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A trusty toothbrush, some fresh air and a few good friends may help you live longer.
1. Accept Your Age
In a 2009 study from Germany, researchers asked people how they felt about their age. Those who were happy with it lived an average of two more years than people who were bothered by it.
Why it helps Acceptance of ageing – rather than denial of it – is related to healthy behaviours, says study author Dana Kotter-Gruhn, PhD, a psychologist at North Carolina State University in the US.
Your move As people age, they tend to compare themselves with their younger selves, which leads to some disappointment, says Kotter- Gruhn. Instead, compare yourself with your contemporaries; plenty will be worse off (but others will be inspirations).
2. Breathe Clean Air
People who stay in cities with air quality that’s relatively good live a few months to a year more than the average person, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Why it helpsDirty air carries micro-pollutants that can trigger inflammatory reactions, says study author Arden Pope, PhD. “Even mild inflammatory responses can contribute to cardiovascular disease.”
Your move No matter where you live, you can trade sidewalk jogs for trail runs, at MacRitchie Reservor, for example. Streets equal more air pollution from passing vehicles, and deep breathing increases your inhalation of the stuff, says Pope.
3. Make Relationships Last
Adults with strong friendships and/or community involvement lived an average of 3.7 more years than the average person, according to a 2010 review by researchers at Brigham Young University in the US.
Why it helps “Social support is linked to better immune functioning,” says study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at BYU. And with meaningful bonds in your life, you’re likely to take fewer risks that endanger those
worthwhile relationships, she adds.
Your move It’s often easier to schedule an event than to plan an open-ended get-together. Sign up at a site like Linkedin.com, which connects you with industry contemporaries. If a good event pops up, rally your troops.
4. Brush Your Teeth
People who brushed less than twice a day had a 70 per cent higher risk of death or hospitalisation from heart disease than those who brushed three times or more, according to a 2010 UK study.
Why it helps Oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream, possibly triggering plaque build-up in your arteries.
Your move Brushing and flossing remove bacteria, but many people floss incorrectly, says Judy Kreismann, a clinical associate professor of dental hygiene at New York University. To floss right: Wrap the floss so it forms a C around the front of one tooth and a C around the back of the adjacent one. Move the floss up and down.