We know we won’t live forever, but it’s still our goal to live as long as we can. Lifestyle habits play a large role in our well-being and how long we live. Good daily habits such as eating well and exercising can go a long way in the quest for improved overall health. But there are other habits, which you may not be as aware of, that actually shorten your life.
If you want to stick it out as long as possible, then avoid the daily habits which are listed below that can easily take years off your life and can also decrease the quality of those remaining years.
Daily habits that take years off your life
You avoid spices
When it comes to the hot stuff some of us have more sensitive palates than others. Spicy foods come in a variety of heat levels, so if you want to extend your life, try to find a spice you can tolerate.
A study from Chinese researchers tracked the diets of nearly three million individuals over a seven year span. They found that those who consumed spicy foods six to seven days a week lowered their risk of death by 14 percent.
Capsaicin is to thank for the phenomenal idea that spice extends life; it is the main component that gives foods their heat. Capsaicin has antioxidant properties as well as anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive effects.
You like to be alone
Taking some time to be alone every now and then is definitely required, but if you like to spend the majority of your time alone, you’re contributing to a shorter life. A study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science uncovered that individuals who lacked social connections had a greater risk of premature death. Additionally, the health effects of being alone were shown to be similar to that of being severely obese.
Loneliness can run high in seniors, so it’s important to try and reach out and continue to make social connections. Whether it’s making phone calls to friends or volunteering your time, try to minimize the amount of time you spend alone.
You sit too much
Aside from being alone, being sedentary is another large threat to your health. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a study uncovered that time sitting – either in front of the TV, at work or in the car – is associated with a higher risk of death due to higher incidences of cardiovascular events, diabetes and more. An alternative study found in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention linked sitting time with a higher risk of all cancers. The very simple solution to the sitting problem is to stand up and walk around more!
You get too little or too much sleep
There is a fine line between too little sleep and too much, but one thing is for certain: both can shorten your life. Although every person is different and has different needs, it’s generally understood that between seven to nine hours is the ideal amount of time to sleep. Too little and too much sleep can really send your body out of whack and, as published in the journal Sleep, can contribute to premature death. In the study, those who slept less than seven hours had a 12 percent increase in early death, and people who slept longer than nine hours increased their risk of death by 30 percent! If you have difficulty establishing a sleep schedule, speak with your doctor.
I’m aiming to live to 100 – but a 100 quality years where I’m still able to move around and get on my bike, read good books and enjoy great food that doesn’t need to be pureed for spoon-feeding. The wonders of modern medicine aside, there’s a good chance I will be an able-bodied centenarian. That’s because I’m female. Continue reading…
Some of us like it hot and spicy – food wise that is. In many cultures, spices bring the heat to a number of cuisines. If you already enjoy spicy foods, great, if not, you could be missing out on a great benefit. New research suggests adding spice to your food can contribute to a longer life. Continue reading…