Making certain lifestyle changes can boost your life expectancy — and the quality of your life. Many of the things you can do to increase your life span also happen to lower your chronic disease risks, and are pretty simple lifestyle changes to make.
Regular exercise is an excellent way to boost your life expectancy by about 4.5 years, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI also notes that you can reap the increased life expectancy benefits from regular exercise, regardless of how much you weigh and how intensely you workout — but the more you exercise the longer your life expectancy will be.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
If you’re consuming more than 1-2 drinks daily, you may be lowering your life expectancy. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that women who drink more than seven drinks per week and men who consume more than 14 drinks weekly increase their risk for alcoholism and other health problems — and alcoholism lowers life expectancy by 10 to 12 years.
Sleep the Right Amount
While getting too little sleep decreases your life expectancy, so can sleeping too much, according to a review published in 2010 in the journal Sleep. Authors of this review suggest that getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night is just the right amount to lower your risk of dying and boost your life expectancy.
Limit Television Viewing Time
Watching too much TV lowers your life expectancy, according to a study published in 2012 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers who conducted this study found that watching too much television is associated with heart disease, and that people who watch an average of six hours of television daily have life expectancies that are 4.8 years less than people who don’t watch TV.
Reduce Meat Intake
Reducing your intake of red meat — or not eating it at all — may help you live longer. Vegetarian diets, especially plant-based vegan diets, lower your risk of heart disease, some cancers, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and dying, according to a study published in 2014 in the journal Nutrients. Authors of this review suggest that vegetarians appear to have life expectancies that are 1.5 to 2.4 years longer than non-vegetarians. Another review published in 2013 in The Permanente Journal also suggests that low meat intakes are associated with higher life expectancies.
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What is some advice you’ve heard to increase life expectancy?