Ways To Live Longer

Whether you want to live forever or simply be cryogenically frozen like Britney Spears – living past 100 is completely possible in today’s world. But one thing is for certain if you want to be a centenarian or even a supercentenarian (110 and over) you’ll have to ditch the bad habits! We look at a few ways to improve your health and lifestyle to see you living long enough to see the polar ice caps melt…

1. Get laughing
Finally a reason you can have a laugh rather then do the household chores! A good laugh is like a mini-workout – for example 100 to 200 laughs are equivalent to ten minutes of jogging or rowing, according to a US cardiologist, Dr William Fry. Research also shows that chuckling at a good joke lowers levels of stress hormones, and heightens the activity of the body’s natural defensive killer cells and antibodies. A DVD of your favourite comedian might make the Christmas list then…

2. Mum’s the word
Believe it or not, having a stronger bond with your mother could be a way to live longer. A study by the Harvard Medical School found that 91% of people who weren’t close to their mothers developed a serious disease by midlife, including things such as high blood pressure, alcoholism and heart disease. Only 45% of participants who said they had close relationships with their mothers developed these illnesses.

3. Quit smoking
We all know it’s bad for our health but next time you’re sparking up on a cancer stick, remember the ten years of your fabulous life you could most possibly be giving up. Not to mention the risks you are putting on yourself for developing cancer, strokes, heart disease and emphysema. Smoking might be enjoyable but we bet it’s not worth leaving your loved ones behind.

4. Find your soulmate
Although more and more people are choosing to live the single life – studies show it might be better for your health to be living in wedded bliss. According to a study in 2006 by the University of Chicago – married men live on average 10 years longer and women four years longer then their unmarried counterparts. Similarly, single people spend longer in the hospital, have a greater risk of dying after surgery and are more likely to report higher levels of depression and distress. But don’t rush into anything – divorcing increases your risk of dying earlier even more then staying single!

5. Get a pet
There is more then one reason not to give up your pet in the recession! Studies show, having a moggie or faithful four-legged friend at your side can significantly reduce your stress levels. In fact, the survival rate for heart attack victims who had a pet were 28% higher then patients that didn’t – and they provide a welcome boost after a tough day. Dogs bring the best results so get down to your local animal shelter asap and see your stress rates plummeting!

6. Move to the country
The city might be your friend but the big smoke ain’t called that for nothing. Whether it’s the level of pollution or simply the stress of the rat race – people living in rural areas such as Mayo have a higher expectancy then urban Dub’s. And if you’re not a fan of being miles away from the nearest shop don’t worry. Living near a green open space of some sort can have a similar affect!

7. Make things Rosy
It brings a new meaning to ‘a pocket full of posies’. According to research from Rutgers University just looking at flowers can put you in a brighter mood. In three different studies, receiving flowers was shown to have both immediate and long-term positive effects on emotional outlook. You don’t have to wait for your partner to send them either (as this might mean waiting forever), buy them yourself for a quick boost!

8. Go to bed later
Go to bed later or get up earlier! Studies show sleeping more than eight hours a night may reduce your life expectancy. A study in the Archives of General Psychiatry, US, found that those who get only six to seven hours sleep a night live longer. While bed- worshippers who sleep eight hours or more were shown to have a significantly higher death rate, as were those who got less than four hours.

9. Get it on
Its official – bumping uglies is good for your health! Couples with a healthy sex life can look up to seven years younger than those who don’t, according to a study by Dr David Weeks at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. This is because sex reduces stress, leads to greater contentment and better sleep. And you don’t even have to have a partner to enjoy the benefits – according to stats, orgasm’s (about 100 per year) can increase your life expectancy by up to eight years! Who said staying healthy was boring?