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30 Things That Make People Live a Longer, Happier Life

ShannonMarch 21, 2019
Having great friends will help you live longer. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Maintain Good Personal Relationships

According to AARP, people who maintain friendships are 50% more likely to live longer than people who isolate themselves from society. Having people that are close to you and make you happy does a lot for your self-esteem and the quality of life. This is also true for relationship with your family. Most experts strongly suggest repairing broken relationships with your family. Facebook should never be a replacement for real-life interactions but, the same study also found that people who keep in touch with their friends online also see health benefits. (So long as you actually see them face-to-face, too.)

People who have sex on a regular basis actually live longer. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Have A Healthy Sex Life

Having a healthy intimate relationship obviously makes us happy. However, there are real physical benefits to having a good sex life. Your body will have a boost of endorphines, and orgasms boost your immune system to help fight off and prevent illnesses. Stress levels decrease, and blood pressure lowers, giving you an immediate sense of relief. It even decreases the chance that you will develop cancer or heart disease in the future. In terms of your mental state, having sex gives you a boost of self-esteem and will make you a more cheerful person over all. Last but not least, if you are making love with someone you deeply care about, you will have more reason to stick around longer and grow old together.

Married men live longer than bachelors. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Get Married (If You’re a Man).

There is a commonly held belief that you will live longer if you get married. This makes sense, because a life partner is there to help you “in sickness and in health”. There is a sense of both financial and emotional security. However, this can be a double-edged sword for several reasons. Statistically speaking, only married men live longer. Women, on the other hand live much longer if they remain single. And the real kicker? People who get divorced have a lower life span no matter what your gender is. But of course, all divorces begin with marriages. If you are already married, remember that maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner is key to your quality of life. 

Having babies can add at least a couple years to your lifespan. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Having Children

It is commonly said that having children will make you live longer, because they can make you feel young again. They remind us of all the wonderful things in the world that we enjoyed as kids, and it also gives us a reason to stick around to make sure we can be there for them as they grow. Plus, we can visit Disney World and amusement parks without being judged. Most studies recommend that grandparents should babysit their grandchildren as often as possible, because they will feel motivated to live longer to be there for the kids. However, according to Harvard University, the benefits of children may not be as drastic as you might imagine. For people age 60 and up, having children made them more likely to live 2 years longer than those who did not have kids. However, among the elderly who reach 80 years old, there is a much bigger gap, suggesting that they live 9 years longer.

If you are happy to get up in the morning and get your day started, you will have a higher quality of life. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Stay Motivated

There is an old phrase that says if you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. Studies show that people who are highly motivated and career-oriented tend to live longer compared to people who are not really enjoying their career.  If you enjoy your career and you’re looking forward to waking up every day it only makes sense that your life will have higher quality of life. There was a study that showed that many people die just a few years after retirement. This is only because these people have lost a sense of purpose or motivation. As long as you keep finding reasons to be productive, you will live a longer, happier life.

Drinking water can help you live longer. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Drink More Water

Your body is made up of mostly, water so it only makes sense that you should be drinking as much of it as possible. The daily recommended dose is 8 glasses a day, but most people have a very hard time achieving that goal, especially if your boss would frown upon taking frequent bathroom breaks during work hours! But if you get anywhere near 8 glasses, or if you make a simple effort to drink one or two glasses more of water per day, then you are already  making progress towards that goal. Drinking water is important for healthy kidneys and managing weight loss. It also helps to hydrate the skin and make you look younger.

A delicious fruit salad. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. So learning that you need to eat more produce in order to live longer is not rocket science. However, a surprising number of busy people forget to do this, or they make excuses. Vitamin C helps your body’s immune system fight off disease, so it is important to eat fruits like oranges and apples to keep the doctor away. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who refuse to eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis are 53% more likely to die sooner than they would have otherwise. If you are finding it difficult to afford produce every week, try to look for local farmer’s markets, where local people are selling their fruit and vegetables for half the price of what you find in a grocery store.

Maintaining a healhy weight will help increase your lifespan. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Shed Those Extra Pounds

We all know that it is important to maintain a healthy weight, but it is not just a way to boost your self-confidence. According to the National Institute of Health, extreme obesity can decrease life expectancy up to 14 years.  The definition of “extremely obese” is someone who needs to lose 100 pounds or more. That is like losing more than a year of your life for every 10 pounds that you are overweight. If it is difficult to lose weight, those extra years just may be enough motivation to get started on your next diet plan.

Being cautious and aware of your surroundings just might save your life. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Become More Cautious

You would think that happy-go-lucky people live longer. But the truth is a little more complicated than that. According to Dr. Howard Friedman from the Longevity Project, children who are very happy and naive are more likely to have an accident compared to kids who are a bit more shy, observant, and cautious. They do not always see potential dangers that may be coming around the corner. By having a healthy amount of cynicism or pessimism, we protect ourselves from potential things that may hurt us. However, once you are a full-grown adult, studies have shown that having a happy, positive outlook on life can increase your life expectancy by 35%.

Taking a walk is great for your health. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Take More Walks

Studies have shown that people who incorporate moderate exercises into their daily routine will result in a healthier lifestyle compared to someone who goes hard at the gym only one or two days a week. There are plenty of simple ways to incorporate more movement into your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Take more walks in the park, ride your bike, or go for a swim. But it is not enough just to slowly slosh your way down the sidewalk at a snail’s speed. If you are not injured, you should try to “power walk” as much as possible. Evidence suggests that someone who walks with a faster, brisk pace is more likely to live 10 years longer than someone who is dragging their feet.

Antibiotics treat infections, but it also changes your body negatively in other ways. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Take Fewer Antibiotics

There is a saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, and when it comes to building a healthy immune system, it is very true. Modern medicine is amazing, and we are not suggesting that you should skip going to the hospital or doctor. And sometimes, taking antibiotics is completely necessary to help your body fight off a life-threatening infection. However, there are some doctors over-prescribe antibiotics for infections that your body has the ability to fight on its own. It also messed with your gut biome, which is why most doctors recommend eating yogurt during your treatment. According to Medical News Today, women who are prescribed too many antibiotics throughout their lifetime are 27% more likely to die at a younger age. Antibiotics prevent your body from naturally learning how to fight off infection on its own. Therefore, the next time an illness comes around, your body may not be prepared to fight it off.  

Having a dog or cat has been linked to a healthier lifestyle. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Adopt a Pet

Having a dog or cat decreases anxiety, depression, and stress levels. If you have a dog, you will also take more walks, because your furry friend will want to get outside. There have also been plenty of stories of dogs and cats running to find help when their owner has fallen or is having a heart attack. If you live alone, it is especially important to have a pet with you so that you do not feel as lonely. Pets provide love and companionship, even in the worst of times. 

Meditating or praying has been known to improve your quality of life. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Get In Touch With Your Spiritual Side

According to AARP, people who go to church add 4 to 14 years to their overall life expectancy.  This may have more to do with the fact that if you are apart of a religion, it also ties you to a supportive Community. So, if you are agnostic or atheist, it may be possible to get the same benefits from joining a local club. But no matter what your belief system may be, it’s good to check in on your inner self. It may give you more hope for your life and the future. Consider meditating or taking the time to get in touch with your inner soul.

Reading helps to keep your mind sharp. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Read More Books

Reading for at least a half an hour a day has been shown to help you to think clearly as you age. Books make our minds more empathetic, rational, creative, and it can also help you think more clearly. Studies have shown that it can even prevent mental illnesses like Dementia. Taking time to read is also a form of “self care”, because you are forgetting about your personal problems in order to sit or lay down and focus your mind on something else. Reading books and magazines may not help you live longer but it will give you a higher quality of life.

If you want to live longer, visit your doctor. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Go to the Doctor for Regular Checkups

Going to the doctor can be scary sometimes, and a lot of people avoid going unless there is something truly wrong. However, it’s totally find to go just for a wellness visit, especially after the age of 30. Many times, a serious health condition like cancer can be caught early before it becomes life threatening. Your doctor will also be able to make personal recommendations for what you can do to improve your lifespan. 

A reliable vehicle will help you drive safely. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Get A Reliable Car

It’s no secret that people die in car accidents every single day. We cannot avoid running into bad luck, and we cannot stop the actions of other drivers. But there are some accidents that could have been prevented if both cars had regular maintenance, especially with good brakes or visibility.  You also want to make sure the car has automatic locks and an airbag system. We are not trying to suggest that you should go blow your life savings on a brand new luxury vehicle, but holding on to the same car for  years for the sake of saving money just maybe a contributor to an early death.

Check your home to make sure it is as safe was possible. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Do a Home Safety Check

A surprising number of people become injured in their own homes, especially as they get older. Most of these accidents could have been prevented. The Center of Disease Control has a guide for a home safety check. This is especially important for an older person living alone. You would be shocked to know how many accidents happen from simple things like slipping on a throw rug, or missing a step in a dark stairwell. Go through the checklist with your loved ones in order to make sure everyone stays safe.

Be careful to avoid foods that you are allergic to. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Be Careful of Food Allergies

According to the Center of Disease Control, 3,000 people die every year because of a food allergy. If you are allergic to peanuts or shellfish, you probably already know that it is an issue, because you are likely to have had a violent reaction at some point in your life. However, allergies change as we age. So you may be allergic to foods that you have never tried before or have avoided eating for years, and would therefore have no idea that it would cause an issue. Consider going to the doctor to get an allergy test just to be safe. If you truly are deathly allergic to something, you will be prescribed an EpiPen to carry with you in case of emergencies. 

You should keep essentials in your house just in case of an emergency. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Be Prepared For An Emergency

There are some people out there who have not participated in a fire drill since they were in elementary school, and they are lucky to have never gone through a natural disaster. Even if you live in a relatively safe area, you truly never know when disaster may strike. It is actually very important to have a plan of what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure you have fire detectors and extinguishers in your kitchen. Keep around some extra blankets, candles, and bottled water in case of a power outage. Buy non-perishable foods, and come up with a potential meal plan. If you are not sure how to prepare for a natural disaster, check out Ready.gov for a detailed guide.

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