Just Doing These 7 Things May Help You Live 10 Years Longer

Most people want to live longer, while some claim they’d rather stick around as long as they’re in good health. What if you could have both?

A new study found that making a few simple lifestyle changes could extend your life by a decade or longer. You won’t just get more years in your life, but more life in your years if you follow the study’s recommendations. Think you’re living a healthy life? Read on … the study showed that only 8% of Americans abide by all of these rules.

1. Keep your BMI in-check

BMI or Body Mass Index Infographic Chart

Where you fall on the BMI scale truly matters for your overall health. | bearsky23/Getty Images

The Circulation journal study found that keeping your Body Mass Index (BMI), or height to weight ratio, below 30 helps considerably in improving longevity. Higher body weight can increase your risk of diabetes, cancer, and other obesity-related conditions that will only deteriorate your health later in life.

Maintaining a healthy BMI, along with the other recommendations we’ll discuss next, is significantly associated with a reduced risk of dying from a heart attack or cancer, the top two U.S. killers.

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2. Cut down on the booze

red wine

Keep it to just one glass, rather than several. | Cyano66/iStock/Getty Images

There are tons of myths about how much alcohol you should really drink — is it a glass of wine a night for heart health? None at all? Clear liquors that are lower in sugar? The study concluded that “not drinking too much” can increase longevity, so the answer still appears vague.

Other studies have linked light drinking (one to two drinks per day) to heart benefits and drinking more than two or three to weight gain and relationship problems. While heavy drinking definitely increases your health risks, it’s still safe to enjoy the occasional cocktail or beer — just keep it lite.

Next: A jog a day keeps the doctor away

3. Fit in your daily exercise

Young blond female runs along the beach

Staying fit and healthy is vital to longevity. | iStock.com/warrengoldswain

You don’t need to start running marathons to live longer. According to the Circulation study, engaging in at least 30 minutes of “moderate or vigorous activities” (i.e. a brisk walk or light jog) each day will do. Trying to go the extra mile? An older study found that regular, more vigorous exercise like running can add up to four years to your life.

Moderate exercise doesn’t just help prevent dangerous killers like cancer and heart disease but improves your chance of survival if you’re diagnosed with one of those diseases. It helps to promote longevity and keeps your mood stabilized as well.

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4. Toss out the cigarettes

A campaigner holds a pack of cigarettes in front of a stand of tobacco boxes

This one should be a no-brainer. | JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/GettyImages

Smoking, the lifestyle behavior with the most powerful effect out of all seven, is also the “least-debated health risk factor” according to medical director Jack Der-Sarkissian, M.D. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, so why do nearly 38 million Americans still do it?

It’s addicting, of course, but a habit worth quitting — even recreationally, and yes, even the electronic cigarettes. “The study shows that even minimal smoking — from one to 14 cigarettes a day — is associated with increased death due to cancer and heart disease,” Der-Sarkissian told CNN.

Next: Put down the fork

5. Watch what you eat

Fresh organic farmers market fruit and vegetable

Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, and remember, organic is always best. | Elenathewise/iStock/Getty Images

Watching what food you eat along with keeping up with moderate (to vigorous) exercise is important to keep you in check on rule No. 1: Maintaining a healthy BMI. Fruits and vegetables have inflammation-fighting powers and boost your circulation as well as plenty of antioxidants to make you feel great and look better.

However, they can keep you living longer, too. Eating your three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can lower your risk of heart disease and has been linked to decreasing your risk of certain diseases like breast cancer.

Next: Here comes the sun … now here’s what you need to do.

6. Lather up the sunscreen …

Young woman applying sunblock cream on legs

Avoid nasty burns and scaly skin. | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

… Because SPF is your friend! Not only will you live longer, but you’ll look better doing it without all the wrinkles and sun spots. Avoid excess sun and always apply generous sunscreen when stepping out to ward off skin cancer. While skin cancer is generally easy to treat if caught early, most people let skincare fall by the wayside because they don’t realize the effect it has on their longevity.

While getting more sun has proven to benefit your mood and mental wellbeing, do so in a safe manner. Lather up the sunscreen, don a beach hat, and always wear protective sunglasses to shield your eyes.

Next: Bet you had no idea this can add three years to your life.

7. Get busy

Lovely couple in bed

Regular sex is extremely healthy for you. | Puhhha/iStock/Getty Images

It turns out staying in bed all day isn’t always a bad thing — at least, every once in a while. It turns out that having good sex two to three times a week can add as many as three years to your life.

Plus, sex can burn an impressive amount of calories, lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, and boost your immunity … need we go on?

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