Five Tips For A Long, Healthy Life

Posted on January 30th, 2013, by iMinerva

Who doesn’t want a long life – one that’s healthy and strong?  We’ve made it this far and with luck, and some good lifestyle habits, we’ve still got a long way to go.  So the big question is – beyond our DNA – what’s the formula for longevity?

Parade Magazine recently published a quiz on keys to “Live Longer & Better” and the studies all point to exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation.  No big surprise.  But there were a few points made that are worth emphasizing.

1) Physical and social activity can add more than 5 years to your lifespan.  This was based on a study of folks 75 and older.  Those engaged in swimming, walking, stretching and toning exercises and with “a rich or moderate social network” outlived others who were “isolated and sedentary.”

2) Adopting a dog can be more effective than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer.  Fido encourages walking – almost 300 minutes a week on average – and is a positive influence on daily activity.

3) Tai chi has been found more effective at “controlling pain and improving physical function” than supplements such as glucosamine or shark cartilage pills.  The slow,concentrated stretching movement of tai chi is also good for balance and blood pressure.

4) Volunteering reduces depression and has even been reported to improve sex – according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh.  Apparently, a “sense of a ‘higher purpose’ in life” created by volunteering heightened other aspects of life – like the enjoyment of sex.

5) Watching TV is more of a health threat than smoking.  According to the studies, smoking a cigarette reduces life span by about 11 minutes.  Every hour an adult sits in front of the TV can cut 22 minutes off her life span.  This sedentary habit increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease – and can be more deadly than that cigarette,

So put down the remote, go volunteer at a community center, then come home and take Fido for a walk in the park, followed by a few good tai chi poses.  It’s a good formula for life.


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