10 Things You Should Stop Doing If You Want To Live Longer
So, we may not be immortal, but there are things you could be doing if you want to live longer. We can’t guarantee living until you’re 110, but hey, every little bit counts, especially if you love life enough to want to keep the party going.
Here are 10 things you should stop doing right now if you want to live longer:
#1 Not Settling Down
Believe it or not, settling down can add to your lifespan. People who have a hard time finding a mate can shave off months of their lives, and people who go prolonged periods of time without a partner can lose up to a whole decade. Even people who attend high schools entirely of one gender have been found to have shorter lives. And those who never get married? Increased risk of death over a lifetime by 32 percent.
And yet, in our modern day and age, only 48 percent of households are occupied by a married couple. Most people are single, or partnered and unmarried.
#2 Starting Class Too Early
Remember how 5-year-olds would start up class along with those 6-year olds? And parents used to be like “Oh, my child has a head start on education, they’ll be set up on the right path for life”?
Well, not quite. Put a small 5-year-old in the same classroom as a big 6-year-old and you have a recipe for bullying. And researchers have found that being ostracized as a kid leads to lifelong emotional problems, which leads to unhealthy behavior, and therefore, a shorter lifespan.
So, if you want our children to live longer than you, go ahead and give them an extra year at home, before sending them off to school. Stop making them go too soon.
#3 Flying Everywhere All the Time
You got that amazing job that requires you to jetset to and from and back and forth all the time. It pays well, and frankly, it gets you away from your pesky family.
Well, that’s nice and all, but did you know that every single time you fly in an airplane, your body is exposed to a small amount of radiation? When you fly frequently, this radiation adds up over time and increases cancer risk.
And it’s not just any radiation, it’s the cosmic kind. The kind that stars and the sun are constantly hitting our planet with. Most of it is filtered by the atmosphere, but at a high altitude, you’re subject to it much more.
#4 Not Going to Church
Believe it or not, church-goers tend to live around seven years longer than those who don’t. That’s bad news if you’re a non-practicing Christian, or an atheist, or agnostic, or anything else that doesn’t involve actually attending a church service.
Science isn’t exactly sure why, but the best explanation is that people who are spiritual tend to worry and stress less, and therefore have less issues with high blood pressure and strokes. They worry less, because they believe that God has them in His heart and that He will take care of everything.
The good news is that if you’re not religious, or just plain do not believe in a higher power, then a few years less of life won’t mean much compared to the torture that it would be to attend church once a week for the rest of your life.
#5 Being Super, Super Lazy
As unfortunate as it sounds, your job, your to-do list, and even your hobbies, keep you alive. Having a sense of purpose, and things to do, keeps you breathing.
Without something to do, all you’re inclined to do is lounge. And while lounging isn’t bad or deadly, doing it too much will cause your body and mind to lull into a stupor and slowly shurt themselves down, causing death.
So, you better get on that job hunt. Or at least pick up a video game to make your new life’s mission. Or better still, start cleaning up your apartment.
#6 Being An Anti-Social Hermit
People who neglect their friends, and have weak social connections, have been found to die at a much higher rate than those with more active social lives. Prolonged loneliness could be as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
And what’s funny is that elderly people with large circles of friends are less likely to die than their younger counterparts with anti-social, hermit ways. In other words, your age can’t save you if you refuse to ever leave the house and hang out with some friends. How tragic!
#7 Unhealthy Food
Unhealthy food generally tastes better than good, healthy food. Let’s be honest here. You want to order that personal pan pizza and wash it down with a beer, and then polish it off with a sundae. Although delicious, it’s also killing you quite rapidly. Hence, why we should all eat healthy food 99 percent of the time, and only splurge on the bad stuff every so often.
Unhealthy eating can lead to strokes, heart disease, obesity, and more. So put down the bread pudding and fried catfish, the doughnuts and the pizza, and just indulge sporadically as opposed to regularly.
#8 Your Work Commute Is Long
Ideally, you want your work commute to be under an hour. Anymore than that, and it increases stress. It also increases the negative effects of sitting for too long.
In fact the work commute is such a big deal that there is a significant dip in lifespan among female commuters. Men have always had the power to go to work and provide for their families, but for women, that wasn’t really taken seriously until the 70’s. And now that more and more women are out there working and commuting, the numbers are adding up, showing the devastating effects of stress and prolonged sitting.
#9 You’re Putting Up With Annoying Coworkers
It’s been proven time and time again that peer social support, friendships, and active social lives are good for your health. But just how that may be true, the opposite is also true: when someone isn’t socially integrated at work, it lowers life expectancy.
This is in large part because of the feelings of not belonging, not feeling appreciated, not being included and mainly, just not feeling like anyone at work really understands you. This explains why those with particular styles and interests tend to stick together and work in things that allow them to explore their creativity.
#10 Not Sleeping Enough
It’s true, when we don’t sleep enough, your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia, cognitive and memory problems, weight gain and early death all skyrocket. Sounds dangerous!
The optimal time to sleep is eight hours, just so your body can function optimally, although there’s a controversial study that claims that seven hours is the real deal, and that by sleeping 8 hours, you’re increasing your mortality rate by 12 percent.
The truth is, we don’t know. Maybe aim for 7 hours, maybe aim for 8, switch it up each week, or until you find the number of hours that works for you. Just don’t oversleep (9+ hrs.), because apparently that’s deadly too.