longevity http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12066/all en-US 5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-gardener-vegetables-farm-nature-iStock_000014514744_Small.jpg" alt="farmer" title="farmer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to live forever? Then it may be time to switch careers. Not all jobs are created equal when it comes to pay, prestige, perks &mdash; and the promise of a longer life. Read on for our roundup of gigs that are scientifically inclined to keep your heart beating longer than the rest. Just don't forget to pad your retirement savings appropriately.</p> <h2>1. Firefighter</h2> <p>Ironically, one of the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_rates_2011hb.pdf">nation's safest jobs</a> requires running into burning buildings. Firefighters die on the job at a low rate of 2.5 per 100,000 workers. That's a full point below the average on-the-job death incidence for all American workers. That may be because we're seeing fewer structure fires and more firefighters are <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/01/08/168897140/the-deadliest-jobs-in-america-in-one-graphic">wearing their seat belts</a>, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Firefighters also live longer than any other public employee except police officers, often outlasting the average U.S. life expectancy of 79.</p> <h2>2. Accountant</h2> <p>According to a recent British study, accountants and folks working in similar white collar, middle class professions live longer than people working in any other occupation. In fact, accountants are outliving blue collar workers like builders and cleaners by as many as eight years. Male accountants live to an average of 80, whereas women typically live an additional five years. One reason accountants are living longer is that they have greater <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1567252/Why-accountants-live-longer-than-builders.html">control over autonomy</a> compared to different occupations. According to Karen Jochelson, a researcher at health think tank The King's Fund, this includes higher quality housing and food. The average <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/accountant/salary">salary of an accountant</a> is $65,080, which affords them greater lifestyle decisions.</p> <h2>3. Jobs That Keep You on Your Feet</h2> <p>Walking tour guides needn't worry. But if you've got a desk job, listen up. Researchers from the American Cancer Society studied the health outcome of 123,216 people during a 14-year period, and what they found very well may shock you out of your seat. Women who sit for more than six hours a day were about 40% more likely to die during the study period than those who sit fewer than three hours per day. Men were about 20% more likely to die. What's even more startling is the revelation that the damage you do to your body while seated cannot be undone. Much the same way smoking harms your lungs, the harm done to your body by sitting for extended periods of time cannot be reversed with exercise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-attractive-standing-desks-you-can-actually-afford?ref=seealso">11 Attractive Standing Desks You Can Actually Afford</a>)</p> <h2>4. Doctor</h2> <p>When it comes to overall physical, mental, and fiscal health, doctors have the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/161324/physicians-lead-wellbeing-transportation-workers-lag.aspx?ref=image">highest wellbeing score</a> in America. &quot;One key factor that contributes to physicians' higher average wellbeing score is related to how they view their workplace,&quot; Gallup's pollsters wrote. &quot;Physicians are the most likely to say they use their strengths to do what they do best every day, followed by nurses and teachers.&quot; This gives them a sense of self-satisfaction that benefits both the mind and body.</p> <h2>5. Farmer</h2> <p>The same Gallup poll found that farmers are exceedingly healthy when compared to workers in other trades, mainly because the nature of their work is so physically rigorous. Farmers lead all other job groups in weekly exercise, with two-thirds reporting they exercise for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week. As it turns out, sowing seeds and wrangling cattle is pretty darn good for longevity.</p> <p><em>Is your job killing you or helping you live longer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years">9 Office Politics Goofs That Can Set Your Career Back Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion">12 Times You&#039;re Better Off Without a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-financial-5-year-plan">How to Create a Financial 5 Year Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-and-give-honest-feedback">How to Get and Give Honest Feedback</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-youre-driving-your-coworkers-insane">12 Ways You&#039;re Driving Your Coworkers Insane</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Personal Development jobs longer lifespan longevity well-being Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1336772 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Foods Scientifically Proven to Take Years off Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-scientifically-proven-to-take-years-off-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-foods-scientifically-proven-to-take-years-off-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_menu_cafe_000011316429.jpg" alt="Young woman looking at menu at a cafe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know we're stuffing our faces with junk that isn't very good for us, but did you know that prolonged consumption of these so-delicious-they're-to-die-for foods might literally be killing us? It's true. Certain foods have been scientifically proven to adversely affect our health enough that you may be shaving years off your life without even knowing it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a>)</p> <p>What are these quiet, edible killers? Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Processed Meat</h2> <p>Most fast food joints and numerous casual dine-in establishments have built their foundations on processed meat, and we're falling right into their death trap.</p> <p>&quot;Eating processed meat is associated with an increased mortality risk,&quot; says Rene Ficek, registered dietitian and lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating. &quot;Popular processed meats like hot dogs, pepperoni, and salami may be tasty, but they have been found to contribute to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telomere">shorter telomeres</a>. Regularly eating processed meat significantly increases your risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Some studies have quantified these results to show that each extra daily serving (approximately two rashers of bacon) raises your mortality rate by a fifth. Replacing red meat with fish, poultry or plant-based proteins could reduce the health risks by up to 14%.&quot;</p> <p>Fish sticks and chicken nuggets are excluded, of course.</p> <h2>2. Soda and Sugary Treats</h2> <p>I've never been a big fan of soft drinks. It's not completely banned from my life &mdash; I enjoy a refreshing soda every now and again (like twice a year) &mdash; but generally I steer clear. At the basic level, it's flavored, colored sugar water, and it will rot your teeth. In fact, one of my buddies had to have <em>thousands of dollars</em> worth of dental work done a few years ago to repair damage done by a decade or more of heavy cola consumption. I love my teeth too much for that nonsense.</p> <p>&quot;We've known for quite some time that sugary soda is bad for our health. However, soda is bad for the condition of telomeres because it is directly associated with a decreased lifespan,&quot; Ficek says. &quot;There have been numerous studies that have looked deep into the effects of soda consumption and the length of life. In fact, soda consumption is so rampant in the United States alone that researchers have linked its consumption to the same effects as smoking. Research shows that simply drinking even a low-calorie diet soda daily is connected to an almost 70% increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and an additional doubled rate of aging.&quot;</p> <p>'Bout time you ditched the sweet, sweet bubbles, eh?</p> <h2>3. French Fries</h2> <p>Ask me to give up processed meats and soda forever, done deal. Ask me to give up French fries and you're dead to me.</p> <p>It's frankly un-American not to harbor a deep-seated love for these crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside snacks. French fries are frickin' delicious. Alas, like all good things, they should be consumed in moderation unless you want them served in your casket.</p> <p>It's not just the fries themselves that are the worst part. Consider this doozy:</p> <p>&quot;The crispier [the French fries] are, the more harmful they can be,&quot; warns Ficek. &quot;Things fried at high temperatures are likely to contain a chemical called <a href="http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk-factors/diet/acrylamide-fact-sheet"><em>acrylamide</em></a>, which may be linked to increased rates of cancer. It's produced from a chemical reaction from the sugars and an amino acid called <em>asparagine</em>, which is found in many grains and vegetables. Potatoes have a particularly high amount of it, further exacerbating the French fry problem.&quot;</p> <p>A not-so-happy meal, after all.</p> <h2>4. Wheat Gluten</h2> <p>More than I love French fries, I'm hopelessly devoted to a piping hot pizza. Sometimes I'll eat the whole thing without shame or apologies right in front of you because I'm a rude little piggy. Yet, while I know that all those carbs can and will make me fat, I had no idea that the gluten contained in the crust &mdash; even a whole wheat one &mdash; can screw up my body.</p> <p>&quot;Gluten &mdash; the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley &mdash; cannot be digested by anyone, and for those with celiac disease, symptoms, mortality, and risk for malignancy can each be reduced by adherence to a gluten-free diet,&quot; explains food-mood expert and certified nutritionist Trudy Scott. &quot;Even if you don't have celiac disease, gluten should be avoided because of the inflammation it causes in everyone. Gluten sensitivity is of great interest to me because <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21877216">gluten sensitivity remains undertreated and under-recognized</a> as a contributing factor to psychiatric and neurologic manifestations. As a nutritionist who works with women with anxiety, I see how food sensitivities like gluten can cause anxiety and fears and even social anxiety. Over 80% of my anxious clients do better mood-wise on a gluten-free diet.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Some Vegetable Oils</h2> <p>According to an article on Authority Nutrition, those heart-healthy vegetable oils you're buying because you think they're better for you are <a href="http://authoritynutrition.com/11-health-foods-that-can-kill-you/">harboring a dangerous secret</a>.</p> <p>&quot;[Soybean, corn, and cottonseed] oils contain very large amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, way more than humans ever consumed throughout evolution,&quot; the site says. &quot;We need small amounts of these fatty acids in the diet, such as the amounts found in meat and nuts. Eating too much of these fats can lead to inflammation, which is a leading cause of many chronic diseases. These oils get incorporated into our body fat stores and cellular membranes, where they are highly sensitive to oxidation and damage. To top it all off, the industrial vegetable oils that you find in the supermarket contain 0.56%-4.2% of their fatty acid as trans fats, which are highly toxic.&quot;</p> <p>It's not all bad news, however. Olive oil is an exception &mdash; it's still good for you &mdash; so start making the switch today.</p> <p><em>What other foods are sending us to an early grave? Let's talk about it in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-scientifically-proven-to-take-years-off-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-killer-ways-to-really-actually-lose-weight">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-lower-your-cholesterol">10 Simple Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-risk-of-diabetes">10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty diet fitness longevity Tue, 10 Mar 2015 17:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1329751 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Surprising Things That Tell You How Long You'll Live — and How to Improve Them All http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-surprising-things-that-tell-you-how-long-youll-live-and-how-to-improve-them-all <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-surprising-things-that-tell-you-how-long-youll-live-and-how-to-improve-them-all" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-looking-mirror-101380592-small.jpg" alt="woman looking at mirror" title="woman looking at mirror" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans are living longer, fuller lives today than ever before. And our ability to predict said lifespan is growing, too. So while scientists work on mixing a face serum guaranteed to bring back our once baby-soft skin, there are already several indicators we can examine to gauge how much time we have left before we expire. Intrigued? Read on for our roundup of the most shocking indicators of a long and prosperous life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits?ref=seealso">Live Long and Prosper With These 15 Small Healthy Habits</a>)</p> <h2>1. How You Get Up Off the Floor</h2> <p>If you can rise to your feet without using your hands and knees for support, you're likely to live longer than those who can't. Research shows that middle aged and elderly folks who need to use hands and knees to get up and down are almost seven times <a href="http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/13/15870881-can-you-do-this-simple-sitting-test-predicts-longevity">more likely to die</a> within six years, compared to those who can spring up and down without support. It's all about the ratio of muscle power to body weight, scientists say. This lifespan indicator test is also telling of a person's abilities when it comes to balance, motor skills, and flexibility &mdash; all important faculties that tend to waver as we reach the end of our life cycle, whenever that may be.</p> <h2>2. Your Caloric Intake</h2> <p>The health of humans as well as worms, spiders, monkeys, and dogs has been shown to improve under a prolonged calorie restrictive diet. Some studies even suggest that certain <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003211">methods of energy manipulation</a> such as alternate day fasting coupled with physical exercise can also produce many of these same health improvements, including increased neuronal function, enhanced stress resistance, decreased cancer incidence, and in many species, longevity. Now don't get meddling with your eating habits just yet. It's important to note that scientists have fallen short of proving that a rigid diet can increase the lifespan of humans; there is, however, ample research suggesting it could be feasible.</p> <h2>3. The Fine Lines on Your Face</h2> <p>Researchers are now using facial recognition technology to analyze everything from laugh lines to sunspots to determine how long a person is expected to live. &quot;We know in the field of aging that some people tend to senesce, or grow older, more rapidly than others, and some more slowly,&quot; said Jay Olshansky, a biodemographer at the University of Illinois at Chicago who came up with the idea. &quot;And we also know that the children of people who senesce more slowly tend to live longer than other people.&quot; Horizontal creases around the brow ridge, vertical lines between the eyebrows, crow's feet, bags below the eyes, and thinning lips are all tell-tales signs that we're <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-your-face-reveal-how-long-youll-live-new-technology-may-provide-the-answer/2014/07/02/640bacb4-f748-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html">nearing the end-of-life stage</a>, regardless of our actual age.</p> <h2>4. Your Tolerance to Heat</h2> <p>As we age, our tolerance to heat &mdash; be it August weather or burning flames &mdash; deteriorates along with our bone density and vision. That's one reason why <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003211#pone.0003211-Hall1">heat resistance is an indicator of fine health and longevity</a>. Studies show that those of us who can more easily endure high temperatures are apt to have longer lives.</p> <h2>5. Where You Were Born</h2> <p>Monaco, a sovereign city-state tucked along the French Riviera, is the place with the <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10561478/Countries-with-highest-and-lowest-life-expectancies-for-people-born-in-2013-charted.html">highest life expectancy for a child born in 2013</a>, according to global mortality data. But if you weren't lucky enough to be born in this Mediterranean locale where the average lifespan is 90 years, there's still hope yet. There are 33 countries where human life expectancy is at least 80 years of age, including San Marino (83), Italy (82), and Canada (81). Those of us born here in the U.S. are predicted to live to be 79.</p> <h2>6. How Often You Have Sex</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1732071/">Can sex be the key to a longer life</a>? Some scientists believe it just might be. In a study pool of British men, researchers found a 50% reduction in mortality among a subgroup who claimed to have had the most orgasms. Of course, this brings up the question of the chicken or the egg. Were these men were having more sex because they felt healthier, or was it the other way around? We can't know for sure, but since there are no known negative repercussions to having frequent sex&hellip; it can't hurt to give it a try.</p> <p><em>Based on these indicators, how much time have you got left? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-surprising-things-that-tell-you-how-long-youll-live-and-how-to-improve-them-all">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits">Live Long and Prosper With These 15 Small Healthy Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-easy-ways-to-add-years-to-your-life">9 Fun and Easy Ways to Add Years to Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-killer-ways-to-really-actually-lose-weight">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Health life expectancy life span long life longevity old age Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1253529 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Fun and Easy Ways to Add Years to Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-easy-ways-to-add-years-to-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-fun-and-easy-ways-to-add-years-to-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-5027203-small.jpg" alt="man sitting" title="man sitting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is one of those good things that you can never have too much of. If you're anxious about your own mortality, you're not alone. But there are also some things, short of freezing your head, that you can do to stick around longer. Living longer doesn't have to be about sacrifice and spending hours on the treadmill. In fact, you can extend the length of your life while improving its quality. Here are eight fun ways to increase your lifespan and one to bring you back down to earth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits?ref=seealso">Small Healthy Habits for a Longer Life</a>)</p> <h2>1. Have Sex on the Regular</h2> <p>Let's start this article off with some good news: <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/sex-is-good-for-you.html">Having more sex</a> helps you to live longer. There are a number of other benefits associated with having sex more frequently, too. You'll sleep better, be less depressed, have higher self-esteem, and increased cardiovascular health. For men, it even significantly decreases the risk of prostate cancer. What's not to like?</p> <h2>2. Drink a Little Bit</h2> <p>Some more good news for the hedonists. People who <a href="http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/a-sobering-truth-drinkers-live-longer-than-non-drinkers/article/363956">drink alcohol </a>have longer life expectancies than people who do not. The effects of alcohol consumption taper off at around four drinks a day, so you don't want to overdo it. Still, a couple of glasses of wine or a Scotch on the rocks at the end of a hard day can help you to live longer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are?ref=seealso">Wines That Taste Pricier Than They Are</a>)</p> <h2>3. Get a Pet</h2> <p>Pets, especially dogs, apparently, can help you to live longer. Not only do dogs make people more optimistic, they also have a reason to leave the house every day and go for a walk. All told, you're going to live about <a href="http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/15-ways-to-live-longer-1?pageart=3">12% longer</a> if you have a dog than if you don't. Check out the local shelter. There are tons of homeless animals looking for a forever home with a lot of love to give.</p> <h2>4. Have a Laugh or Three</h2> <p>Laughter might actually be the best preventative medicine. Studies show that <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/want-to-live-longer-carry-on-laughing-1097285.html">laughter can help</a> increase your life expectancy. There are other <a href="http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm">health benefits of laughter</a>, too, including relaxation, a boosted immune system, and heart protection. So throw on a Patton Oswalt CD and laugh yourself to a longer life.</p> <h2>5. Go Golfing</h2> <p>If you're looking for a pastime that's going to extend your life while also giving you something to do, look no further than the links. A Scandinavian study found that regular <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&amp;sid=aaHEC90xhsvk">golfers cut their death rate</a> by 40%. Mark Twain might have called it a great way to ruin a perfectly good walk, but there's apparently something about the cocktail of sunlight, exercise, and frustration that helps you to live longer.</p> <h2>6. Take a Nap</h2> <p>Don't be afraid to have a quick catnap here and there. Not only does a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/WaterCooler/story?id=124677">nap increase productivity</a>, it might also help you to live longer by <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1363949/How-taking-catnap-helps-live-longer.html">lowering blood pressure</a>. The next time you're feeling a little run down in the middle of the day, learn about <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5950732/the-science-of-the-perfect-nap">the science of napping</a>, then set a timer and get 40 winks in.</p> <h2>7. Make Some Friends</h2> <p>Our connectivity to other people doesn't just allow for social opportunity. Our friendships also help us live longer. People with smaller (real life) social networks are <a href="http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2006938,00.html?xid=rss-topstories">50% more likely to die</a> at a young age than people connected to friends and their communities. So profound is the power of having a big social circle that it can impact your life expectancy as strongly as quitting smoking can. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">Make Friends and Be Happy</a>)</p> <h2>8. Learn a Foreign Language</h2> <p>If you've ever wanted to learn a foreign language, don't delay. Dr. Andrew Weil claims that <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/LivingLonger/story?id=1241571">learning a language</a> other than your mother tongue will help to fight off Alzheimer's and other aging-related illnesses. It's also a great way to make new friends. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-learn-a-new-language-just-use-one-of-these-3-apps?ref=seealso">Great Language Apps</a>)</p> <h2>9. Quit Eating (or at Least Cut Back on) Meat</h2> <p>Now for a bit of a downer. The verdict is in: Vegetarians and vegans <a href="http://www.ivillage.com/want-live-longer-eat-vegetarian/4-a-538007">live longer than meat eaters</a> do. A study of over 73,000 Seventh-Day Adventists, a Christian sect that eschews meat, found increased life expectancy among the meat abstinent. Consider having Meatless Mondays a mainstay around your house. Somewhat related, <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fish/">eating fish twice a week</a> is also correlated with a longer lifespan.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to extend your lifespan? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-easy-ways-to-add-years-to-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits">Live Long and Prosper With These 15 Small Healthy Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-surprising-things-that-tell-you-how-long-youll-live-and-how-to-improve-them-all">The 6 Surprising Things That Tell You How Long You&#039;ll Live — and How to Improve Them All</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/burn-more-calories-with-these-8-frugal-foods">Burn More Calories With These 8 Frugal Foods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-keep-your-dispoable-razor-blades-sharp-use-your-arm">Want to Keep Your Disposable Razor Blades Sharp? Use Your Arm</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty Health longevity Mon, 28 Apr 2014 09:48:24 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1136901 at http://www.wisebread.com Live Long and Prosper With These 15 Small Healthy Habits http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vegetables-5131405-small.jpg" alt="woman holding tomatoes" title="woman holding tomatoes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the United States, men can <a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&amp;ctype=l&amp;strail=false&amp;bcs=d&amp;nselm=h&amp;met_y=sp_dyn_le00_in&amp;scale_y=lin&amp;ind_y=false&amp;rdim=region&amp;idim=country:USA&amp;ifdim=region&amp;hl=en&amp;dl=en&amp;ind=false">expect to live 76 years on average, while women tend to live for 81 years</a>. Of course, both those numbers are just averages. In practical terms, what that means is that some people will live well in into their nineties, while others barely make it to their sixties. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-inexpensive-lifestyle-habits-that-can-add-years-to-your-life">7 Frugal Habits That Add Years to Your Life</a>)</p> <p>I doubt I need to ask you which group you'd prefer to fall into. The good news is, we all have some measure of control over our lifespans, and we have a whole lot of control over our health. You can't live forever, but how you choose to live day-to-day will determine whether you live as long as possible &mdash; and whether you're fit and healthy enough to have a good time while you're here. Here are 15 tiny changes that can make a big difference.</p> <h2>1. Add Veggies</h2> <p>Scientists might argue about how good or bad coffee is for you. Or fat. Or wheat. Forget about those and focus on what no one's arguing about: the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. One study found that the <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988131">risk of heart disease dropped by up to 7%</a> for each additional fruit consumed each day. Another found that <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12581462">doubling fruit and vegetable intake increased life expectancy</a> by as much as a year and a half. Add a serving or two. It does a body good. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables">Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a>)</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Try adding one serving to a meal where you tend to miss out, or sub in fruits and veggies for less-healthy snacks.</p> <h2>2. Cut the Junk</h2> <p>It tastes so good, but processed convenience foods contain ingredients that are linked to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. And they always contain some potent combination of sugar, salt, fat, and flour. If you can't find it in the perimeter of your grocery store, where the fresh foods are kept (or, better yet, at the farmer's market!), don't make it a regular part of your diet.</p> <p><strong>Start small: </strong>Buy junk food in single servings. When you have a craving, visit the ice cream shop for a scoop, rather than bringing home a whole pint.</p> <h2>3. Save More</h2> <p>Money can buy a lot of things, including, it seems, a longer lifespan. A study released in 2010 found that wealthy people have <a href="http://www.ifs.org.uk/ELSA">more of the specific hormones that that prolong life expectancy</a>. Not everyone can be filthy rich, but anyone can make smart moves that lead to long-term financial security. Do it as though your life depends on it &mdash; because it might. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-financially-secure-what-to-do-first">How to Become FInancial Secure</a>)</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Start putting away $5 a week. You can increase that amount as you get into the habit.</p> <h2>4. Have More Sex</h2> <p>Sex is fun, it's free, and it does the body good. And studies show it has a long list of health <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/16282622">benefits ranging from fewer colds to an improved sense of smell</a> (really!). What other motivation do you need?</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> C'mon, you know what to do.</p> <h2>5. Watch Less TV</h2> <p>TV producers have upped their game in recent years. Some of the new television dramas are as addictive as any drug &mdash; and especially hard to resist when you're able to download them all through services like Netflix. You must be strong; a 2010<a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20412077,00.html"> study</a> found that people who spend more than four hours in front of the tube each day <a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20412077,00.html">were 46% more likely to die than people who watched less than two hours</a>. That brand-new season of &quot;Mad Men&quot; will just have to wait.</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> If you can't give it up altogether, choose a show you love, watch it, and then hit the off button.</p> <h2>6. Drink More Wine</h2> <p>Red wine, that is. Hundreds of studies have found that a compound in red wine called <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089">resveratrol</a> (when consumed in moderation) can help us live longer, healthier lives, and slow down age-related illnesses. Those who love the stuff might also say it makes life worth living.</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Find a few tasty, affordable wines you love and enjoy!</p> <h2>7. Floss Your Teeth</h2> <p>There is some evidence that the stinky bacteria between your teeth can contribute to <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/29/the_odd_body_flossing_heart_link/">your risk of heart disease and heart attack</a>. Plus, if you're working on Tip 4, this healthy habit is a must. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-dentistry-how-to-avoid-expensive-dental-problems">How to Avoid Expensive Dental Problems</a>)</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> It only takes a minute. Just do it!</p> <h2>8. Get a Pet</h2> <p>Maybe Fifi pees on the rug from time to time, but it's totally worth it &mdash; a furry friend can really boost your lifespan. In 2011, researchers at the American Psychological Association found that pet owners had <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2013854/Why-owning-pet-makes-happier-likely-live-longer.html">better self esteem and were more fit, less lonely</a>, and more extroverted than their pet-free peers. Both dogs and cats have been found to have benefits. No word yet on other furry, scaly, feathered, or fish friends, but if they make you happy, they probably do some good.</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Try pet-sitting or volunteering at an animal shelter. You'll get all the cuddles &mdash; without the commitment.</p> <h2>9. See the Doctor</h2> <p>You don't have to become a hypochondriac, but certain types of health screenings are recommended for men and women in certain age groups. This can help ensure you get the treatment you need for serious conditions such as high blood pressure and cancers. The other option is to wait and see whether they kill you. Your choice.</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Start with an annual check-up. Your doctor will fill you in on which screenings are appropriate for you.</p> <h2>10. Take More Vitamin D</h2> <p>The jury's still out on whether people should supplement their diets with vitamins, but <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/">vitamin D is one supplement most health organizations now recommend</a>. Low levels of this vitamin have been linked to lower immune function, increased mortality, and a long list of other health issues.</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Most health experts have settled on 1,000 mg per day as the dosage of choice. (Check with your doctor, of course.)</p> <h2>11. Make More Friends</h2> <p>Being lonely increases stress hormones and inflammation in the body. And that is<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21517864"> very bad for both your physical and mental health</a>. Plus, if there's anything that'll make you feel younger, it's old friends. (And by that I mean friends you've had for a long time!)</p> <p><strong>Start small: </strong>Join a MeetUp group, sports team, or other activity to help you meet people.</p> <h2>12. Get More Exercise...</h2> <p>You don't have to start putting in hours every day training for an ironman. What the most recent studies show is that <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/02/even-a-little-bit-of-exercise-goes-a-long-way/">some exercise is better than no exercise</a>.</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Head out for a quick walk or do a few pushups. You'll be fitter when you're done!</p> <h2>13. ...and More Sleep</h2> <p>You know when you're all snuggled up in bed and it feels so absolutely amazing? That isn't because you're indulging; it's because your body needs sleep. To live. If you regularly get less than six hours per night,<a href="http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/05May/Pages/lifespan-link-to-sleeping-habits.aspx"> research says you'll die</a> (sooner).</p> <p><strong>Start small: </strong>Get into bed 15-20 minutes earlier each night until you're feeling rested in the morning.</p> <h2>14. Worry Less</h2> <p>If you're a worrier, you've probably been told by someone not to &quot;worry yourself to death.&quot; That isn't hyperbole. Serious long-term worrying<a href="http://www.ergo-log.com/stresstelomerelength.html"> reduces your life expectancy on a molecular level</a>. That means coping with stress and worry &mdash; and removing some of the things in your life that contribute to it &mdash; could be one the best things you ever do for your health.</p> <p><strong>Start small: </strong>Make a list of what's bothering you. Then either do something about it or let it go.</p> <h2>15. Embrace Getting Old</h2> <p>Maybe you'd be content to just survive getting old, or even accept it, but no, scientists say the key to living longer is embracing your age. In fact, one study showed that people who had a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=116870&amp;page=1">positive attitude about aging lived seven years longer</a> than those who didn't. I bet they had way more fun too.</p> <p><strong>Start small:</strong> Seek out other active, happy people of all ages. It's contagious!</p> <p><em>How many of these healthy habits have you already formed? Which ones will you try?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-drugs-rock-n-roll-and-other-surprisingly-healthy-activities">Sex, Drugs, Rock &#039;n Roll — And Other Surprisingly Healthy Activities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-eating-habits-that-are-keeping-us-fat">6 &quot;Good&quot; Eating Habits That Are Keeping Us Fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-killer-ways-to-really-actually-lose-weight">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-lower-your-cholesterol">10 Simple Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty fitness habits Health lifespan longevity Mon, 07 Oct 2013 10:36:03 +0000 Tara Struyk 994619 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Select the Best Jeans for Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-select-the-best-jeans-for-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-select-the-best-jeans-for-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/standing_in_jeans.jpg" alt="Woman standing in jeans" title="Woman standing in jeans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's awesome to score a pair of jeans for super cheap, but it's even <em>more</em> satisfying if you know that pair will last you for a long time. But how can you really know what the longevity of your jeans is before they actually get put into regular wardrobe rotation? The folks at Real Simple have some tips on <a title="save on jeans" href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/saving/how-to-save-on-00000000016999/page6.html">how to choose the most valuable pair of jeans</a> for your buck, and, to get you started, we've pulled some examples that aim for prolonged life while still spending <a title="clothing deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories/?eref=wisebread">as little as possible</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans">25 Things to Do With&nbsp;Old Jeans</a>)</p> <p>First, the site suggests sticking to darker denim, since &quot;deeper shades are handled less, so they last twice as long.&quot; They also happen to be particularly flattering, as darker colors are slimmer and more versatile. For example, dark jeans can be paired with a button-down shirt and blazer more easily than light colors, and they look just as smart with a simple T-shirt and sneakers. These <a title="Levi's jeans" href="http://www.drjays.com/shop/P1100300/levis/514-slim-straight-city-collection-atlantic-jeans.html">Levi's Men's 514 Slim Straight Atlantic Jeans</a> fit the bill for color, and they feature a small zip compartment on the thigh that looks cool, even if it can't actually hold all that much before it starts to look like there's a growth on your leg. (That is to say, leave it empty.) Or, if you want to go <em>really</em> dark, try these <a title="Levi's jeans black" href="http://www.zappos.com/levis-mens-501-original-black">Levi's Men's 501 Original Jeans</a> in black instead.</p> <p>Another way to choose denim that'll last is to pay attention to the materials. You likely wear jeans more than any other item of clothing, which means your denim is also taking a beating. According to Real Simple, opting for jeans that feature at least 2% spandex allows your trusted blues to stretch with you, instead of ripping after months of wear. Unfortunately, this appears to be a less popular material for men's jeans than it is for women's, but this of course makes sense; the tighter the jeans, the more likely they'll need the stretch. That said, we found these <a title="Gap skinny jeans" href="http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=26273&amp;vid=2&amp;pid=834670">Gap Men's 1969 Super Skinny Fit Jeans</a> with 2% spandex for the dudes, and the <a title="Express boot cut jeans" href="http://www.express.com/boot-cut-eva-curvy-fit-jean-rinse-wash-45052-43/refine/Type/Jean/control/page/9/show/3/index.pro">Express Women's Eva Boot Cut Curvy Fit Jeans</a> for the ladies who want some stretch.</p> <p>Obviously, we're no stranger to Real Simple's final tip, which is to look for deals and coupons online, then buy multiple pairs of a style that fits the above criteria. This is generally easier to do when you're already sure of the exact style that works for your body. For example, if the <a title="Levi's 514" href="http://www.drjays.com/shop/P1100300/levis/514-slim-straight-city-collection-atlantic-jeans.html">Levi's 514</a> is a perfect fit, you can set up a <a title="dealnews email alert" href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">personalized email alert</a> for Levi's coupons, and stock up whenever a discount comes around. Seeing as its the most-worn item in many people's wardrobe, you'll likely never regret having multiple pairs on hand.</p> <p>Readers, what tips do you have for buying the best pair of jeans? Is there a particular brand or store that you've found to consistently offer high quality at inexpensive prices? Do you think spending more on denim translates into a longer life for your jeans? Sound off in the comment section below!</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href="http://dealnews.com" title="dealnews"><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Scoring jeans for super cheap is great — but it&#039;s even better when they&#039;re long lasting. Here&#039;s how to score the most valuable pair of jeans for your buck. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-select-the-best-jeans-for-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-clothes-shopping-hacks-that-save-time-and-money">9 Clothes Shopping Hacks That Save Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-buy-jeans-on-the-cheap">8 Ways to Buy Jeans on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october-2012">The Best and Worst Things to Buy in October 2012</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-pays-for-the-bridesmaid-dresses-when">Who Pays For the Bridesmaid Dresses When . . . ?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping clothes shopping jeans longevity Wed, 08 Feb 2012 11:24:22 +0000 Dealnews 883994 at http://www.wisebread.com Power9: 9 Habits of the World's Healthiest People http://www.wisebread.com/power9-9-habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/power9-9-habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007294837XSmall.jpg" alt="Happy senior couple" title="Happy senior couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The United States is facing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions: Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Diabetes and heart disease rates are on the rise. For the first time in living history, the life expectancy of America&rsquo;s children is less than that of their parents.</p> <p>In other parts of the world, however, people are living longer, healthier lives. In certain areas known as Blue Zones, people tend to live well into their 90s and beyond while remaining mentally and physically vibrant. It&rsquo;s no coincidence that people in these regions share several lifestyle traits.</p> <h2>The Blue Zones</h2> <ol> <li><strong>Sardinia, Italy</strong>: a mountain village where researchers encountered a 102-year-old man who hikes at least 6 miles a day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Okinawa, Japan</strong>: home to some of the world&rsquo;s longest-lived people.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Loma Linda, California</strong>: where a group of Seventh Day Adventists commonly live to 100 years old and enjoy more healthy years of life than the rest of the United States.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Icaria, Greece</strong>: a tiny island with 20 percent lower rates of cancer, 50 percent lower rates of heart disease, and almost no dementia.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica</strong>: where residents enjoy lower levels of obesity and longer lives than the rest of Costa Rica.</li> </ol> <p>Dan Buettner, explorer and writer for <em>National Geographic</em>, has worked with longevity researchers to identify the habits that allow Blue Zone inhabitants to reach the age of 100 at ten times greater rates than most of the United States, while suffering a mere fraction the rate of heart disease and cancer as the rest of the world.</p> <p>The key to living longer, fuller lives, says Buettner, is to create an environment of health. Science has determined that less than 25% of a person&rsquo;s lifespan is determined by genes. The rest can be influenced by lifestyle factors.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Healthy Lifestyle Habits</h2> <p>Buettner and his team of researchers have identified nine lifestyle factors common among Blue Zone inhabitants, all of which are associated with an extra 3-6 years of quality life. The secret to vitality and longevity is incorporating these habits into your daily life. Adopting all nine of these habits &mdash; known as the Power9 &mdash; is not necessary to experience the benefits of increased health and longevity; according to Buettner, practicing just six of the Power9 will deliver 90% of the benefits. His book, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Zones-Lessons-Living-Longest/dp/1426204000/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1272063236&amp;sr=8-1">The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who&rsquo;ve Lived the Longest</a></em>, provides practical guidelines for setting up your home, your social life, and your work place to help add more quality years to your life.</p> <p>Surprisingly, only one of the Power9 deals with exercise, and a full third involve social factors. In fact, says Buettner, the single most important thing you can do is extend your life is to build your own &ldquo;Right Tribe.&rdquo; The world&rsquo;s longest-lived people were either born into or choose to associate with the right people &mdash; those who provide emotional support and the motivation to engage in healthy activities. Research shows that if you surround yourself with people who are active and eat healthy foods, you are more likely to adopt these habits yourself.</p> <h2>The Power9</h2> <h3>1. Move naturally</h3> <p>Find ways to move mindlessly and adopt a lifestyle that makes moving unavoidable. In many Blue Zones, walking is the main mode of transportation. People also engage in some sort of moderate daily activity such as gardening, walking, or playing with their children. Buettner believes that many Americans exercise too hard; our bodies were not made to withstand years of heavy pounding and high-intensity physical activity. Regular, low-intensity activity &mdash; doing something light every day &mdash; may be more beneficial. Focus on activities you enjoy &mdash; even something as seemingly simple as a daily walk can provide health benefits.</p> <h3>2. Know your purpose in life</h3> <p>Having a meaningful reason to get out of bed in the morning can help reduce stress and ward off disease. Studies show that people who retire early often see a decline in their health and even experience higher mortality rates than those who continue to work. If you enjoy your job, keep working as long as possible. Volunteer work and community service can also help provide a sense of purpose.</p> <h3>3. Downshift</h3> <p>People in Blue Zones typically have less stress in their lives. Look for ways to simplify your life: slow down, get plenty of rest, and take vacations. Try to punctuate your day with periods of calm, whether that means meditating, taking a relaxing bath, or carving out some time for yourself to engage in a hobby.</p> <h3>4. Follow the 80% Rule</h3> <p>As Americans, we&rsquo;re used to eating until we&rsquo;re full, but allowing yourself to feel hunger can actually be beneficial. A study involving mice revealed that the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin may help fight stress and depression. People in Blue Zones typically stop eating when they are 80% full. Buettner&rsquo;s book and the <a href="http://www.bluezones.com/">Blue Zone</a> web site provide advice on adopting healthier eating habits.</p> <h3>5. Eat a plant-based diet</h3> <p>People in Blue Zones don&rsquo;t diet; they eat wisely. Blue Zone diets consist of large amounts of locally grown vegetables and less protein than the average American diet. Limit processed foods, meats, fats, and sweets as much as possible. Also drink plenty of fresh water and herbal teas. In Icaria, residents drink high levels of herbal teas that act as diuretics, lower blood pressure, and prevent heart disease.</p> <h3>6. Drink red wine</h3> <p>Red wine is high in powerful antioxidants that can help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol. In Sardinia, researchers found a red wine with the world&rsquo;s highest-known levels of antioxidants. Drink red wine consistently and in moderation &mdash; a glass or two a day is recommended.</p> <h3>7. Belong to a healthy social network</h3> <p>Having a strong and supportive social system is key to reducing stress and living a healthy life. There is a biological link between social connection and how well our bodies function. Fifteen years ago, the average American had three good friends; that number is now down to two. Our increasingly wired society and busy lifestyles have made us more isolated, which can shave years off our lives. Make an effort to spend time with friends and nurture a face-to-face network instead of just connecting with people online. Proactively build friendships with people who practice healthy habits. Participating in social exercise groups or volunteering are great ways to meet healthy, like-minded individuals.</p> <h3>8. Have a belief system</h3> <p>Having some sort of faith system or spiritual practice has been shown to have health benefits. Participating in a belief system doesn&rsquo;t have to mean organized religion: Okinawans believe in ancestral worship; yoga and meditation are also forms of non-religious spiritual practices. &ldquo;People who feel their life is part of a larger plan and are guided by their spiritual values have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart attack and cancer, and heal faster and live longer,&rdquo; says Harold G. Koenig, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.</p> <h3>9. Put your family first</h3> <p>People in Blue Zones make family a priority and nurture supportive relationships with their loved ones. Studies have shown that the average working American parent spends just 19 minutes a day engaged in childcare. As you work on simplifying your routine, look for new, beneficial activities you can do with your children and extended family members. Complete a craft project together, get the family together for a bike ride, or involve the children in making dinner and choosing healthy foods for the family.</p> <p>For more information, visit the <a href="http://www.bluezones.com/">Blue Zones</a> web site, which features a Vitality Compass for gauging your current state of health and life expectancy.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <p><a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103744881 "> The Island Where People Live Longer</a><br /> <a href="http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/find_purpose_live_longer.html"> Find Purpose, Live Longer</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post by Karen Eisenbraun from our sister blog, <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com">Healthy Theory</a>. Visit Healthy Theory for more health tips and news.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/fast-food-companies-funded-by-health-insurance-investments">Fast Food Companies Funded by Health Insurance Investments</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/should-you-stop-eating-canned-foods">Should You Stop Eating Canned Foods?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/fatty-foods-can-be-addictive-like-cocaine">Fatty Foods Can Be Addictive Like Cocaine</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/are-we-too-clean">Are We Too Clean? </a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-theory">Healthy Theory</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/power9-9-habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Health and Beauty aging blue zones healthy longevity power9 Mon, 26 Apr 2010 12:00:02 +0000 Healthy Theory 43403 at http://www.wisebread.com