The 6 Surprising Things That Tell You How Long You'll Live — and How to Improve Them All

By Brittany Lyte on 11 November 2014 0 comments

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: Live Long and Prosper With These 15 Small Healthy Habits)

1. How You Get Up Off the Floor

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 more likely to die 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 — all important faculties that tend to waver as we reach the end of our life cycle, whenever that may be.

2. Your Caloric Intake

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 methods of energy manipulation 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.

3. The Fine Lines on Your Face

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. "We know in the field of aging that some people tend to senesce, or grow older, more rapidly than others, and some more slowly," said Jay Olshansky, a biodemographer at the University of Illinois at Chicago who came up with the idea. "And we also know that the children of people who senesce more slowly tend to live longer than other people." 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 nearing the end-of-life stage, regardless of our actual age.

4. Your Tolerance to Heat

As we age, our tolerance to heat — be it August weather or burning flames — deteriorates along with our bone density and vision. That's one reason why heat resistance is an indicator of fine health and longevity. Studies show that those of us who can more easily endure high temperatures are apt to have longer lives.

5. Where You Were Born

Monaco, a sovereign city-state tucked along the French Riviera, is the place with the highest life expectancy for a child born in 2013, 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.

6. How Often You Have Sex

Can sex be the key to a longer life? 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… it can't hurt to give it a try.

Based on these indicators, how much time have you got left? Please share in comments!

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