This 1 Thing May Add 9 Years to Your Life

You probably know which activities will shorten your life, but what about extending it? Science says some of the more enjoyable activities and experiences actually add years to your life — and many are probably things you already do.

Ahead, check out some easy ways you can increase your lifespan, including the surprising activity that can add a whopping nine years to your life (page 7).

7.  Controlling your cholesterol

Women Healthy eating

Eating healthy can help you make this goal a reality. | DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Adds 8 months

Unfortunately, having the gene that raises your cholesterol might reduce your lifespan by about eight months based on research from the Usher Institute of Popular Health Sciences and Informatics, Inc. reports. However, by controlling the gene with diet, exercise, and possibly medication you can earn back those eight months.

Next: This type of companion can enhance your life.

6. Owning a dog

Running dog

For most people, this healthy addition is also a happy one. | Puhhha/iStock/Getty Images

  •  Adds 2 years

Your furry friend can actually help you to live longer. “The physical and mental health benefits of owning a dog can add two years to the life of an owner,” Dr. David J. Demko told Men’s Journal. The companionship, exercise, and even maintenance truly make dogs a human’s best friend.

Next: Even a few minutes of doing this activity will help.

5. Running

Woman runner running on city road

Running regularly is ideal for longevity. | iStock.com/lzf

  • Adds 3 years

Running may be the ideal exercise for longevity. Researchers found running as little as five minutes a day can extend your life, The New York Times reports. A study by Iowa State University found runners lengthened their life by about three years, even if they were overweight, smoked, or drank alcohol.

Next: You may be genetically predisposed to this.

4. Lowering your blood pressure

Nurse Visiting Senior Male Patient and checking blood pressure

For most people this means adapting a healthy diet and exercise routine. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

  •  Adds 5.2 years

Lowering your blood pressure can have one of the biggest impacts on longevity, according the Usher Institute study reported by Inc. Some people may be genetically disposed to higher blood pressure. But diet, exercise, and perhaps medication can keep your blood pressure in check.

Next: It’s not too late, even if you picked up this bad habit.

3. Quitting or never smoking

Pensive red-haired girl in bikini smoking on beach

Cut the habit to add precious years to your life. | iStock.com/kiko_jimenez

  • Adds 7 years 

It’s no secret that nonsmokers have a longevity advantage. But you can still reap the benefits of being a nonsmoker if you smoked in the past and quit, according the Usher Institute study reported by Inc.

Next: Do these three things for a long life.

2. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle

Young man doing planks

For some of us, this is easier said than done. | iStock.com/gpointstudio

  • Adds 7 years

Combine three healthy lifestyle behaviors to add years to your life, according to a study by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Nonsmokers who drink alcohol in moderation and are not obese may live up to seven years longer.

Next: You’ll never believe this activity will boost your lifespan.

1. What activity adds 9 years? Going to concerts

That concert might sound fun, but you're better off making other plans.

This should be a fun addition to your life. | Dwphotos/iStock/Getty Images

  •  Adds 9 years

That’s right. Routinely going to see live music can really extend your life, according to a study by O2 and Patrick Fagan from Goldsmith’s University. Going to concerts might also boost the feeling of well-being, happiness, feelings of self-worth, and closeness to others.

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