Want to add years to your life? You can, simply by following these tips from Psychology Today:
- First, get physical! Even if you’re a couch potato now, getting active can add eight healthy years to your life. Studies show that physical activity boosts your mood, and reduces stress. Experts say that six months of regular aerobic exercise reverses the loss of brain tissue that occurs with age – helping to keep your brain sharp, longer.
- Learn another language. A lifelong use of two languages lengthens your life by delaying the onset of dementia by four years. Studies show that being bilingual creates new neural pathways, which helps you store and retrieve information more quickly. Speaking two languages also increases your attention span and boosts your ability to think, reason and remember. However, you don’t have to get fluent - just doing some vocabulary with an instruction CD in the car is enough to boost your brainpower.
- Move to the mountains. You’ll live longer, even if you have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Why? Because adapting to a higher altitude helps your body cope with reduced oxygen levels. If you’re not near the mountains, walking uphill regularly is great exercise for your heart.
- What else can add years to your life? A supportive spouse. Studies show that a good marriage helps people heal faster, and helps counteract the daily wear-and-tear from stress on your internal organs.
- Have good friends. A study by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that people with fewer than six friends are two-and-a-half times more likely to die sooner than those with a bigger social circle. Why? Because friends help you destress, which boosts your immune system and strengthens your heart.
- Win the Nobel Prize! Winning the big one can add nearly two years to your lifespan, as opposed to just being nominated or toiling in the trenches like everyone else. It’s not the cash that does it – it’s the sheer boost to your status in the eyes of others that works a kind of “health-giving” magic.