It’s nice to think that reading an article titled “100 ways to Live to 100” might actually get you there, but we all know that’s not true. Still, the advice there is good advice to follow. You might be generally better off if you could do 10 of the suggestions, and doing all 100 would be even better, but you could still get cancer or get killed in an accident anyway.
I am no health guru or fad follower, but I pay attention and I think all these self-help articles have something of value, so I occasionally write posts here about health.
My own old age caveat is that I don’t want to live to 100 if I’m a decrepit wreck of a person who needs constant care and attention to keep breathing.
Let’s see: Eat more vegetables. Get more sleep. Exercise. All ones we have heard and probably tried and failed to accomplish. Still, I read them and I do learn new things.
“People who eat more than 25 species of plants a week have a greater diversity of bacteria in their guts than those who eat fewer than 10, finds a study by the American Gut Project. A wide variety of produce and legumes tamps down inflammation by feeding and increasing the “good” bacteria that maintain the health of our gut lining.” Isn’t it great that there is an American Gut Project?
Not all suggestions are as demanding as “Log 40 Minutes of Hard Cardio A Week.” How about just adding spices to meals? Spices offer huge anti-inflammatory benefits. Rake some turmeric, which seems to be a superstar for its inflammation-fighting polyphenolic compounds. Go ahead and add some to stews, sauces, and even smoothies and on that oatmeal you’ve been eating to lower your cholesterol.
I’m not a fan of #18: Ditch Netflix. Well, it’s not just Netflix. Watching too much television can contribute to an earlier death. Once you watch over three hours, the risk of all-cause mortality seems to increase with how many extra hours you log. Of course, Netflix sort of invented the binge watching craze of the day, so watching 8 straight hours of Orange Is the New Black is certainly not healthy. Plus the snacks and drinks involved in that binge session. And, despite what your English teacher told you, reading the book the series is based on (Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison) is not healthier. As with food, TV should be viewed in smaller portions. Or while on a treadmill.
I can get behind #22: Have More Sex, but that’s easier said than done. Unlike going for a jog, you need a partner who is on the same “health” plan. They note that an Australian study found that men who had orgasms twice a week or more were 50 percent less likely to die than those who only climaxed once a month. There is all kinds of research to show that a good amount of intercourse provides undeniable physiological and physical benefits that contribute to a longer life.
There are studies showing sex can help you de-stress, boost levels of the bacteria-fighting antibody immunoglobulin, decrease your sensitivity to pain by releasing good-times oxytocin, act as moderate exercise for your heart and muscles, and even reduce your risk of prostate cancer. What’s not to love about lovemaking?
through ejaculation, according to one Australian study. But making sure you’re having safe sex is also important – meta-analyses have also found that having too much sex when you’re suffering from heart problems or the like can result in a higher risk of death. Checking in with your doctor would help determine how often you can have sex.
Not as exciting, but maybe more practical, is the study that shows doing it alone might also be good for you. Sure, sex with the right partner can improve bonding, intimacy and mutual stress release. But studies also show that the kind of sex doesn’t exactly matter: most orgasm studies blur the line between sex and masturbation, referencing both as “sexual expression.” Prostate cancer rates have been proven to directly correlate to frequency of ejaculation. Scientists say ejaculating at least four times a week can reduce one’s risk by up to 30 percent. (Keep in mind the article I was reading was in Men’s Journal.)
So what are you doing reading this? Get some exercise. Go outside. Have some sex!