Thursday, July 06, 2006

Forbes: "15 Ways to Live Longer"

"It's been said that a man dies simply because he doesn't know how to live longer," opens an article from Forbes Health News entitled, "15 Ways to Live Longer." Can it be that simple? What about genetics? Sure, your genes play a big role in longevity, however as one doctor told Forbes, "There's a saying that genetics load the gun, but it's the environment that pulls the trigger."

No doubt, there's a middle ground in there, someplace between genetics and life choices that leads to a long, healthy life. And here are some tips that Forbes dug up for finding that hallowed territory:

Don't Oversleep: But don't undersleep either. The optimal amount is six to seven hours. People who sleep more than eight hours or less than four have higher death rates.

Be Optimistic: A positive outlook means less stress, lower blood pressure and, according to a 2002 study, optimists have "a 50 percent decreased risk of early death"

More Sex: Making love reduces stress, makes you happier and lets you rest better. "All factors can lower blood pressure and protect against stroke and heart disease."

Get a Pet: People with pets, especially dogs, visit physicians less, live 12 percent longer and have lower blood pressure due to "an array of psychological factors."

Get a VAP: This advanced cholesterol test can detect maladies that standard tests miss.

Be Rich: Better food, housing and health care means just 6 percent of rich folks are "limited" by chronic disease whereas 24 percent of poor folks are.

Stop Smoking: Don't be stupid.

Chill Out: Anger leads to high blood pressure, which could explain why men with high levels of anger in response to stress are three times as likely to get early heart disease.

Eat Your Antioxidants: These can neutralize free radicals "whose unstable chemical nature accelerates the effect of aging"

Marry Well: This won't help you, but it will help your kids. Studies show longevity can be inherited, so "pick a spouse whose grandparents are still alive."

Exercise: Maintain weight, improve cardiovascular health, strengthen bones, increase endorphins (energy hormones), and ward off stress and disease with exercise.

Laugh: This reduces levels of stress hormones, boosts endorphins, raises circulation, relaxes blood vessels, and lowers other predictors of heart disease.

Loose Weight: Obesity increases risk for heart disease, some cancers and diabetes. "For people who are overweight or obese, life is a ticking time bomb."

Manage Stress: "Constant stress produces high levels of cortisol, which has been shown to impair cognitive functioning and weaken the immune system."

Meditate: A powerful antidote for stress, "fifteen minutes of meditation has been shown to produce a much more relaxed state of mind than one hour of the deepest sleep."

Pound360 Archive

About Me

My photo
I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.