounding yourself with solid, genuine friends is good for the soul. Plus, it can even help you live longer!
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that leading an active social life and fostering good relationships is associated with improved physiological functioning and a decreased risk of physical disorders. In addition, being more social can lower your risk of "deleterious physical outcomes that are of clinical significance," the research noted. As if that wasn't already enough to convince you to find your tribe and keep them close, a review of 148 studies revealed that participants who had solid social relationships were 50% more likely to live.
Add movement to every single day.
The benefits of incorporating movement into every day cannot be ignored. The same goes for the cons directly associated with not exercising and leading a more sedentary life. According to research published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine, being sedentary too much heightens your risk of suffering from cancer, CVD, and early death. For example, in a study that examined the death rates of individuals with more than 10 hours and less than five hours of sedentary time daily, sedentary time was substantially linked to death by any cause.
So find active hobbies, club sports, and exercise you actually enjoy doing—and stick with them. If you need some assistance deciding, a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings revealed that individuals who played tennis as their go-to exercise could tack on 9.7 years to their life. Those who played badminton could add 6.2 years, along with soccer at 4.7 years, cycling at 3.7 years, swimming at 3.4 years, jogging at 3.2 years, and calisthenics at 3.1 years.
Consume a healthy diet.
You knew this one was coming! It's an oldie but goodie that never disappoints when it comes to yielding results. The last of these crucial steps to live a longer life is consuming a healthy diet. A study published in PLOS Medicine discovered that tweaking your diet could add up to 13 more years to your lifespan. The research showed improvements in longevity in those who consumed more legumes, nuts, fruits/veggies, and whole grains, and fewer red meats and processed meats.
So nix the bacon, sausage, and deli meats, and start making healthier choices. Getting a good portion of your protein from plant-based sources, choosing unrefined carbs, eating fatty fish, opting for tea rather than soda, topping off your morning oats with fresh fruit or nuts rather than brown sugar, and enjoying cruciferous veggies over fries are all smart tips and tricks to follow if you're looking to stay in great health well into your older years.
- Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/
- Source: https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fhea0001159
- Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032609/
- Source: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1511085112
- Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316
- Source: https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(18)30538-X/fulltext
- Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003889