17 Things That Will Make You Live Longer

Happy coupleREUTERS/Christian HartmannFinding a lifelong partner can have tremendous benefits for our long-term health.

Scientists are making tremendous gains in extending human life.

Google just launched a new startup, Calico, that is focusing on ways to prevent ageing.

According to Time, which has the full story, the project will “start small and focus entirely on researching new technologies.”

It sounds like it’s going to be a while before we see the life-enhancing benefits of Calico, so we’ve compiled some activities that you can do now to improve your health, and in some cases, stave off death by several years.

Being rich (but not for the reason you think).

Sure, having tons of money will pay for better health care, food, and a personal trainer to keep you in shape, but people who are rich also have more of a key hormone associated with prolonged life spans.

Scientists from the University College London found that wealthier people have higher levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS).

DHEAS is a steroid produced by the adrenal glands and brain that has been linked to a broad range of health benefits, including improved memory, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and increased longevity, especially among men.

Hanging out with lots of women.

Researchers at Harvard University found that men who are raised in an environment with few women die sooner than those who grow up around many females.

A high female-to-male ratio increases the likelihood that men will find lifelong partners and get married, also shown to improve lifespan.

Having healthy grandparents.

The fast-food your grandmother eats could increase your risk of cancer.

In a study of rats, researchers found that the granddaughters of pregnant rats that were fed high-fat food had a 30% greater chance of developing breast cancer, even if the younger generation ate a healthy diet.

Flossing daily.

In addition to keeping your teeth from rotting out of your mouth, regularly flossing reduces the the risk of heart disease, according to doctors from the Department of Periodontics at Case Western Reserve University.

The dental routine prevents gum disease that can lead to infections and inflammation that allows harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of heart disease.


A study by George Washington University and the National Endowment for the Arts found that singers in a choir group felt physically healthier, had fewer doctor's visits, and were less depressed than a control group.

A study from the University of London also showed that singing reduces stress by producing endorphins and offers physical benefits by exercising the heart, lungs, abdominal, and back muscles.

Doing housework.

Women who spend up to 17 hours a week doing household chores such as mopping, cooking, and doing the laundry can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 30%, according to a study by Cancer Research UK.

After studying more than 200,000 women over six years, researchers found that moderate exercise from housework prevented cancer more than other forms of rigorous physical activity.

Eating like a European.

Lots of research has promoted the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, which is heavy in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean proteins, and uses olive oil instead butter.

A recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people aged 55 to 80 decreased their risk of heart disease and stroke by nearly 30% when they ate this diet.

Living in a city.

Over 85% of Americans over the age of 100, known as centenarians, lived in cities in 2010. Moving to an urban area becomes more important as you get older because there are more doctors, there is more mental stimulation, and there's greater social support, explains Gary Small, a professor on ageing and director of the UCLA Longevity Center in Los Angeles, in U.S. News & World Report.

Living on a Greek island.

The Greek island of Icaria in the North Aegean Sea is home to the largest percentage of 90-year-olds in the world, where almost one-third of the population meets the impressive age milestone.

A study attributes the islanders' unusually long life spans to a natural mountainous terrain which requires daily physical activity and healthy diets high in olive oil and herbal teas.

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