I have written about how to make your life appear longer by slowing down time. I have written about some interesting things that can predict a long life, but not necessarily causes- and the common characteristics of those who live to be 100. Today, I will describe a few unconventional ways of actually extending your life.
I’m talking about the tough times; the times when every day feels like a battle. The weeks and months where it feels like time is dragging on. I’m talking about time that is measurable, not just our perception of time. Although that does matter too.
How to do it?
Live somewhere green, or grow a bunch of plants and trees in your yard
We are designed to live in nature, with trees, rivers, meadows, wildflowers, beaches, and other aspects of wilderness. Our genes show that this is where we come from. This is why spending even a short amount of time in forests can reduce stress, improve our ability to process sugar, and make it harder for cancer to form. This is why spending time in green spaces can make us more creative and less anxious. Even looking at pictures of nature scenes or smelling the organic compounds that trees give off can have effects that are similar to being in nature. It refreshes us.
Would you like to live in a place with lots of greenery? Maybe living in a forest is not possible for most people, but having a garden, living near a park, getting a lot of houseplants, or choosing a street lined with trees is not so unreasonable. It turns out that women who live near green areas (parks, forests, gardens) live longer than those who don’t. The longer they live near the green, the lower their mortality risk.
The study is based on observation, but the mechanisms that could explain the findings are outlined in the first paragraph. The study found that women who are chronically exposed to greenness have lower mortality risks, even when controlling for socioeconomic status, race, and any other variable. This could be a solid strategy for life extension.
Follow your life’s purpose
The vast majority of people have a voice in their heads telling them to take risks, start businesses, pursue their dreams, or study certain subjects in school. Most people would refer to this voice as their conscience, but some believe it to be a direct line to their deity or higher self. Whatever you call it, this voice is likely trying to tell you something about your life’s purpose. Having a life purpose and working towards it has been shown to be a strong predictor of “allostatic load”–the amount of physical and mental wear and tear a person experiences. People with higher loads tend to have shorter lifespans, but those with a life purpose have lower loads.
If you don’t have a purpose in life, it might not be possible to just make one up. However, everyone has a purpose in life, even if most people ignore it, are afraid of it, or doubt their ability to achieve it. Be truthful to yourself and follow your heart, not what you think you “should” be doing.
Eat a lot of collagen
First, the primary amino acid in collagen, glycine, is anti-inflammatory. It counters the potentially negative effects excess methionine has on lifespan. It balances out the muscle meat we eat. In one recent study, people with low glycine levels and high meat intakes were more likely to have diabetes, while heavy meat eaters with higher glycine levels were protected from diabetes. Another study found that low circulating levels of glycine predicted diabetes risk. Indeed, a lack of glycine may be responsible for the oft-cited (and criticized) link between meat consumption and various diseases.
Second, collagen improves the skin. In middle-aged Korean women, 6 grams of collagen per day reduced skin cracking and increased serum collagen. In another study, collagen peptides reduced wrinkling. Furthermore, collagen has been shown to improve skin elasticity.
Why is the appearance of youthfulness important for longevity? It’s not just about looking good. Having youthful-looking skin is an indicator of good health and a long life. In fact, the way a person’s face looks is often a better predictor of how long they will live than other, more objective measures. If collagen can improve skin quality and reduce wrinkles, making a person look younger, it may also help them to live longer.
Get really, really cold, and really, really hot on a regular basis
Most people are looking for an excuse to expose themselves to the cold. It takes a lot of bravery to put yourself in freezing water and most people see that as a reward. It also makes you tougher and more resilient. Studies have shown that this exposure also increases lifespan in animals.
A recent paper found that sauna usage can decrease mortality rates, supporting the idea that exposure to heat-activated heat shock proteins can extend lifespan.
Many people are interested in the connection between the number of calories you consume and how long you live.
Animal studies have suggested that reducing your calorie intake by 10-50% could potentially increase your maximum lifespan.
There is a link between eating fewer calories, living a longer life, and being less likely to get diseases, which has been observed in populations of humans who are known for their longevity.
calorie restriction may help reduce excess body weight and belly fat, which could in turn help lengthen your lifespan.
Although calorie restriction can help people lose weight in the short term, it is often not something that can be maintained long-term. Additionally, there can be negative side effects to calorie restriction, such as increased hunger, low body temperature, and a diminished sex drive.
The full effects of calorie restriction on aging are not yet known.
Eat more nuts
Nuts are nutritional powerhouses.
Beans are a nutritional powerhouse. They are high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. Additionally, they are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including copper, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, and vitamins B6 and E.
Several studies have shown that nuts have a number of benefits including reducing heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even some forms of cancer.
Researchers found that people who ate at least three servings of nuts per week were 39% less likely to die prematurely than those who did not eat nuts.
According to two recent reviews that looked at over 350,000 people, those who ate nuts had a lower risk of dying during the study period. The greatest reductions were seen in those who ate 1 serving of nuts per day.
Try out turmeric
Turmeric is a great anti-aging strategy because it contains a potent bioactive compound called curcumin.
Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are thought to help it protect against age-related diseases and maintain brain, heart, and lung function.
Curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, is linked to an increased lifespan in both insects and mice.
Other research has not found the same results, and there are no studies involving humans.
Although it has not been extensively studied, turmeric has been used for thousands of years and is generally considered safe.
Eat plenty of healthy plant foods
A diet rich in plant foods has been linked with a decreased risk of disease and a longer life span.
A plant-based diet has been linked to a number of health benefits in various studies, such as a lower risk of premature death, reduced risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression, and brain deterioration.
The positive effects on health that are attributed to consuming plant foods are due to the nutrients and antioxidants that these foods contain, such as polyphenols, carotenoids, folate, and vitamin C.
Several studies suggest that vegetarian and vegan diets, which are naturally higher in plant foods, are associated with a 12–15% lower risk of premature death.
Studies report that people who eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormone-related diseases.
Some research suggests that people who eat more meat are at greater risk for premature death and certain diseases.
Other studies report that there aren’t any links, or the links are much weaker. The negative effects seem to be linked specifically to processed meat.
Generally, vegetarians and vegans are more health-conscious than meat eaters, which could explain these findings.
In general, consuming large amounts of plant-based foods is likely to improve health and extend life.
Stay physically active
This is not surprising news: if you stay physically active, you will be healthier and live longer.
Spending as little as 15 minutes a day on physical activity could have benefits such as adding 3 more years to your life.
The more physical activity you do each day, the lower your risk of premature death.
A recent review found that people who exercised, even if it was less than the recommended 150 minutes per week, were 22% less likely to die early.
Those who worked out for 150 minutes or more were 28% less likely to die early, and those who worked out for more than that were 35% less likely to die early.
Some research indicates that participating in vigorous activities results in a 5% greater reduction in risk compared to low- or moderate-intensity activities.
Smoking is strongly linked to disease and early death.
Overal, people who smoke are more likely to die preterm than those who don’t by up to 10 years.
You are never too old to quit smoking cigarettes.
One study found that quitting smoking by age 35 can add up to 8.5 years to your life.
Additionally, quitting smoking in your 60s can extend your life by 3.7 years. Even quitting in your 80s can provide some benefits.
Moderate your alcohol intake
People who drink a lot of alcohol are more likely to get liver, heart, and pancreatic disease, and die sooner than people who don’t drink alcohol.
However, moderate alcohol consumption has been linked with a reduced likelihood of several diseases, as well as a 17–18% lower risk of premature death.
wine is said to be good for you because it has lots of polyphenol antioxidants in it
A 29-year study showed that men who preferred wine were 34% less likely to die early than those who preferred beer or spirits.
One review found that wine may be especially beneficial in protecting against heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, and metabolic syndrome.
It is recommended that women should consume 1-2 units of alcohol per day and men should consume less than 3 units of alcohol per day. The maximum amount of alcohol that should be consumed by women is 7 units per week and the maximum amount of alcohol that should be consumed by men is 14 units per week.
It’s important to remember that there is no concrete evidence that moderate drinking is more beneficial than not drinking alcohol at all.
There is no need to start drinking alcohol if you don’t normally drink it.
Prioritize your happiness
Feeling happy can significantly increase your longevity.
Happier individuals were found to have a 3.7% reduction in early death over the course of a 5-year study.
A study of 180 Catholic nuns analyzed their self-reported levels of happiness when they first entered the monastery. They later compared these levels to their longevity.
People who were happy at the age of 22 were more likely to still be alive after 60 years.
A review of 35 studies has shown that happy people may live up to 18% longer than less happy people.
Avoid chronic stress and anxiety
Anxiety and stress may significantly decrease your lifespan.
For example, women who experience stress or anxiety are up to twice as likely to die from heart disease, stroke, or lung cancer.
The risk of premature death is up to three times higher for anxious or stressed men compared to men who are more relaxed.
If you’re feeling stressed, you may find relief in laughter and optimism.
Having a pessimistic outlook on life can be harmful to your health, increasing your risk of early death by 42%. However, both laughter and having a positive outlook can reduce stress and potentially prolong your life.
Nurture your social circle
If you want to live a long life, it is important to maintain healthy social networks, according to researchers.
The risk of early death decreases by more than 200% when a person has just three social ties.
Research has shown that having a strong social network can lead to positive changes in heart health, brain function, hormones, and immunity – which in turn may lower your chances of developing chronic illnesses.
A strong social group can help you react to stress in a more positive way, which can help explain the positive effect it has on lifespan.
A finally, one study found that it may be more beneficial to provide support to others than to receive it. So, in addition to accepting care from your friends and family, make sure to return the favor.
Be more conscientious
Conscientiousness is the trait of being self-disciplined, organized, efficient, and goal-oriented.
The study found that children who were persistent, organized, and disciplined lived 11% longer than those who were less conscientious.
People who are diligent and pay attention to detail tend to have lower blood pressure and fewer mental health issues. They also have a smaller chance of developing diabetes or having heart or joint problems.
Conscientious people are less likely to take risks or react negatively to stress, and more likely to be successful or have good health.
Conscientiousness is a trait that can be developed at any stage in life through small actions like tidying up a desk, sticking to a work plan, or being on time.