In an article called "50 Great Ways to Live Longer" published in the March, 2017 issue of the AARP Bulletin, scientific and government studies helped them compile a list of proven tips for increasing the length of your life. Not all of the AARP suggestions are listed in this post. When I read the list, some of their tips seemed to correlate to a longer life, but may not have been the cause of it. For example, there is a correlation between living in California, New York or Vermont and having a longer life, especially if you have a low income. Conversely, if you live in Nevada, Indiana or Oklahoma, your life expectancy could be much lower. However, that does not mean your state of residence is actually the cause of why some people live longer than others. Individuals can live either a long life or short life in any state, depending on their personal lifestyle.
While there are no guarantees in life, it is still worthwhile to follow the suggestions listed below. They are based on scientific research and could make a tremendous difference in the length of your life, as well as how much you enjoy living those extra years.
Tips for a Longer Life
1. Take Extra Vitamin D - The amount should be based on a blood test, but Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to a variety of health problems which you can easily avoid.
2. Avoid painkillers - Only take the minimum amount or eliminate them completely. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter painkillers.
3. Get at least six hours of sleep a night - It will cut your risk of heart disease and strokes. Try to get seven or eight hours of sleep, if possible. It will make your health and life better in a number of ways. It may even make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
4. Have frequent sex - It has been shown to not only increase the length of your life, but your enjoyment, as well.
5. Get married - Married people, especially men, have a lower risk of heart disease. Of course, if you are in an abusive or miserable marriage, this suggestion may not work for you.
6. Eat a healthy diet - Research shows the right diet for longevity includes fully ripened fruit, coffee, green tea, vegetables, whole grains, whole milk, olive oil, fish, nuts, spices and plenty of water. You should also reduce your consumption of added sugar and alcohol. While you're at it, take care to prevent food poisoning when preparing your meals. Keep your work surfaces clean, separate meat and vegetables, wash your hands and refrigerate ingredients which could spoil.
7. Find a purpose in life - You may find your purpose in volunteer activities, helping your family, attending religious services or becoming involved in anything else which is meaningful to you. Having a purpose can add years to your life; it can also make you look forward to getting up each day.
8. Lead a generally healthy life - We have all heard most of it before. Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise daily (including walking and climbing stairs, if you can), read books, get a flu shot and find a woman doctor (statistically, they have better outcomes). In addition, monitor your own health and see your doctor if any aspect of your health changes, such as unexpected weight-loss, unusual fatigue, bleeding, or changes to the skin.
9. Fill your life with friends and love - Socialize frequently with friends, get a pet, spend time with the grandkids, and forgive your family for past hurts.
10. Practice safety - There is no point to eating right if you die from an accident. Accept the fact that auto accidents are higher for people over the age of 70 and are exceptionally high for those over 85. Among the safety steps you should take are: drive less as you age, avoid distractions while you are behind the wheel, be careful walking across a street (even in crosswalks), make sure your home has fire and radon detectors, and remove anything in your house, such as rugs, which could contribute to a fall. Do not store items on high shelves where you would be tempted to stand on a chair or stool to reach them.
If you follow the steps above, you are much more likely to live a long life. In addition, your quality of life is likely to be better. That alone makes these suggestions worthwhile.
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Watch for my book, "Retirement Awareness: 10 Steps to a Comfortable Retirement," which is scheduled to be published by Griffin Publishing in the fall of 2017.
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