New study reveals the ways to live TEN YEARS longer11/11/2018
Don’t retire – and have plenty of sex! New study reveals the scientifically proven ways to live TEN YEARS longer
- Five more healthy years of life is the government’s new goal to prevent illness
- Our emotional state and how much sex we have plays a role in a longer life span
- One study says that ageing is 10 per cent genetics and 90 per cent lifestyle
Five more healthy years of life. That’s the Government’s goal for all of us under a new plan that seeks to prevent rather than simply treat illness. ‘It’s about people choosing to look after themselves better,’ said Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week.
But what should we be doing?
A Harvard University study in August identified five key habits that could potentially add a decade to life expectancy, including eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and drinking only moderately.
Five more healthy years of life. That’s the Government’s goal for all of us under a new plan that seeks to prevent rather than simply treat illness.
But they are not the only things we can do – our emotional state and how much sex we have all play a role in assuring a longer, healthier life. Here we examine the lifestyle tweaks scientifically proved to add years to your life…
Don’t act your age
The secret of longevity owes more to a zest for life than to lucky genes, say researchers. A study of 660 volunteers aged 50 or over found those who had more positive perceptions of their own ageing lived an average of seven and a half years longer, even taking into account their income, age and health.
Ageing is, in fact, only 10 per cent genetics and 90 per cent lifestyle, according to research focusing on longevity hotspots around the world.
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A US study of ‘super agers’ – those who live beyond 80 – found they shared a more positive outlook than their peers. They were also more sociable, keeping busy long after retirement.
Positive thinking has been linked to stress reduction, which has a knock-on effect on general health and helps to boost the immune system. ‘Negative beliefs and attitudes lead to inactivity, isolation, depression and preventable diseases,’ says Sir Muir Gray, a public health consultant at Oxford University.
LIFE GAIN: Seven and a half years.
Avoid early retirment
Delaying retirement might sound counter-intuitive but it can add years to your life, according to a 2016 study. Researchers at Oregon State University followed 2,956 people and found that healthy adults who retired aged 66, rather than at 65, had an 11 per cent lower risk of death from all causes than those of the same age who had retired earlier.
Even workers who were unhealthy when they retired still had a nine per cent reduced risk of death if they worked for just a year longer.
‘The findings seem to indicate that people who remain active and engaged gain a benefit from that,’ said the researchers.
LIFE GAIN: 11 per cent lower risk of death from all causes at 66.
Become a parent
Research says that people who don’t have a family may not have the support networks in place of those that do
People with children live at least two years longer than those who are childless, according to a study last year.
Researchers in Sweden tracked 704,481 men and 725,290 women born between 1911 and 1925 and found that the risk of death was greater among those who did not have children.
They say that childless people may not have the same support networks in place, leaving them more vulnerable.
‘Emotional feelings can be just as relevant to our health as overall physical factors,’ says Dr Elizabeth Webb, a researcher at AgeUK.
LIFE GAIN: Two years.
Stay out of hospital
Research suggests that elderly patients leave hospital worse off than they initially arrive
Patients requiring hospital treatment for long periods, for whatever reason, are likelier to die earlier – and not just because they were already sick.
A paper published last October found 7,800 extra deaths occurred between July 2014 and June 2015 in England and Wales where frail, elderly people were stuck in hospital for longer than necessary.
And US research suggests about one-third of patients aged over 70 and more than half of patients over 85 leave hospital more disabled than when they arrive.
‘Hospital settings are dangerous places because you can pick up superbugs such as MRSA or C Difficile more easily,’ says Dr Webb. ‘Good hospitals try to get people discharged as soon as possible.’
LIFE GAIN: No gain but a lower risk of disability or illness.
Go for a walk
People who take up regular exercise could extend their life span
Fitness needn’t be exhausting: American and Swedish researchers found people over 40 who take regular brisk walks live longer than those who are inactive.
People following the World Health Organisation weekly minimum of 150 minutes of brisk walking could look forward to up to four and a half years of extra life compared with couch potatoes. Walking briskly for just half the recommended time resulted in an increased life expectancy of nearly two years.
Fitness builds muscle strength and improves cardiovascular health. ‘Unfortunately, fitness is lost starting from the time we get our first desk job, and this has a knock-on effect on our health,’ says Sir Muir.
‘It is always better to struggle to the shops on foot rather than take the car.’
LIFE GAIN: Four and a half years.
Have an active love life
Sex raises levels of the feelgood hormone oxytocin and dehydroepiandrosterone
A study of 918 men in the Welsh town of Caerphilly between 1979 and 1993 found those who made love twice a week had a 50 per cent reduced risk of death compared to those who had sex less than once a month. A man who has 350 orgasms a year lives an average of four years longer than a man who has a typical tally of a quarter of that, according to other research.
Women who have regular sex have longer telomeres – a DNA component that indicates longevity. The longer the telomere, the longer the lifespan. Sex raises levels of the feelgood hormone oxytocin and dehydroepiandrosterone, which reduces stress, and increases levels of infection-fighting immunoglobulins in the blood.
LIFE GAIN: Four years for men, increased life expectancy for women.
Drink Greek coffee
Researchers have said that drinking strong coffee could hold the secret to longevity
Drinking strong coffee could hold the secret to why the population of the Greek island of Ikaria has the highest rate of longevity in the world – one per cent live to 90 compared to the European average of just 0.1 per cent.
Researchers looked at the coffee-drinking habits of 673 inhabitants over the age of 65. They found that 87 per cent consumed Greek coffee – finely ground, and boiled in a tall, narrow pot. And those who did so daily had better cardiovascular health than those who didn’t drink the morning brew.
Greek coffee is rich in chemicals called polyphenols and antioxidants which help mop up damaging free radicals in the blood. It is also relatively low in caffeine compared to instant coffee.
LIFE GAIN: Potentially a tenfold increase in living to 90.
Get enough sleep
Side effects of lack of sleep include sleep deprivation, obesity, heart disease, hypertension and depression
Several studies show both people who don’t get enough sleep and those who get too much reduce their life expectancy.
A 2010 study, looking at a million people in eight countries, found sleeping fewer than six hours a night made people 12 per cent more likely to die prematurely.
Meanwhile, sleeping more than nine hours made them 30 per cent more likely to die early.
‘The side effects of sleep deprivation include obesity, heart disease, hypertension and depression,’ says sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan. ‘However, too much could be a sign that the body is struggling with an underlying illness or depression.’
LIFE GAIN: At age 60, a 12-30 per cent cut in the risk of early death.
Try THIS: how to strengthen your lower back… the deadlift
By Mariam Al-Roubi
Lifting heavy weights from a standing position, known as ‘the deadlift’, is the ultimate exercise for strengthening the lower back.
But take care to do this correctly – just one wrong movement can flatten the natural curvature of the spine, risking damage to spinal discs and agonising pain.
The key is to load your glute muscles and hamstrings instead of the lower back. In this position, the vertebrae are locked in their correct position, keeping the discs protected.
Complete five reps of the move – but take care to do it correctly – just one wrong movement can flatten the natural curvature of the spine
- Stand with the weighted bar on the floor, feet apart, with the middle of your feet under the bar.
- Push hips back while bending the knees, keep chest upright and shoulders back and down.
- Grab the bar – palms down with hands shoulder-width apart.
- Without twisting sideways, lift until shins touch the bar, straighten the back and lock the knees.
- Hold a few seconds.
- Unlock the knees, bend legs slowly and lower weight to the floor.
- Complete five reps.
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