7 Things We Learned About Longevity In 2012

 

Most of us are approaching the end of the year with reflections on the past 12 months, along with resolutions and hopes for the future.

In years past, we may have chalked that future up to genetics and a dose of good luck. But research now suggests we have much more of a hand in our destiny than previously believed. In fact, a number of straight-forward nutrition, fitness, sleep and other health tips can help assure you maximize the life in your years.

Here are seven of those things that we learned in 2012.

It’s Never Too Late To Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle – An advanced age is no excuse to give up on healthy habits!  A 2012 study showed that exercise, eating right and avoiding harmful habits like smoking helped 75 or older live 5.4 years longer than their less healthy-intentioned peers.

Exercise Really Works – There’s nothing new about the fact that exercise helps us live longer. But a recent study did take a closer look at just how powerful regular activity really is: The physically active benefit from several years added to their lives.

Cook At Home – A survey of Taiwan residents over the age of 65 found that those who cooked up to five times a week were 47 percent more likely to still be alive 10 years later.  There are some limitations, of course — the least healthy of participants wouldn’t be able to cook or perform the errands associated with making meals at home because of their health — but even after controlling for these factors and more, researchers found that something about simply cooking at home more frequently can extend your years.

Laugh More – As part of an ongoing study on genes and aging, researchers found this year that certain personality traits seem to be associated with a longer life, including the propensity to laugh — a lot!

Look At The Bright Side – In the same study on aging, optimism was also linked to living longer.  The 243 subjects over the age of 95 “were outgoing, optimistic, and easygoing. They considered laughter an important part of life and had a large social network. They expressed emotions openly rather than bottling them up,” study researcher Dr. Nir Barzilai, M.D., director of Einstein’s Institute for Aging Research, said in a statement.

Supplements Can Help – Adults in their 60s and 70s were 9 percent less likely to die over a three-year period when they took vitamin D supplements with calcium, compared to the elderly who went without either supplement.  A number of other foods and nutrients have also been linked to a longer lifespan, including omega-3s and certain antioxidants.

We Know What To Do — But We Rarely Do It All – The most important behaviors for a long and healthy life aren’t secrets — they’re things like not smoking, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. In fact, you may even be tired of hearing about them. But just a little more than 1% of American adults actually abide by these guidelines, according to a 2012 study. People who do meet all the criteria?  Well, they enjoy a 51 percent decreased risk of death from any cause.

 

source; Huffington Post – Healthy Living

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