8 Fun Ways to Live Longer (No Diet or Exercise!)
Q: Everyone is always talking about dieting and exercising when it comes to staying healthy. But I’ll be honest – at this point in my life, I’m probably not going to do either. Are there other things (other than diet and exercise) that can help me live longer and healthier?
Dr. G: Boy, John, you sound like lots of patients I know! I can talk until I’m blue in the face about diet and exercise, but they don’t want to hear it.
I do hope you’ll reconsider and find some small ways to eat better or get more exercise… just a few tweaks can make a big difference.
But you asked for other suggestions for living longer, and there are plenty. Here are 8 of my favorites:
- Take a vacation! The Framingham Heart Study followed 12,000 people who were at risk of a heart attack. It showed that the more often men took vacations, the longer they lived. The benefits extended to women as well. Those who took 2 vacations per year were 8 times less likely to develop heart disease.
- Get married. The words “for better or worse” aren’t included in your wedding vows for nothing. But regardless of life’s ups and down, marriage is great for helping you live longer. One study found that being married reduced the risk of premature death in middle age, while those who weren’t married were twice as likely to die early. If you’re already married, give your wife a big “thank you!”
- Have more sex! A study in the British Medical Journal showed that those who have sex regularly have 50 percent less risk of dying from a heart attack. If you want to live long, I can’t think of a better way to do it.
- Get a pet. Anyone with a pet knows how much they add to our families — but I bet you didn’t know they add YEARS to your life as well! One study showed that people who had pets were much more likely to survive having a heart attack.
- Sing! This one might seem silly, but this simple act can decrease stress, improve heart health, and help prevent depression… so it’s no wonder it was also found to help you live longer too. (Quality of singing had no impact on the results of the study.) Maybe volunteer for the church choir.
- Volunteer. I find that people who dedicate themselves to helping others have a better outlook on life and seem to be healthier in general. And according to one study, if you volunteer at two or more organizations, you could extend your life by 44 percent.
- Go to church. People who go to church regularly tend to have lower blood pressure and better immune systems, so it’s no surprise that they live longer, too.
- Spend time in the sun! By now you know that I think getting plenty of natural sunlight in the morning is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Studies show that those who spend the most time in the sun have less heart disease and live longer.
Want me to answer your question next? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To a brighter day,
Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D.
Written By Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D.
For years he’s been the trusted doctor for celebrities, world-class athletes, and countless seniors looking to reclaim their health.
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