The average life expectancy of an American is 78.7 years, but that can largely depend on your genes. But there are certainly things you can do to increase your longevity that are totally within your control. Some are obvious like eating healthy, exercising, stop smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. Others are a little less obvious.
1. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier
You will gain an extra night of sleep (7.5 hours) over the course of a month by doing this every night. Sleep is the most important thing for your body. It’s the time when your body restores itself and gets ready to take on a new day. People who get less than 7 hours of sleep a night will start to see a negative impact on their health.
2. Floss daily
A healthy smile leads to a healthy heart. Studies prove that periodontal and cardiovascular diseases are linked. Plus, it removes the bacteria before it has a chance to harden into plaque - something your toothbrush can’t do. Ideally, you should floss twice a day.
3. Have more sex
Studies show there is a link between organisms and longevity. Not only does it feel good, but it’s good for the soul, and it’s great exercise. Sex has also been known to reduce stress and boost the body’s immune system.
4. Be happy
Happy people simply live longer than unhappy people. Pessimism, stress and depression can weaken the immune system and prevent a shorter lifespan. Take time to experience gratitude every day. It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to live longer.
5. Eat nuts
Any type of nuts will do. People who eat 20 nuts several times a week had a reduced mortality rate than those who ate less or no nuts. They are high in fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants, and they help lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
6. Skip the soda
Studies have proven a link between regular soda and the shortening of telomeres, which are parts of the chromosomes directly linked to aging. The study did not find the same link with diet soda, but other research has shown that it is linked to type 2 diabetes, depression and weight gain – any three could shorten your life.
7. Make friends
Don’t stay home alone. Go out with friends, be social. People with strong friendships have a 50% greater chance of living longer than those without. Loneliness compromises your immune system. So find some friends and go out and have a good time every once in a while!
Not only does it make you feel good, but it may help you live longer too! Studies show that those who volunteer are less depressed and live longer (20% longer) than those who don’t volunteer. Another study found that retirees who volunteered 200 hours or more every year after retirement were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers, lowering their risk of heart disease. Get out there and volunteer! It’s a win-win situation!