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5 Ways to Add Years to Your Life

Learn five things that can help lengthen your lifespan. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

We all know diet, exercise and not smoking are ways to help live a long quality life, but there's many other lifestyle choices and proven tricks that can also add years to your life. The average American lifespan is 78, but people are living much longer and that's due to several factors like the evolution of medicine and technology, as well as healthy habits. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share ways to extend life expectancy and enjoy decades of happiness and good health. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Test for Radon

Closeup portrait of intellectual woman healthcare personnel with white labcoat, looking at full body x-ray radiographic image, ct scan, mri

Dr. Cherie P Erkmen, a thoracic surgeon and director of the lung cancer screening program at Temple University Hospital, and professor of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University tells us, "Radon exposure is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and increases the already high risk among smokers. You can't see or smell this naturally occurring radioactive gas so consider purchasing a home test kit or finding a service provider who can test your home to determine whether you and your family are at risk of high radon exposure. For more information on radon testing, visit"


Cultivating Strong Friendships

young friends eating together at restaurant
Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

Dr. Jeff Gladd, MD, integrative medicine physician and chief medical officer at Fullscript reminds us, "Good, strong friendships not only help to buffer stress by having someone to connect with, but have many associations with increased longevity and life satisfaction. Interestingly, there may be a difference in health benefits of a more casual friendship versus strong friendships. While the difference is subjective, strong friendships typically have certain traits. Much more time invested in relationships and doing leisure activities together tends to be important. In today's age of digital connection, I encourage spending physical time with friends as well as staying connected virtually. I encourage patients to consider others that have shared interests to promote spending time together regularly hiking or running or cooking a meal together to also emphasize other healthy behaviors."



woman taking vitamin d supplement with water
Shutterstock / TashaSinchuk

Nicole Ritieni, RN with the New York Center for Innovative Medicine explains, "An adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to a longer life. Most commonly found in cold-water fish, this nutrient has various benefits, including promoting brain development, reducing inflammation, improving heart health and bone strength, reducing the risk of age-related mental decline and Alzheimer's disease, and promoting restorative sleep. In order to obtain adequate omega 3s, the typical recommendation is to eat about 8 oz of fish a week. However, it may be easier to introduce a fish oil supplement, preferably a wild-caught fish oil supplement tested for purity and no heavy metals. A typical dose ranges from 1000 to 2000 mg per day."


Never Stop Learning

Group Of Mature Students Collaborating On Project In Library

Francine Waskavitz, M.S., SLP, IHNC, Owner at Longevity Coaching states, "Your brain is like a muscle, you have to use it or you will lose it. When you stop learning, your brain physically starts deteriorating, which can steal years from your life. If longevity is your goal, engage in lifelong learning to stay sharp and strong."


Incorporate Curcumin Into Your Health Regimen


Kent Probst, personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder with Long Healthy Life explains, "Many people around the world are familiar with the yellow tropical root turmeric.  It's widely used as a spice for cooking.  Turmeric is also popular due to the health benefits of curcumin, a polyphenol compound in the root. One aspect of longevity is maintaining telomere length.  The telomeres are the caps on the ends of the chromosomes.  Each time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten, until the cell can no longer divide, leading to disease and faster aging.  Curcumin is responsible for "enhanced telomerase activity."  Telomerase adds new DNA to the ends of the chromosomes." 

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 about Heather
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