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Life expectancy is rising steadily every year, with women living up to 79.9, on average, and men living to 75. Set your expectations higher with our tips to hold back the years.
A good laugh is like a mini-workout?100 to 200 laughs are equivalent to ten minutes of jogging or rowing, says 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.
Go to Bed Later
Sleeping more than eight hours a night may reduce your life expectancy. A study in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that people who get only six to seven hours sleep a night live longer. People who sleep eight hours or more, or less than four hours, a night were shown to have a significantly higher death rate.
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
Fit women have a 40 percent less chance of developing coronary heart disease than those who don't exercise regularly, says Dr. Ken Cooper of the Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research. He also found that people in the lower 20 percent of fitness were three times more likely to die prematurely than the fittest group.
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 in Scotland. 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. Women living in West Somerset, England, for instance, live an average of 84 years, while those in the city of Manchester live only 76, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. And a study from the Tokyo Medical and Dental School found that people in cities who live near green open spaces tend to live much longer than those stuck in the concrete jungle.
Watch Your Weight
Overeating is one of the main causes of ageing and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, not to mention cancers of the colon, womb, gall bladder, ovaries and breast. According to the American Heart Association, if you lose as few as 10 pounds, you can lower your heart disease risk.
Have Lots of Children
A study in Psychology of Aging found that the more children women have, the greater their life expectancy. This could be because of the increased contact with and support from their children and grandchildren, as they get older.