Would you like to add five, six, or even ten years to your life?
I know what you’re thinking: No way, whatever you’re going to suggest is going to be too hard.
Now what if I told you that every piece of advice I’m going to give you takes very little energy, and even less time to execute?
Yes, I’ve got a list of simple, doable strategies that can extend your life by plenty.
And I’m not talking about some phony elixir that claims to give you eternal life. Every one of these suggestions has been backed by credible medical evidence. Best of all, none of them take longer than a minute or two.
Intrigued? Read on.
#1 Phone a friend
Did you know that a lack of social relationships is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic?1
It’s true. Having a robust social network – plenty of friends, family, neighbors or colleagues – cuts your risk of early death. Researchers from Brigham Young University pulled information from over 300,000 participants in almost 150 studies.
Why? When you’re well connected to a group outside of yourself, the sense of purpose you feel to others may translate into taking better care of yourself, theorize the researchers. It makes sense to me.
So make sure your social network is sufficient.
If you feel you’re not attached to enough people, volunteer at a local soup kitchen, join a walking club or look into activities at your local church or synagogue. You’re bound to find some new contacts there.
#2 Floss every day to stave off a heart attack
You’ve probably got all sorts of excuses as to why you don’t floss. But when you don’t, sticky, bacteria-laden plaque builds up over time, leading to gum disease. And gum disease is bad for more than just your mouth. There’s a strong relationship between cardiovascular disease and gum disease.
While experts aren’t sure why the connection is so strong, they do have a theory: Gum disease leads to inflammation in the mouth, which may in turn trigger inflammation throughout the body, including the blood vessels.
So make sure to brush for two minutes, twice a day, floss every day and see a dentist at least twice a year. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits comfortably in your hand and allows you to easily reach the surface of every tooth. Or try an electric toothbrush – research has suggested that when used correctly, an electric toothbrush can remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush.
#3 Stand up and add 22 minutes to your life
Are you reading this on a tablet while sprawled across the couch? Move to a standing position. It could tack on a few years to your life.
In fact, in a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers determined that every hour of couch-potato-ness knocks almost 22 minutes off of your life! And that time adds up over a lifetime. Think about it … if you spend an average of six hours a day on the couch, you’ll live about five fewer years than someone who’s up and at ’em throughout the day.2
Another study, this one published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that the longer time a woman sat, the greater her risk of heart attack – regardless of how much exercise she did at other times.3
Since many of us spend the majority of our days at our desks, we need to find ways to combat the sit. Get up to go to the water cooler every 20 minutes or so, pace while you’re on the phone, have standing meetings in the conference room, etc.
#4 Pop an omega-3 to stay youthful into your golden years (My Favorite)
Anti-aging in a pill? It may be as easy as that. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, healthy middle-aged adults who took omega-3 supplements for four months altered a ratio of their fatty acid consumption in a way that helped preserve telomeres. Telo-whats?
Telomeres. They’re tiny segments of DNA found at the end of our chromosomes that keep the double helix strands from raveling. When telomeres get too short it can lead to cell inactivity or death. So preserving telomeres, as omega-3 fatty acids did in this study, can keep your cells young.
What’s really incredible about this study is that you’ve got the highest and purest super critical concentrate of omega-3 fatty acids available at your fingertips. Just add Super Critical Omega-3 TG to your daily routine.
What you might not know is that each daily serving provides more omega-3 fatty acids than were used in this research study.
Did any of these surprise you? I have to admit, the sitting study was pretty astonishing to me. I knew sitting was dangerous, but I didn’t realize how dangerous. I’m looking into getting one of those standing desks. Have any of you tried one? What did you think of it? Do you have any other ideas on how to sit less? I’d love to hear about them.
1. Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB. Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review. PLoS Med. 2010 Jul 27;7(7):e1000316. PMID: 20668659.
2. Veerman JL, Healy GN, Cobiac LJ, et al. Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2012;46(13):927-930. PMID: 23007179.
3. Chomistek AK, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, et al. Relationship of sedentary behavior and physical activity to incident cardiovascular disease: results from the Women’s Health Initiative. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;61(23):2346-2354. PMID: 23583242.
4. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Epel ES, Belury MA, Andridge R, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2013;28:16-24. PMID: 23010452.