As we are nearing the end of our 30 Days to a Simpler Life I thought this one would be an important one. Most of these are small adjustments we can make to our lifestyle that can reap big rewards. Even if you don't live longer by doing these you will live better.
- Laughing: 100 to 200 laughs are equivalent to ten minutes of jogging or rowing, says US cardiologist, Dr William Fry. Research also shows that it lowers levels of stress hormones, and heightens the activity of the body's natural defensive killer cells and antibodies.
- Eating the right food: A better diet appears to be a deciding factor in living longer. French people have the longest life and tend to eat more fresh food, shop every day at local markets and rely less on convenience food than we do.
- Make your marriage work: Being happily married for a long time leads to greater life expectancy for men and women. However, divorcing then remarrying actually increases the risk of dying prematurely, says a study in Health Psychology Journal.
- Walk, run, jump: People who exercise have a 40% less chance of developing heart disease and studies have also found that people in the lower 20 per cent of fitness were three times more likely to die prematurely than the fittest group.
- Have sex: I am talking about being married here! Couples with a healthy sex life can look up to seven years younger than those who don't, according to a study by Dr David Weeks at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. This is because sex reduces stress, leads to greater contentment and better sleep.
- Live in the country: People living in rural areas have a higher life expectancy than those living in cities. I'm ready to move!
- Watch your weight: Overeating is one of the main causes of ageing and increases the risk of heart disease and cancers of the colon, womb, gall bladder, ovaries and breast.
- Have lots of children: A study in Psychology of Ageing found that the more children women have, the greater their life expectancy. Interesting!
- Learn something new: Brain cells work together, so learning new skills improves your brain function generally. '
- Be a Positive person: Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US found that optimistic people live about 12 years longer than pessimistic ones. Pessimists are more prone to viral illnesses, such as colds and flu
- Enjoy chocolate: I absolutely love this one! Research from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who eat a moderate amount of chocolate live longer than those who never touch sweets.
- Find God: I love this one too! Going to church increases life expectancy, according to a study in the International Journal for Psychiatry and Medicine. It's particularly good at helping people's stress and emotional problems, and seems to protect against diseases such as heart, respiratory or digestive problems.
- Enjoy a cup of tea: Green and ordinary black tea pack the same amount of antioxidants and have equal benefits. Harvard researchers found that drinking one cup of black tea a day cuts heart disease risk dramatically.
- Get a pet: Families who own a dog or cat are less stressed and visit their doctors less often than those who don't, say scientists from Cambridge University. Pets make you feel optimistic and relaxed, which lowers your blood pressure. Even a goldfish in a bowl works.
Psalm 91:14-16 (New Living Translation)
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”