Have I got a list you’re going to love? Yes. Yes, I have.
There are so many things you likely already do – and would be hard pressed to stop doing – even if someone told you they shortened your lifespan. But, luckily, these seven seemingly everyday behaviors do the opposite.
Instead, the items on this list might actually lengthen your life.
1. Jiggle, squirm, twiddle and fidget
The New York Times recently published an article claiming a new study found that fidgeting is actually good for your health.
This includes, according to the study, “the toe-tapping, foot-wagging, and other body movements that annoy your co-workers”.
In today’s day and age, work happens for so many at a computer. And, often, we get so involved in our work, we forget to get up from our desks. Not only that, but with the advent of Netflix and similar streaming channels, Americans are couch-potatoing more than we used to. Turns out, gluing ourselves to the tube might actually shorten our lives and increase the risks of health issues.
But, stretching, going for a quick walk, or even jiggling your legs for a minute or so could work against the harmful effects of our sedentary lifestyles and lead to better health in general.
So, break up each stint of sitting into 20 or 30 minute intervals. Go grab a drink of water, use the restroom, or just rise from your chair and shake it all out. You’ll be doing your body a favor.
2. Wax on, wax off and tidy up
You know that friend who can’t stop polishing, dusting, swiffering, or tidying? Well, they might just live longer than you. What was just a simple chore might actually be a way to fend off the Grim Reaper for longer. A recent study shows people who keep house, even moderately, tend to live longer than those who stay put all day.
3. That’s what friends are for
Of course, everyone needs a little alone time now and again, but research now shows that friendship is healthy! Turns out, loneliness has been cited to cause pain and feelings of loss, inspire fear, and even make us feel fatigued and exhausted.3
So, call up a buddy and catch up, meet up for that coffee you’ve been meaning to get, or walk to a friend’s house and knock on the door. They’ll likely be happy to see you and you’ll be helping their health too.
4. Take Marvin Gaye’s advice
Cuddle and kanoodle. Turns out, getting intimate a few times a week can actually add a few years to your life – perhaps two or three. Cuddling can lead to intimacy, and intimate relations can help burn calories.4 Sexual activity could help you maintain a healthier blood pressure and help keep your heart in better shape.
5. Grow a family
Believe it or not, raising children might just help increase your life expectancy. A new study shows people with kids, ages 60 and up, are living longer than their childless peers. To be specific, fathers were predicted to live about 2 years longer than men without kids. And, mothers were expected to live 1.5 years longer than women without children.6 So, if you’ve been on the fence about starting a family, here’s just another reason to consider it.
6. Push back your retirement
I get it, you’re picturing white sandy beaches and long afternoon naps after your 50th birthday, right? Everyone dreams of the day they don’t have to work anymore. But it turns out, feeling a sense of responsibility has been proven to support better day-to-day functioning in older people, and it also can increase our lifespan. Researchers at Oregon State University discovered adults who retired at 66 years of age had a lower risk of death from all causes than their earlier retiree counterparts – even among varying demographics, lifestyles, and quality of health.7 Perpetually productive people in their golden years are known to live longer than those who quit working at an earlier age. So, don’t quit your day job.
7. Give yourself garlic breath
Go garlic! Not only does it taste amazing, garlic has an incredible healing power that can help enhance your immune system. Garlic’s been proven to help with heart health, and it’s also known for helping you breathe better.8 But, to maximize garlic’s medicinal power, it’s best to eat it raw. And then, of course, you’ll have to brush your teeth like crazy – but even that could help extend your life!
To wrap it up
So, if you’re looking to squeeze out a few extra years, live your life to the fullest. Invest in the people and passions you love. And, here’s to a long, happy, healthy life!