A new study involving reports from more than 700,000 U.S. veterans theorised that people who adopt the undermentioned healthy lifestyle habits by middle age can expect to live substantially longer than those with few or none of these habits. These habits include: being physically active, avoiding smoking, properly managing stress, being free from opioid addiction, having a good diet, not regularly binge drinking, having good sleep hygiene, and having positive social relationships. According to the results, men who have all eight habits at age 40 would be predicted to live an average of 24 years longer than men with none of these habits. For women, having all these healthy lifestyle factors in middle age was associated with a predicted 21 additional years of life compared to women with none of these habits.
“We were really surprised by just how much could be gained with the adoption of one, two, three, or all eight lifestyle factors,” said Xuan-Mai T. Nguyen, health science specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs and rising fourth-year medical student at Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
“Our research findings suggest that adopting a healthy lifestyle is important for both public health and personal wellness. The earlier the better, but even if you only make a small change in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, it still is beneficial.”
Other habits to boost longevity include:
Laughing helps to reduce stress levels which in turn reduces cortisol levels in the body. High levels of cortisol in the body can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, skin changes, high blood sugar and many more. All of these can probably be avoided if you just laugh more.
Having good friends
According to research, people who have more besties, satisfying relationships and those who socialise more end up being happier, better adjusted, have better health and longer lives than people who do not. Basically, the more you socialise, the higher your chances of living longer.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Defined as at least seven to nine hours a night with no insomnia, reduced early death from any cause by 18%, Nguyen said. Dozens of studies have linked poor sleep to all sorts of poor health outcomes, including premature mortality.