Secrets to a Longer Life

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthMake Friends
Science has given you one more reason to be grateful for your friends; they might help you live longer. Researchers found elderly social butterflies were less likely to die over a 10-yr period compared to people with the fewest friends.

Choose Your Friends Wisely
Your friends’ habits rub off on you, so look for companions with healthy lifestyles. Studies indicate obesity is socially “contagious”-your chance of becoming obese increases by 57 percent if you have a friend who becomes obese.

Embrace the Siesta
A siesta is standard in many parts of the world and now there’s scientific evidence that napping may help you live longer. A recent study with 24,000 participants suggests that regular nappers are 37 percent less likely to die from heart disease than occasional nappers. Researchers thank naps might help your heat by keeping stress hormones down.

Follow a Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish. An analysis of 50 studies involving more than half a million people shows the impressive benefits of this diet. The findings show 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.

Letting go of grudges has surprising physical health benefits. Chronic anger is linked to decreased lung function, heart disease, stroke, and other ailments. Forgiveness will reduce anxiety, lower your blood pressure, and help you to breathe more easily. These benefits tend to increase as you get older.

Maintain a Sense of Purpose
Finding hobbies and activities that have meaning for you may contribute to a long life. Japanese researchers found men with a strong sense of purpose were less likely to die from stroke, heart disease, or other causes over a 13-yr period compared to those with a low sense of purpose. Another study at Rush University Medical Center indicates that having a greater sense of purpose is linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

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