Doctors Reveal 15 Things You Should Start Doing Now to Live Longer

We all want to be healthy, but good health means more than just loading up on fruits and vegetables. While these are essential, there are plenty of other activities and foods that you should be incorporating into your daily life in order to increase longevity as much as possible.

Here are 15 ways to help your body stay healthier longer (don’t miss No. 11, it can decrease your risk of death by 33%).

1. Go for a jog

Jogging in morning

Get out and move!| lzf/iStock/Getty Images

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to help extend your life. But running or jogging could have some of the best effects of any exercise on your overall health. A recent study found that those who run consistently could live about three years longer than those who don’t. The study also found that even just five minutes of daily running was linked to a longer life.

Next: The perfect amount of this is essential. 

2. Get the right amount of sun

Yoga in sunshine

Vitamin D is a good thing, in moderation. | M-imagephotography/iStock/Getty Images

Too little sun is not good, and too much sun can be detrimental to your health. But getting the goldilocks of sunlight can be extremely beneficial. That’s because sunlight provides our bodies with Vitamin D, which is necessary for proper bone growth and function in adults. According to Healthline, vitamin D can also decrease your risk of heart disease and depression and boost weight loss. The amount of time you need in the sun varies by age and race, but experts suggest 10-20 minutes outside in shorts and a tank top is enough.

Next: Sip this in the morning. 

3. Have a morning coffee

Morning coffee

Coffee has several health benefits. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Having a cup or two of coffee per day can actually help your body, contrary to what you may have heard. Coffee has been shown to protect against type 2 diabetes. Research has also indicated that coffee can prevent Parkinson’s disease. Those who drink coffee also lower their risk of developing liver disease and liver cancer.

Next: Don’t worry about this. 

4. Don’t sweat the small things

Man in office relaxing

Relax more, stress less | Liderina/iStock/Getty Images

Stressing too much can take years off your life — truly. A study done by researchers at Harvard and Stanford found that those who have a stressful work environment could live about three years less than those who don’t. Age, race, and gender all played a role in the study, but ultimately the study concluded that the more stressful the work environment, the more years you could take off your life.

Next: Get plenty of this. 

5. Make sure you get some sleep

woman sleeping

A lack of sleep can throw your entire next day off. | Povozniuk/iStock/Getty Images

It’s imperative that you get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Research shows that those who get fewer than seven hours have weaker immune systems and are less likely to fight off disease. Sleep also allows your body to rejuvenate and rebuild muscle. But too much sleep can also be bad — anywhere from seven to nine hours is optimal.

Next: Don’t sit around all day. 

6. Take a break from your desk

People enjoying in office

Take time each day to get out of your chair. | UberImages/iStock/Getty Images

Even when you’re bogged down with work, it’s still important to get up a walk around multiple times during your work day. It’s important to keep your muscles working throughout the day. If you can’t fit a full workout in, don’t worry. Studies have shown that as few as 10 minutes of light exercise per day — such as walking around your office to burn a few calories — can be enough to prolong your life.

Next: Indulge in this. 

7. Enjoy a glass of red wine

Red wine

A glass of red wine has some excellent health benefits. | LightFieldStudios/iStock/Getty Images

In moderation, red wine can have some excellent benefits. But it’s important to stick to only one glass per day. Enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner can decrease your risk of heart disease. It can increase your levels of “good” cholesterol. Plus, red wine is filled with antioxidants that aren’t always easy to get elsewhere. Drinking a glass with a meal, such as every night with dinner, is optimal to reap red wine’s benefits.

Next: Always keep these close. 

8. Keep close friends

Friends enjoying

Friends are important for your health. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Relationships are essential to your health. But according to one study, maintaining close friendships can be even more beneficial to your health than having a family. Newsweek reported that those who have stressful relationships with friends are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses. The study also found that those who had close friendships functioned better in daily life than those who had no close friends.

Next: Hydration is paramount. 

9. Drink water

woman drinking water

Stay hydrated | Image Source/Getty Images

Hydration is essential. Your body is about 60% water, so water is necessary to maintain many bodily functions. Digestion, absorption, circulation, and body temperature all rely on water to work properly. It’s also important in kidney function and helps energize muscles. It keeps your skin looking great, too. Aim for eight glasses of water per day, but the amount you need also depends on your size and exercise levels.

Next: Reset your mind frequently. 

10. Plan a quick getaway

Friends enjoying at a beach

Vacation or downtime is important for everyone. | Astaro/iStock/Getty Images

Giving yourself some much-needed downtime is essential to keeping your mental health on track. Try to plan a weekend away every once in a while, or splurge on a week-long vacation to reset your mind. A study found that middle-aged men who took frequent vacations had a lower risk of heart disease than those who did not. Similar results were also found in studies among women. Next time you’re feeling stressed, plan a weekend away and get your mind back to where it needs to be.

Next: Here’s the perfect excuse to get a pet. 

11. Own a dog

Lady sitting with a dog

Get yourself a furry friend! | Fcscafeine/iStock/Getty Images

Studies show that owning a dog can lead to a longer, healthier life. Swedish researchers studied 3.4 million people to determine the effects that owning a dog had on human health. They found that those who owned a dog had a lower risk of cardiovascular-related death compared with those who did not. Those who lived alone and owned a dog had a 33% reduced risk of death compared with those who lived alone without a dog.

Next: Don’t forget to do this. 

12. Go to the doctor

Medical checkup

Checking in with your doctor regularly will help you stay healthy. | DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

It seems like a no brainer, but a lot of people tend to ignore the annual and semi-annual checkups that you need to have as you get older. Most people opt not to have a physical, colonoscopy, mammography, etc. even though they’re highly recommended. Foregoing these appointments can mean missing cancer or other diseases in their early stages.

Next: This is fun and could prolong your life. 

13. Sing your heart out

Woman singing at home

Believe it or not, singing can add years to your life. | Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

Believe it or not, singing can add years to your life. According to Business Insider, it reduces stress and promotes positivity by producing endorphins. Singing is also a physical workout that exercises your heart and burns calories. Next time you’re driving to work or to lunch with friends, turn up the radio and sing — it could potentially add time to your biological clock.

Next: Do this every day. 

14. Laugh daily

Woman laughing

Don’t take life (or yourself) too seriously. | SanneBerg/iStock/Getty Images

Is laughter really the best medicine? Some experts say yes. Laughter has been shown to reduce stress. It also can potentially have positive effects on certain diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. It encourages relaxation, and some have reported that it reduces pain.

Next: Kick your meals up a notch. 

15. Spice up your meals

Spicy food

Add some spice to your favorite dishes. | AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images

Various spices can have excellent health benefits. Turmeric, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties and can promote heart health. Cinnamon is also a beneficial spice. It has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Oregano helps build bones with its vitamin K, and ginger can reduce muscle pain and help an upset stomach.

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