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Want to live a long, healthy life? Check out these 18 secrets below to a longer life.

  1. Protect your DNA – As we grow older, the ends of our chromosomes, called telomeres, become shorter which makes you more vulnerable to disease. Lifestyle changes boosted an enzyme that increases telomere length. Other studies suggest diet and exercise can protect telomeres.
  2. Be Conscientious – Studies show that conscientious people do more things to protect their health and make choices that lead to stronger relationships and better careers.
  3. Make Friends – Researchers found elderly social butterflies were less likely to die over a 10-year period compared to people with the fewest friends.
  4. Choose your Friends Wisely – Your friend’s habits rub off on you, so look for companions with healthy lifestyles. Studies suggest obesity is socially “contagious” and that your chance of being obese increases by 57% if you have a friend who becomes obese.
  5. Quit Smoking – Studies show that quitting at age 30 could increase your lifespan by a decade!
  6. Embrace a Siesta – Regular nappers are 37% less likely to die from heart disease than occasional nappers. Researchers think naps help your heart by keeping stress hormones down.
  7. Follow a Mediterranean Diet – High in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish, the Mediterranean Diet shows it significantly lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome – a combination of obesity, elevated blood sugar, increased blood pressure, and other factors that raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  8. Eat like an Okinawan – The people of Okinawa, Japan once had the longest life expectancy in the world. This regions’ diet consists of green and yellow vegetables and is low in calories.
  9. Get Married – Studies show that married people outlive their single counterparts. Researchers contribute this difference to the social and economic support that marriage provides.
  10. Lose Weight – Slimming down can protect against diabetes, heart disease, and other life-shortening conditions.
  11. Keep Moving – people who exercise live longer on average than those who don’t. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and depression.
  12. Drink in Moderation – Heart disease is less common in moderate drinkers than in people who don’t drink at all. However, too much alcohol pads the belly boosts blood pressure and can cause other serious health problems.
  13. Get Spiritual – Research suggests people who attend religious services tend to live longer than those who never attend. In a 12-year study of people over age 65, those who attended services had a higher level of a key immune system protein than their peers who did not attend services.
  14. Forgive – Letting go of grudges has surprising health benefits. Chronic anger is linked to decreased lung function, heart disease, stroke, and other ailments.
  15. Use Safety Gear – Accidents are the most common cause of death in the U.S. and the top cause of death for those ages 1 to 24. Wearing safety gear is a simple way to boost the odds of a long life.
  16. Make Sleep a Priority – Good quality sleep can lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other mood disorders. Sleeping less than 5 hours per night boosts the risk of premature death, so make sleep a priority.
  17. Manage Stress – While avoiding stress is not a viable option for most people, there have been effective ways to control it such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
  18. Maintain a Sense of Purpose – Finding hobbies and activities that have meaning may contribute to a long live. It is linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and heart disease.

Source: WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/ss/slideshow-longer-life-secrets

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