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What Should I Do to Live Longer?

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July 18, 2023 •  Emily Hicks Law, PLLC
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Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “7 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Live a Long Life” looks at some of the things you should stop doing if you want to live a long life.

  1. Stop the stress. Chronic stress can make life feel miserable, may age your body and can even result in premature death. Research has connected chronic stress to conditions like heart disease, digestive disorders and cancer—all of which have the potential to shorten your lifespan.
  2. Sitting. Studies have shown that prolonged time sitting can have serious negative effects on your health. Researchers from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and Beijing’s Chinese Academy of Medical Services reported the findings of their research in 2022 that tracked data from more than 100,000 people over an average 11-year period. They found those who sat for six to eight hours a day had a 12%-13% increase in their chance of early death and heart disease. The risk factor also increased to 20% for those who sat more than eight hours a day.
  3. Eating processed foods. Frozen pizzas and microwaved meals aren’t good for you. In fact, eating ultra-processed foods was linked to 10% of all-cause, premature preventable deaths in Brazil in 2019. If premature death doesn’t frighten you, maybe you’ll be motivated to change your eating habits by the fact that processed foods have also been linked to cognitive decline.
  4. Overeating. Too much food can shorten your lifespan, if it makes you obese. A 2016 study of data from more than 10.6 million participants from 1970 to 2015 found that as a person’s body mass index (BMI) increased, as did their risk of mortality. Overweight people are also more prone to deaths related to cardiovascular health, respiratory disease and cancer.
  5. Drinking heavily. There are a few health benefits associated with drinking wine. However, too much alcohol is bad for your body. The CDC says there are more than 380 deaths in the U.S. each day due to excessive alcohol use. Those who die prematurely may have cancer, liver disease, or heart disease. They shorten their lives by an average of 26 years. Excessive drinking for women is four or more drinks on a single occasion, or eight or more drinks a week. And for men, it’s five and 15, respectively.
  6. Declining invitations. We all need to get out and socialize. The CDC cautions that social isolation after age 50 can increase your odds of premature death by as much as smoking, obesity and physical inactivity. A lack of social relationships is connected with a 29% increase in heart disease risk and a 32% increase in stroke risk. In addition, social isolation can raise your risk for dementia by about 50%.
  7. Playing Night Owl. Some people tout their ability to function on a minimal amount of sleep. However, staying up all night could mean you have fewer years left to enjoy. A 2018 study found that those who get fewer than six hours of sleep each night are 10 times more likely to die prematurely. A lack of sleep has been linked to several health problems. including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Reference: Money Talks News (Jan. 9, 2023) “7 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Live a Long Life”

Suggested Key Terms: Senior Health

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