Living longer is a goal of many Americans. Over the last century the life expectancy has steadily increased. The current average life expectancy is 78.7 years but people are living well beyond that.
While there are some genetic factors involved in how long one will live, there are also plenty of factors that one can control. Eating right, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight are three basic things that can be done to promote longevity.
However, there are some less obvious and potential surprising habits and lifestyle choices that can make a big difference as well.
Here are five ways to live a longer life:
Have more sex
Having sex is more than just feeling good and connecting with another person. It makes one use almost every muscle in the body and it has been shown to lower stress, fight colds and the flu, and even act as an appetite suppressant. Experts say two to three orgasms each week is optimal.
Adopt a pet
Owning a pet has been found to reduce stress, which may lower one's risk of cardiovascular disease. Dog owners in particular may benefit more than most pet owners. Those that walk their dogs are more apt to be physically active and meet the 150 minutes of daily physical activity that is recommended. Achieving this level of activity has overall health benefits that can result in longevity.
Skip the soda
A five-year study in the American Journal of Public Health found a link between the amount of soda one drank and the shortening of the chromosome caps, or telomeres, which are directly related to aging. Higher soda intake was linked to shorter telomeres and thereby faster aging.
While the same link was not present for those who consumed diet sodas, there are other studies that have found diet drinks can be linked to potentially life-shortening issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
While soda may decrease one's life expectancy, drinking wine may increase it. One small glass of wine a day has been found to lower the risk for cardiovascular death when compared to those who do not drink at all.