Harvard scientists say this one exercise can help you live longer


What’s the secret to living a long and healthy life?

I see this question asked ALL the time.

Here’s the thing…

When you look up stories from centenarians describing how they lived so long, the stories vary wildly: one may say that they ate bacon every day, another may claim that daily jogging is the key to long life, and another may say they’ve been drinking alcohol every day for the last ninety years.

So, how can you work out the habits that will give YOU the best chance of living a longer life?

Scientific research, and lots of it!

Research is designed to eliminate factors you can’t control, and also be statistically significant for the majority of participants.

And the more positive research there is, the higher chance it will actually benefit you.

And in study after study, scientists have found the one key conclusion towards living a longer and more active life: exercise.

Exercise is the be all end all answer when searching for an all-around Fountain of Youth.

Doctors usually recommend at least half an hour of exercise, five days a week, or around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.



And for good reason, too: not only have studies proven that exercise can extend your lifespan, but they have also proven that it can improve cognitive strength and generally keep your brain healthy and active.

Beat Out the Sweat, Beat In the Life

Harvard University School of Public Health recently released a study that examined the exact kind of exercise that was found to be most effective in significantly cutting down average death rate.

The secret is moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, which is also known as MVPA. MVPA basically includes exercise that forces you to break out a sweat, raising your heartbeat and pushing yourself slightly more than you’re comfortable with.

Activities such as light biking, swimming, and brisk walking all fall in this category.

To find these results, the study examined a total of 16,741 women over a four-year period. The participants who had actively engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity throughout their lives were found to have 60 to 70% lower mortality rates than the participants who generally lived lives with no exercise, or sedentary lifestyles.

Changing Methodology and Improving Results

As great as the study may be, it’s easy to think of it as just another study lauding the great benefits of exercise.



However, there is something about this study that makes it slightly more accurate than most of those that have come before it.

According to the lead author of the study, Harvard professor I-Min Lee who specializes in epidemiology, the one aspect about their study that made it much more reliable than earlier studies on the connection between exercise and lifespan was their methodology.

Whereas other studies have come to similar conclusions regarding exercise and lifespan, those conclusions could have been shaped by confirmation bias; that is, since we are already expecting that exercise can add years to the average human life, then it is easier to believe in links that could prove that this is the case, even if those links aren’t truly definitive in the first place.

This is because many studies rely entirely on self-reported results: participants are chosen to take part in the study, and then are requested to submit updates about their health and condition over a certain period of time.

The problem with this data collection technique is that the average individual can’t be totally relied upon to submit consistently truthful information.

They may be suffering confirmation bias themselves (those who exercise believe they are healthier than they actually are), or they could misremember how much they exercise or exaggerate certain details. Ultimately, it is a flawed way of collecting data.

But Lee wanted to tackle this by conducting a study where the data could be absolutely trusted. They did this with the use of a device known as a triaxial accelerometer.

Participants wore this device for four years, which collected information about their physical activity; how much they exercised and to what magnitude.

Just How Useful Exercise Really Is

What they found through this more accurate means of data collection not only gave more definitive proof for the link between exercise and extending lifespans.

It also found that previous estimates of just how beneficial exercise could be were lower than their own findings. Lee’s study found that exercise was far more beneficial than we previously thought.

As Lee described to Psychology Today, previous studies that relied on self-reported data generally estimated a 20 to 30% mortality rate reduction, while their study found a 60 to 70% reduction.

In the scientific community, a difference as huge as 40% can be considered a game changer.

So what are you waiting for? Get those jogging shoes on right away.

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Staring at boobs is just one of six easy ways men can live longer.


It is the secret we are all trying to unlock — how to live long and happy lives.

Science has found the key to success — for men, anyway.

In the United Kingdom, men in general are not expected to live as long as women — so maybe they need a little bit more help.

The average life expectancy for a man is 79, where women are expected to live to 82.

The reason for women outliving men is genetics, according to Medical Daily. Women have two X chromosomes, which provides them with a backup if a mutation occurs. However, men do not have that luxury — they only have one X chromosome to express all their genes.

Lifestyle factors can also impact how long a person will live.

Here are six ways a man can boost his life expectancy.

1. Stare at boobs

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It may seem like an inconvenience or an invasion of privacy to many women, but staring at boobs creates a positive mindset in men.

The same effect occurs when they look at cute animals.

A 2012 study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at the effects positive thinking had on men’s health.

After a year, positive thinking had a powerful effect on health choices.

More than half of the patients with coronary artery disease increased their physical activity versus 37 percent in the control group, who were not asked to write down positive thoughts in the morning.

The same happened to men with high blood pressure.

More than 40 percent of those with high blood pressure followed their medication plan compared to 36 percent in the non-positive-thinking group.

2. Have lots of sex

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What every man wants to hear, but there is a good reason for it.

A study in the BMJ found that sex could decrease a man’s mortality rate by as much as 50 percent.

It is all down to sex promoting physical well-being, as well as being a stress reliever — which can help reduce the likeliness of illness.

Not to mention sex releases serotonin, the happy hormone, which makes us feel better overall.

In the study, life expectancy increased by three to eight years in the group who reported more orgasms.

3. Get married

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Not something everyone would have thought — especially those who refer to their wife as their “ball and chain” — but married men do live longer.

But it also depends on the age at which they get married.

A survey of more than 127,000 Americans found men who got married after they were 25 were likely to live longer than those who married young.

Researchers have questioned whether healthy men are more likely to marry than men with health problems, but unhealthy men actually marry earlier, are less likely to divorce, and are more likely to remarry after divorce or being widowed than healthy men.

Others have wondered whether living with another person has health benefits.

But it seems to be both.

4. Have kids

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It seems like a natural progression, really.

Men who marry and have kids live longer than those who don’t.

A study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that when parents reached age 60, men with kids saw their life expectancy go up two years while women increased by 1.5 years.

By the age of 80, men with kids were expected to live eight months longer than those without kids.

5. Be responsible

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A sense of responsibility can do wonders.

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology discovered older people in nursing homes who were given a plant to care for had improved socialization, alertness and general function.

Perhaps that is why having kids is good for you.

6. Get a ‘dad bod’

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Most men gain a bit of weight after they have kids, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

A book called “How Men Age” argues that tubby men are less likely to suffer a heart attack or prostate cancer and are more likely to invest their time in their children.

Author Richard G. Bribiescas says their increased fat levels also make them more attractive to women — which will help with the above tips.

Source:NY Times.

Consider Racket Sports and Swimming to Help You Live Longer


There’s no shortage of evidence showing that being active can extend your life. Less widely known, however, is whether certain types of activities may work in your favor more so than others.

Surprisingly, research on the health benefits of specific types of activities is scarce, so researchers from Europe and Australia examined the associations between six different sports/exercises and risk of death from heart disease and all causes. Three of them rose squarely to the top.

exercise benefits

Story at-a-glance

  • Racket sports, swimming and aerobics topped the list of best physical activities for lowering the risk of premature death
  • A significant reduction in cardiovascular death was also found for the three activities, more so than found from running, cycling or football (soccer)
  • Racket sports, aerobics and swimming require the use of your full body — arms and legs — which makes your heart work harder
  • These activities often require intense bursts of activity, which could be responsible for their life-enhancing edge

3 Top Physical Activities to Lower Your Risk of Death

Researchers analyzed data from more than 80,000 people, and it turned out racket sports, swimming and aerobics topped the list of best physical activities for lowering the risk of premature death.1

Those who played racket sports, such as tennis, badminton or squash, had a 47 percent lower risk of dying during the nine-year study period than non-exercisers. Swimmers, meanwhile, had a 28 percent lower risk of death while aerobics’ participants enjoyed a 27 percent lower risk of dying.

A significant reduction in cardiovascular death was also found for the three activities. Those who played racket sports were 56 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease during the study, followed by 41 percent less likely for swimmers and 36 percent less likely among aerobics enthusiasts.

No statistically significant reductions, however — for cardiovascular or all-cause mortality — were observed for the other three activities included in the study (cycling, running and football, i.e., soccer in the U.S.).

Are Full-Body Workouts Best?

Racket sports, aerobics and swimming require the use of your full body — arms and legs — which makes your heart work harder. This could be one reason why these full-body workouts lower the risk of death more than other activities.

In addition, they often require intense bursts of activity, which could be responsible for their life-enhancing edge. As noted by the University of Rochester Medical Center:2

“Racquet sports alternate bursts of high-intensity exercise while you score points, with brief rest periods while you pick up the ball and serve. This stop-and-start activity is similar to interval training.

Playing racquet sports, or any active sport, [three] hours a week can cut your risk of developing heart disease and lower your blood pressure, according to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

One key to getting a good aerobic workout in tennis or racquetball is to keep your rest periods brief. Your heart will continue to work at an aerobic level, but without the sustained stress.”

On the other hand, cycling was only associated with a small decline in mortality risk, but this could be because many of the participants used cycling recreationally to get to and from work (as opposed to doing it vigorously as a workout).

The researchers speculated that running may not have made the top list because the runners in the study were younger, on average, and a longer follow-up period may have been needed to gauge its full benefits.

However, research is increasingly showing that short bursts of intense activity (such as you might engage in when playing a vigorous game of tennis) may be better than long, slow cardio like running.

Among the study participants, more than 44 percent met the minimum exercise recommendations (150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity a week for adults ages 18 to 65).

Popularity-wise, swimming topped the list as the favorite form of exercise, followed by cycling, aerobics, running/jogging, racket sports and football (soccer) or rugby.

It’s important to note that engaging in any type of activity was better than none at all; active participants reduced their risk of death by 28 percent, regardless of which activity they engaged in.

Swimming Versus Racket Sports and Aerobics

Ultimately, you should choose your physical activities based on what you enjoy, and keep your routine varied to get the best results. You might try swimming one day, a game of tennis another and do a high-intensity interval aerobics workout the next.

All of these exercises offer benefits for cardiovascular fitness, strength and fat burning, but swimming offers one clear benefit over the others for people who have trouble exercising on land: It’s not a weight-bearing workout.

If you are overweight or obese, struggle with joint pain or osteoarthritis or are elderly and unable to engage in higher impact activities, exercising in water will allow your body to move in a wider range of motion, often without pain, and with less of a risk of injury or falls.

Vertical water workouts, such as deep water running, water aerobics, water yoga and more, are becoming increasingly popular because you experience much greater resistance (and hence greater fitness gains) than when swimming horizontally.

It’s quite possible to get a high-intensity, vigorous workout done in the water, and this may be an ideal form of exercise for those with chronic pain or mobility issues.

There’s a ‘Goldilocks Zone’ When It Comes to Exercising

If you want to reap the most benefits from exercising (i.e., lower your risk of premature death as much as possible), you might assume that the more you exercise, the better.

In reality, a large analysis involving data from 661,000 adults revealed that people who exercised 10 times the recommended level (150 minutes of moderate exercise per week) did not gain any additional benefits in terms of mortality risk reduction.3

Those who met the exercise guidelines lowered their risk of death during the 14-year study period by 31 percent while those who engaged in moderate exercise for 450 minutes per week (just over an hour a day) lowered their risk of premature death by 39 percent compared to non-exercisers.

Even those who exercised at all (yet didn’t meet the requirement) lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent. Those who did not exercise at all had the highest risk of premature death, which again sends home the message that any exercise is better than no exercise.

Exercise intensity also plays an important role, however, and data from a separate study found that engaging in even occasional vigorous exercise led to additional reductions in risk of premature death.4 In fact, when you include brief bursts of high-intensity activity in your workouts, you can slash your workout time considerably.

Brief, Intense Activity Promotes Longevity Via Mitochondrial Biogenesis

Pushing your body to the extreme for a very brief duration, such as cycling on a stationary bike or elliptical machine for 30 seconds as fast as you can, then resting for a recovery period before repeating the cycle again, taps into a new level of exercise advantages that cannot be gained from moderate- or low-intensity workouts alone.

Such workouts, known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), lead to immediate changes in your DNA, including reprogramming your muscle for strength and stimulating your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which in turn triggers production of vital human growth hormone (HGH).

HIIT also triggers mitochondrial biogenesis, which is important for longevity. According to one review in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, exercise alters mitochondrial enzyme content and activity, which helps increase cellular energy production, and in so doing decreases your risk of chronic disease and slows down the aging process.5

Working Out Smarter

Research has clearly demonstrated that short bursts of intense activity are safer and more effective than conventional cardio — for your heart, general health, weight loss and overall fitness. The bonus is that exercising in this way allows you to exercise much more efficiently.

The American College of Sports Medicine, which recommends 20 minutes of more vigorous activity three days per week, even notes that HIIT workouts tend to burn 6 percent to 15 percent more calories compared to other workouts, thanks to the calories you burn after you exercise.

Even for HIIT, however, there are variations among workouts, and it’s important to find one that works right for you. If you’re very fit and want to take your workout to the next level, Tabata Training is one (very challenging) HIIT workout to try.

If you’re new to high-intensity interval training, however, don’t go directly to a full Tabata workout. Instead, try the Peak Fitness method of 30 seconds of maximum effort followed by 90 seconds of recuperation. When repeated eight times, and including a four-minute warm-up, this workout takes about 20 minutes.

Here are the core principles (I also incorporate Buteyko breathing into the workout, which means I do most of the workout by breathing only through my nose, which raises the challenge to another level). For another HIIT alternative, try Super Slow strength training.

  1. Warm up for three minutes
  2. Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should be gasping for breath and feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds. It is better to use lower resistance and higher repetitions to increase your heart rate
  3. Recover for 90 seconds, still moving, but at slower pace and decreased resistance
  4. Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery seven more times. (When you’re first starting out, depending on your level of fitness, you may be able to do only two or three repetitions of the high-intensity intervals. As you get fitter, just keep adding repetitions until you’re doing eight during your 20-minute session)
  5. Cool down for a few minutes afterward by cutting down your intensity by 50 to 80 percent

Variety Is the Spice of Life — and Exercise

Remember that HIIT is only one facet of a well-rounded exercise program. Incorporating other physical activities you enjoy, such as the highly beneficial choices revealed in the featured study, will only add to your fitness and longevity. Let your interests guide you and feel free to experiment with new activities, like a water aerobics class one week or a game of tennis the next.

By making simple tweaks, you can easily turn a fun game of tennis with a friend into a moderate-to-vigorous workout that enhances your longevity and strength. To get the most from your racket sports workout, consider these tips from the University of Rochester Medical Center:6

” … [Y]ou and your opponent should agree to play for the aerobic benefit, as well as for fun. Instead of firing aces past each other, plan on a volley-and-return match that keeps you both moving. Scatter your shots around the court to make the most of the distance you both run. Also limit your number of serves. Or play for total points instead of using traditional scoring.”

Study: Consider Racket Sports and Swimming to Help You Live Longer


There’s no shortage of evidence showing that being active can extend your life. Less widely known, however, is whether certain types of activities may work in your favor more so than others.

Surprisingly, research on the health benefits of specific types of activities is scarce, so researchers from Europe and Australia examined the associations between six different sports/exercises and risk of death from heart disease and all causes. Three of them rose squarely to the top.

exercise benefits

Story at-a-glance

  • Racket sports, swimming and aerobics topped the list of best physical activities for lowering the risk of premature death
  • A significant reduction in cardiovascular death was also found for the three activities, more so than found from running, cycling or football (soccer)
  • Racket sports, aerobics and swimming require the use of your full body — arms and legs — which makes your heart work harder
  • These activities often require intense bursts of activity, which could be responsible for their life-enhancing edge

3 Top Physical Activities to Lower Your Risk of Death

Researchers analyzed data from more than 80,000 people, and it turned out racket sports, swimming and aerobics topped the list of best physical activities for lowering the risk of premature death.1

Those who played racket sports, such as tennis, badminton or squash, had a 47 percent lower risk of dying during the nine-year study period than non-exercisers. Swimmers, meanwhile, had a 28 percent lower risk of death while aerobics’ participants enjoyed a 27 percent lower risk of dying.

A significant reduction in cardiovascular death was also found for the three activities. Those who played racket sports were 56 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease during the study, followed by 41 percent less likely for swimmers and 36 percent less likely among aerobics enthusiasts.

No statistically significant reductions, however — for cardiovascular or all-cause mortality — were observed for the other three activities included in the study (cycling, running and football, i.e., soccer in the U.S.).

Are Full-Body Workouts Best?

Racket sports, aerobics and swimming require the use of your full body — arms and legs — which makes your heart work harder. This could be one reason why these full-body workouts lower the risk of death more than other activities.

In addition, they often require intense bursts of activity, which could be responsible for their life-enhancing edge. As noted by the University of Rochester Medical Center:2

“Racquet sports alternate bursts of high-intensity exercise while you score points, with brief rest periods while you pick up the ball and serve. This stop-and-start activity is similar to interval training.

Playing racquet sports, or any active sport, [three] hours a week can cut your risk of developing heart disease and lower your blood pressure, according to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

One key to getting a good aerobic workout in tennis or racquetball is to keep your rest periods brief. Your heart will continue to work at an aerobic level, but without the sustained stress.”

On the other hand, cycling was only associated with a small decline in mortality risk, but this could be because many of the participants used cycling recreationally to get to and from work (as opposed to doing it vigorously as a workout).

The researchers speculated that running may not have made the top list because the runners in the study were younger, on average, and a longer follow-up period may have been needed to gauge its full benefits.

However, research is increasingly showing that short bursts of intense activity (such as you might engage in when playing a vigorous game of tennis) may be better than long, slow cardio like running.

Among the study participants, more than 44 percent met the minimum exercise recommendations (150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity a week for adults ages 18 to 65).

Popularity-wise, swimming topped the list as the favorite form of exercise, followed by cycling, aerobics, running/jogging, racket sports and football (soccer) or rugby.

It’s important to note that engaging in any type of activity was better than none at all; active participants reduced their risk of death by 28 percent, regardless of which activity they engaged in.

Swimming Versus Racket Sports and Aerobics

Ultimately, you should choose your physical activities based on what you enjoy, and keep your routine varied to get the best results. You might try swimming one day, a game of tennis another and do a high-intensity interval aerobics workout the next.

All of these exercises offer benefits for cardiovascular fitness, strength and fat burning, but swimming offers one clear benefit over the others for people who have trouble exercising on land: It’s not a weight-bearing workout.

If you are overweight or obese, struggle with joint pain or osteoarthritis or are elderly and unable to engage in higher impact activities, exercising in water will allow your body to move in a wider range of motion, often without pain, and with less of a risk of injury or falls.

Vertical water workouts, such as deep water running, water aerobics, water yoga and more, are becoming increasingly popular because you experience much greater resistance (and hence greater fitness gains) than when swimming horizontally.

It’s quite possible to get a high-intensity, vigorous workout done in the water, and this may be an ideal form of exercise for those with chronic pain or mobility issues.

There’s a ‘Goldilocks Zone’ When It Comes to Exercising

If you want to reap the most benefits from exercising (i.e., lower your risk of premature death as much as possible), you might assume that the more you exercise, the better.

In reality, a large analysis involving data from 661,000 adults revealed that people who exercised 10 times the recommended level (150 minutes of moderate exercise per week) did not gain any additional benefits in terms of mortality risk reduction.3

Those who met the exercise guidelines lowered their risk of death during the 14-year study period by 31 percent while those who engaged in moderate exercise for 450 minutes per week (just over an hour a day) lowered their risk of premature death by 39 percent compared to non-exercisers.

Even those who exercised at all (yet didn’t meet the requirement) lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent. Those who did not exercise at all had the highest risk of premature death, which again sends home the message that any exercise is better than no exercise.

Exercise intensity also plays an important role, however, and data from a separate study found that engaging in even occasional vigorous exercise led to additional reductions in risk of premature death.4 In fact, when you include brief bursts of high-intensity activity in your workouts, you can slash your workout time considerably.

Brief, Intense Activity Promotes Longevity Via Mitochondrial Biogenesis

Pushing your body to the extreme for a very brief duration, such as cycling on a stationary bike or elliptical machine for 30 seconds as fast as you can, then resting for a recovery period before repeating the cycle again, taps into a new level of exercise advantages that cannot be gained from moderate- or low-intensity workouts alone.

Such workouts, known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), lead to immediate changes in your DNA, including reprogramming your muscle for strength and stimulating your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which in turn triggers production of vital human growth hormone (HGH).

HIIT also triggers mitochondrial biogenesis, which is important for longevity. According to one review in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, exercise alters mitochondrial enzyme content and activity, which helps increase cellular energy production, and in so doing decreases your risk of chronic disease and slows down the aging process.5

Working Out Smarter

Research has clearly demonstrated that short bursts of intense activity are safer and more effective than conventional cardio — for your heart, general health, weight loss and overall fitness. The bonus is that exercising in this way allows you to exercise much more efficiently.

The American College of Sports Medicine, which recommends 20 minutes of more vigorous activity three days per week, even notes that HIIT workouts tend to burn 6 percent to 15 percent more calories compared to other workouts, thanks to the calories you burn after you exercise.

Even for HIIT, however, there are variations among workouts, and it’s important to find one that works right for you. If you’re very fit and want to take your workout to the next level, Tabata Training is one (very challenging) HIIT workout to try.

If you’re new to high-intensity interval training, however, don’t go directly to a full Tabata workout. Instead, try the Peak Fitness method of 30 seconds of maximum effort followed by 90 seconds of recuperation. When repeated eight times, and including a four-minute warm-up, this workout takes about 20 minutes.

Here are the core principles (I also incorporate Buteyko breathing into the workout, which means I do most of the workout by breathing only through my nose, which raises the challenge to another level). For another HIIT alternative, try Super Slow strength training.

  1. Warm up for three minutes
  2. Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should be gasping for breath and feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds. It is better to use lower resistance and higher repetitions to increase your heart rate
  3. Recover for 90 seconds, still moving, but at slower pace and decreased resistance
  4. Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery seven more times. (When you’re first starting out, depending on your level of fitness, you may be able to do only two or three repetitions of the high-intensity intervals. As you get fitter, just keep adding repetitions until you’re doing eight during your 20-minute session)
  5. Cool down for a few minutes afterward by cutting down your intensity by 50 to 80 percent

Variety Is the Spice of Life — and Exercise

Remember that HIIT is only one facet of a well-rounded exercise program. Incorporating other physical activities you enjoy, such as the highly beneficial choices revealed in the featured study, will only add to your fitness and longevity. Let your interests guide you and feel free to experiment with new activities, like a water aerobics class one week or a game of tennis the next.

By making simple tweaks, you can easily turn a fun game of tennis with a friend into a moderate-to-vigorous workout that enhances your longevity and strength. To get the most from your racket sports workout, consider these tips from the University of Rochester Medical Center:6

” … [Y]ou and your opponent should agree to play for the aerobic benefit, as well as for fun. Instead of firing aces past each other, plan on a volley-and-return match that keeps you both moving. Scatter your shots around the court to make the most of the distance you both run. Also limit your number of serves. Or play for total points instead of using traditional scoring.”

Children of long-lived parents may also live longer: Study


The longer your parents live, the more likely you are to remain healthy in your sixties and seventies.

Are your parents in their eighties and going strong? Chances are you too will live long. According to a new study, having longer-lived parents means you are more likely to stay healthy in your sixties and seventies.

The study involving 190,000 participants found that our chances of survival increase by 17 per cent for each decade that at least one parent lives beyond the age of 70.

Researchers found evidence showing for the first time that knowing the age at which your parents died could help predict your risk not only of heart disease, but many aspects of heart and circulatory health.

“To our knowledge, this is the largest study to show that the longer your parents live, the more likely you are to remain healthy in your sixties and seventies,” said Janice Atkins from University of Exeter in the UK.

“Asking about parents’ longevity could help us predict our likelihood of ageing well and developing conditions such as heart disease, in order to identify patients at higher or lower risk in time to treat them appropriately,” said Atkins.

Researchers used data on the health of 186,000 middle-aged offspring, aged 55 to 73 years, followed over a period of up to eight years.

For the study, researchers involved 190,000 participants and found that the chances of survival increase by 17 per cent for each decade that at least one parent lives beyond the age of 70. (Shutterstock)

They found that those with longer lived parents had lower incidence of multiple circulatory conditions including heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and atrial fibrillation.

For example, the risk of death from heart disease was 20 per cent lower for each decade that at least one parent lived beyond the age of 70 years.

In addition, those with longer lived parents also had reduced risk of cancer; seven per cent reduced likelihood of cancer in the follow-up per longer-lived parent.

The study built on previous findings which established a genetic link between parents’ longevity and heart disease risk.

Those Who Read Books Live Longer Than Those Who Don’t, Study Finds


Finally a study we can bury our nose in. Researchers at Yale University School of Public Health have found that book readers have a “significant survival advantage” over those who don’t read books. While the study didn’t address whether reading books on Kindle count, it did find that book readers in general lived an average of two years longer than those who don’t.

 The study, which appears in Social Science & Medicine, found that people who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17 percent less likely to die over the study’s 12-year follow up period than those who read no books. Since book readers tend to be female, college-educated and in higher income groups, the researchers controlled for those factors as well as age, race, self-reported health, depression, employment and marital status.
Compared with those who did not read books, those who read for more than 3.5 hours a week were 23 percent less likely to die.

The study found a similar association among those who read newspapers and periodicals, but it was weaker.

 “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read,” said the senior author, Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale, in a New York Times post.

But as a few astute commenters noted, since reading a book is a sedentary activity, maybe we shouldn’t expect too much from it in the way of increased longevity. Although if reading means you aren’t going out and thus exposing yourself to all the world’s inherent dangers, maybe you will gain a few years. While we wait for the jury to decide, what’cha reading?

New Study Says Women Live Longer If They Live Surrounded By Nature.


It comes as no surprise to us that a comprehensive study shows that women who live in nature do live longer.

“The confirmed hypothesis of a research is that natural environments help reduce the stress and increase physical and social activity, which keeps people healthier. The main purpose of this study was to get insights on the relationship between “residential greenness and mortality. The research was conducted on 108,630 women between 2000 and 2008. Of those women, 8,604 died during the study.”

Factors such as age, race, smoking, and socioeconomic status were taking into consideration during this study, and they found that women living with the most greenery in the 250m area near their homes “had a 12% lower rate of all-cause-non-accidental mortality”. The conclusion of the research was that high levels of green vegetation have a contribution in decreasing mortality rates for women. These results are quite important in modern times since more and more people are living in urban areas. However, there is a question that still arises: why less greenery means less social activity? One answer would be that nowadays people spend a lot of time in their car or behind a computer monitor. Less physical and social activity could potentially lead to depression. From now on, just think about this: how much time do you spend outside every day? If you wish to live a healthy and happy life, try to surround yourself with nature every day.

How to Live 35 Years Longer


How to Live 35 Years Longer
Getting more friends can add SEVEN years to your life. 

Overview

Life’s too short. You may not have control over the giant meteor that hits you in the head while you’re walking down the street. But assuming your unlucky lottery number doesn’t come up, you have a remarkable amount of control over how long you live. It turns out, lifestyle is more important than genetics in determining how long you’ll live, according to a study from the University of Gothenburg published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

And luckily, the lifestyle changes that can score you more years can also score you more quality years, according to Eudene Harry, M.D., medical director for Oasis for Optimal Health wellness center in Orlando and author of “Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps.”

To that end, we found eight healthy habits that can add 35 years to your retirement plan.

Get More Friends: Add 7 Years

When it comes to friendship, the more the merrier (and healthier). In a study of 1,477 people in their seventies, Australian researchers found that people with the most friends had a seven-year-longer lease on life. While friends can provide a support network and can help people pull through tough times, biochemistry may also play a role, says Harry.

“The act of befriending actually enhances the production of oxytocin,” she says. Oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) has a calming effect on the brain and could be the secret behind friendship’s ability to improve blood pressure, decrease binge eating, and heal faster, she says.

Use a Standing Desk: Add 2 Years

How to Live 35 Years Longer
Using a standing desk can add two years to your life. Photo Credit moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

Forget about a numb behind: When sitting, your circulation slows, you burn fewer calories, your sugar metabolism stagnates, and the enzymes responsible for breaking down triglycerides switch off, according to Susan Block, faculty member for the American Council on Exercise and director of fitness for the California Health & Longevity Institute. So get off your bottom more often. A 2012 study published in BMJ Open found that reducing your on-the-tush time to less than three hours a day can increase your life expectancy by two years.

Block suggests setting up a standing desk, walking when you are on the phone, leaving your snacks in the office kitchen so you have to walk to get them, or even scheduling meetings as a walk around the building. “Even standing once an hour for 5-10 minutes can go along way to help you feel better and live longer,” she says.

Floss: Add 6 Years

How to Live 35 Years Longer
Regular flossing can add six years to your life Photo Credit A Carmichael/The Image Bank/Getty Images

By allowing inflammatory substances to travel into the body, dirty chompers have been linked to increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. So important is oral hygiene that regular flossing can add 6.4 years to your life, according to research from Michael F. Roizen, M.D., the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic and co-founder of RealAge.

Even flossing every other day for six months can reduce the levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, to return to normal, according to research from the International Heart and Lung Institute.

Eat a Cup of Raw Veggies a Day: Add 2 Years

Your mom was right: Finish your vegetables. Men who eat at least 60 grams (about 1 cup) of veggies a day are going to live, on average, two years longer than people who eat less than 20 grams a day.

While both raw and cooked vegetables have numerous phytochemicals and antioxidants that make them lengthen lifespans, a nutritional review published in the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Preview found that raw vegetables have a stronger effect. Cooking (especially boiling) can zap up to 50 percent of the antioxidants in some vegetables, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science.

Think Positive: Add 7 Years

How to Live 35 Years Longer
Laughter and positivity can add seven years to your life. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

“Studies confirm what we’ve suspected for some time: A positive outlook on life and laughter can actually help you to live longer,” Harry says. For example, a Yale University study of older adults found that people with a positive outlook on the aging process lived more than seven years longer than those who did not, while a 2012 study published in Aging found that positivity and laughter are defining characteristics in people who celebrate their 100th birthday.

Positive thinking increases the brain’s levels of the hormone Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor, which improves memory, helps to alleviate depression, and fights Alzheimer’s disease, Harry explains. What’s more, the simple act of laughing decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as inflammation, she says.

Reach Your Target BMI: Add 3 Years

A barometer of body composition, body mass index (BMI) compares weight to height by dividing weight measurement (in kilograms) by squared height measurement (in meters). Maintaining a body-mass index of 25 to 35 can shorten your life by up to three years, according to University of Alabama researchers. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight, while a BMI of more than 30 is considered obese.

By promoting inflammation, excess body fat raises your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and colon cancer, while throwing hormones including cortisol, insulin, testosterone, and growth hormone out of whack, says Harry.

Eat More Nuts: Add 3 Years

Bar food might not be so bad. When Loma Linda University researchers studied the health habits of 34,000 Seventh-Day Adventists (a group known for its longevity) they discovered that those who ate nuts five days a week lived 2.9 years longer on average than those who ate nuts less than once a week.

Nuts decrease the risk of high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, unstable heart rhythms, and diabetes, Harry says. What’s more, their high protein and fat content can promote feelings of satiety and weight loss.

Exercise Regularly: Add 5 Years

How to Live 35 Years Longer
Exercising regularly can add five years to your life. Photo Credit Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images

Whatever your scale says, working out can help you live longer. A recent study from the National Cancer Institute examining 654,827 adults ages 21 to 90 found that those participants who exercised the most outlived those who exercise the least by 4.5 years.

The simple act of exercising—even if you don’t lose weight—improves mood, balances hormones, boosts memory, strengthens bones, decreases cholesterol, and prevents constipation, Harry says. For the biggest benefit, she suggests a combination of strength training and aerobic exercises.