It's possible to stretch your life expectancy by adopting a few anti-ageing habits, discovers Karen fit tall.
There are some simple things you can do every day to 'grow' your life expectancy. Interested? Start doing these things, daily.
1. Read a book for 30 minutes
You'll add two years to your lifespan.
It’s because: of the way reading "works out" the brain, as well as its ability to promote empathy and emotional intelligence. They’re cognitive processes that have been linked to increased longevity, all on their own.
To make it work: pick a fiction book – that’s the genre that’s most likely to provide the biggest benefit.
2. Eat an Apple
That lowers your risk of dying in the next 15 years by more than a third, according to a 2016 Australian study.
It’s because: they’re packed full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and flavonoids – a potent, health-promoting combination.
To make it work: eat the apple’s peel, and if you can, pick Pink Lady apples. Apple peel contains significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants than the flesh, and the Pink Lady variety contains more flavonoids than other types of apple.
3. Enjoy a handful of nuts
Your risk of dying in the next 30 years will fall by 20 per cent
It’s because: like apples, nuts also contain a whole lot of healthy things, including fiber, vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals and healthy fats. The researchers behind the stat say that gives nuts anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties, as well as being heart healthy
To make it work: eat a variety of different nuts, rather than just one type, and always choose raw, unsalted nuts.
4. Write down one thing You're grateful for
You’ll live for an extra two years.
It’s because: making a conscious effort to celebrate the good stuff in your life adds up to a greater sense of "life meaning" and well being, and the bigger that feeling is, the longer you’ll live – an extra 24 months on average, according to UK scientists.
To make it work: use a pen and paper – not a computer or your phone –to write down what you’re grateful for. It’s much more likely to stick, because writing by hand boosts the brain’s ability to store and internalize ideas.
5. Drink three cups of coffee
That improves your chances of avoiding premature death in the next 30 years, by 15 per cent.
It’s because: coffee beans contain a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals that work in sync to lower disease risk factors, like insulin resistance and inflammation. But it’s got nothing to do with caffeine, say researchers, who discovered that drinking either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee does the trick.
To make it work: don’t drink more than five cups of coffee a day – caffeinated or not. While drinking between three and five cups a day can help you live longer, drinking more than five doesn’t produce the same protective effect.
6. Spend 10 minutes planning tomorrow
You’ll be 14 per cent more likely to be alive in eight years’ time.
It’s because: planning ahead can increase how optimistic you feel, a state of mind that’s linked to greater longevity. Why? It’s most likely due to a range of reasons, such as the fact that optimists cope with stress better and maybe more likely to follow healthy lifestyle advice.
To make it work: spend the 10 minutes thinking specifically about what you are going to do tomorrow that will bring you closer to achieving one of your goals – whether that’s getting fitter, eating more healthily, anything! Goal-orientated forward thinking boosts feelings of optimism the most.
7. Do 35 minutes of aerobic exercise each day.
That halves your risk of dying in the next 20 years
It’s because: as well as building cardiovascular fitness, people who do weight-bearing aerobic exercise – like running, cross-training or playing netball – every day tend to have a higher proportion of lean body mass. That delays age-related disability, as well as protecting against death caused by cancer, infections and neurological diseases.
To make it work: get your sports shoes professionally fitted. Wearing ill-fitting shoes means you’re four times as likely to suffer an injury when you’re exercising, particularly if you’re a runner, which can put you out of action for a while.
Image Creadit: shutterstock