No matter what your age is, you have the power to change many of the variables that influence the length of your life and how you feel active and vital in your later years. The actions you can take to increase your chances of a longer and more satisfying life are actually very simple.

17 secrets to a longer life

Making just a few lifestyle changes can help you live longer. A recent study found that four bad behaviors – smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and vegetables – can lead to your early grave and, in effect, age you by as much as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviors. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.

No fumes

It is already known to everyone that quitting smoking can lengthen your life, but how much? A 50-year British study found that quitting smoking in your 30s could add 10 more years to your life. Quitting the habit of smoking at 40, 50 or 60 years can give you respectively 9, 6 or 3 years to your life.

Protect your DNA

As you get older, the ends of the chromosomes get shorter. This increases the likelihood that you will get sick. However, making lifestyle changes can modify an enzyme that makes chromosomes longer. Studies have also shown that exercise and diet can do a lot to protect your chromosomes. What is the result of making these changes? adding more healthy habits to your life can slow aging at the cellular level.

Choose your friends wisely

If you are to hang out with groups of friends very closely, you should know that you could be adopting the habits that they have, so, try to hang out with friends with healthy lifestyles. Did you know that if you have obese friends, the tendency is that you can be in the same conditions? Like smoking, this habit is also spread through social ties, however, quitting smoking can also be contagious.

Adopt the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, olive oil, fish, and whole grains. This diet also greatly reduces your chances of getting metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of high blood sugar, obesity, high blood pressure, and a host of other things that make you more prone to diabetes and heart disease.

Be more aware

A study that lasted 80 years found that people who are conscientious, that is, who analyze things more and pay attention to details, in addition to always seeking to do the right thing, live longer. Why? These types of people are the ones who tend to do the most for their health and make decisions that lead to stronger relationships and better careers.

Make friends

Do you have good friends? Maybe it’s time to thank them that they could help you live longer . Multiple studies have shown a clear relationship between strong friendly ties and longer life. So, take all the time to stay in touch with people with whom you have close friendships.

Take a nap

Napping is an essential part of life in many cultures around the world, and now there is scientific evidence to prove that napping can help you live a longer life . Those who nap daily are up to 37% less likely to die of heart disease than those who rarely take it. Researchers on this topic believe that taking regular naps can help heart health by keeping stress hormones at bay or lower.

Eat like the Okinawan people

People living in Okinawa, Japan, once lived longer than any other group of people on Earth and the reason is their diet. This is rich in yellow and green vegetables and low in calories. Also, some people in this region had a habit of eating only 80% of the food on their plate. Now, the younger generations of Okinawa have abandoned the old ways and the life span of its inhabitants has decreased.


Believe it or not. Studies say the trend is that married people tend to outlive their single friends. According to studies, it is due to the economic and social support that the stability of a marriage brings. While there are higher benefits in existing marriages, even widowed or divorced people have lower death rates than people who never married.

Lose weight if you want to add years to your life

If you have extra kilos, you should know that losing weight will help protect you against heart disease, diabetes and other conditions that will take years off your life. It is not widely understood that abdominal fat is really bad, so concentrating on eliminating it will bring you many benefits, including serious episodes in the hospital, especially if you have already accumulated a lot of fat. Add more fiber to your diet and exercise regularly to reduce your risk of early death.

Your sleep hours should be a priority

Optimal sleep can not only reduce your risk of diabetes, but obesity, it could prevent, as we already mentioned, heart disease and also mood disorders. Getting enough sleep is a catalyst to recover from illness faster. As a fact to take into account: sleep less than 5 hours a night and it could increase your chances of dying at a young age, so make sleep your priority.

Get more physical activity

There is no doubt, the evidence is more than clear: people who exercise live longer than those who do not. Regular physical activity reduces your chances of getting strokes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes, and depression. Also, it gives you more mental clarity in old age. Ten-minute bouts of daily exercise are fine, as long as they add up to about 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week.

Manage stress

Stress is part of our lives, it is impossible to avoid it, but you can learn to control it. Try meditation, yoga, physical exercise, walking, hiking, deep breathing, there are tons of ways to lower it. Even a few minutes a day that you use to lower it can make a lot of difference.

Drink in moderation

Drinking too much alcohol increases blood pressure, increases your belly, and can cause many other health problems. If you like to drink alcohol, one drink per day should be the limit if you are a woman and one or two for men. But if drinking is not your habit, you better not start. There are better ways to protect your heart!

Sorry if you want to live a long life

Eliminating grudges from your life has surprising benefits for both mental and physical health. Being chronically angry is linked to strokes, heart disease, poor lung health, and other problems. The act of forgiveness will help you breathe easier, it can reduce anxiety, lower your blood pressure. What are you waiting for? The rewards tend to increase as you get older.

Wear safety gear if you want to live longer

This is a practical and easy way to increase your chances of a long life . Wearing a seatbelt while driving reduces your chances of dying in a car accident by up to 50%.

Wearing a helmet while cycling also greatly reduces your chances of dying in an accident since the injuries in them are mainly in the head. So, always wear the appropriate equipment if you want to live longer.

Maintain a sense of purpose

Activities and hobbies that make sense to you can lengthen your life . It has been found in Japan that men with a strong sense of purpose were less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, or other causes over a 13-year period compared to those who did not.

Being clear about what you want in life and why you want it can also lower your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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