These everyday habits are shortening your life

By: Bel Marra Health | Anti-Aging | Friday, March 04, 2016 - 08:00 AM

The fountain of youth has yet to be discovered, so we must come up with our own means to extend our lives. When it comes to longevity, some things are pretty obvious: don’t smoke, exercise, and eat well. Although those three are the foundation of the road to a long life, there are other factors that play a role as well, which can help further extend a person’s life.

If you’re looking to live a long, healthy life, don’t overlook some of these factors and habits, which could be cutting your lifespan short.

6 ways you’re cutting your life short (and how to fix them)

1. You sit for long periods a day

Much research has come out with regards to the hazards of sitting for prolonged periods of time – or a sedentary lifestyle. With aging, we tend to sit more – our joints ache, we’re tired, so we simply spend more time sitting and lounging. One study in particular found that prolonged sitting could cut your life short by two years! Worse yet, exercise isn’t the simple fix to combat the negative effects of sitting.

If you want to extend your life, be more mindful of how long you sit for and make it a habit to get up from your chair or couch more often.

2. You neglect your friends

Social interaction and social ties is an important aspect of health, as loneliness and isolation have been found to worsen health. Much research has found that people with poor social connections die much sooner than those with tight connections. More specifically, one study uncovered that seniors with close social ties were 22 percent less likely to die, compared to their antisocial counterparts.

If you haven’t seen or spoken to your friends in a while, make it a point to touch base with them on a regular basis to ward off loneliness.

3. You have a long commute

Whether you’re trekking into work, or simply live far from common areas like grocery stores or malls, spending countless hours in your car, especially stuck in traffic, is taking time off your life. The effects of a long commute are similar to that of prolonged sitting, except that you’re more likely to be stressed out while driving, adding more fuel to the fire.

Studies have shown that individuals with long commute of over 31 miles significantly lower their lifespan.

If you can’t move or change your commute, then at least look up some stress-busting techniques to avoid aggravating the situation. Try singing along with the radio, for example, rather than focusing on the not-so-moving cars ahead.

4. You’re not having sex

A study found that men who failed to orgasm for long periods of time had a 50 percent higher risk of mortality, compared to those who had an orgasm on a regular basis. Aside from extending your life, having sex and climaxing has been shown to have alternative benefits as well, such as boosting your mood. Why not live long and happy by increasing the frequency of sex you have?

5. You don’t sleep enough or you sleep too much

Sleep is an integral part of health, but if you’re not getting enough – or if you’re getting too much of it, you could be taking years of your life. Chronic lack of sleep has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cognitive problems. On the other hand, getting too much sleep has been shown to shorten one’s life as well by as much as a 12 percent increase in mortality.

Finding your sweet spot when it comes to sleep is key for a long life. Seven to eight hours of sleep is a generally recommended norm. If you do have sleeping problems, speak with your doctor and get tested, as treatment can help extend your life.

6. You fear dying or living a short life

If your main concern in life is death and not living your life fully, that can shave off years of your life, too. Individuals with death anxiety were found to actually live shorter than those who perceived their life to be longer. For example, one study examined people’s fear of death by terrorist attack post-September 11 and found those individuals with death anxiety were at a much higher risk for cardiovascular events.

The effects of death anxiety can be amplified in those nearing elderly age and those with poor social ties as well. Combated fear of death can add years to your life and decrease death-related worry.

These are just some of the factors that take years off your life. If you want to add those years back, consider these factors and make the appropriate adjustments, along with not smoking, eating well, and exercising regularly.

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