5 Habits Scientifically Proven To Help You Live Longer

r-WATCHING-TV-large570We’re living longer and attempting to be healthier. Here are 5 steps you can take to facilitate longevity from the Huff/Post50.

Step away from the television — it’s much easier to get motivated to go for a walk or to the gym. Keeping TV time to under 2 hours seems to be the bellwether for health. Eat a handful of nuts daily for their heart-health benefits. Slow down on red meats and, especially, processed meats.

Danish researcher Peter Schnohr found that jogging only 1 to 2 and a half hours a week can increase life expectancy by over 6 years for men and more than 5 years for women.

A study at University of California-Davis found people who regularly practice meditation have higher levels of telomerase, the enzyme which lengthens the telomeres at the ends of your chromosomes, which affect aging. “Similarly, another study found that cancer patients who combined meditation with other healthy lifestyle changes over several years were able to lengthen their telomeres.” Meditation also helps manage stress and blood pressure, safeguarding against other diseases.



Laughter Is Good For You

ExpressionGood news — laughter is salubrious! So those slapstick movies I love to rewatch are actually good for my health, as is chuckling with a friend. Research from different sources gathered by Laurie Pawlik Kienlen points out the health benefits of laughter. Some are: “burns calories, causes ‘runner’s high,’ eliminates ‘us versus them’ thinking and strengthens your immune system.” 

“The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar,” says Steve Wilson, Ohio-based psychologist and laugh therapist. “Adding laughter to familiar movements, such as waving your arms, activates just about every human physiologic system, similar to conventional or traditional exercise.”

Laura McMullen in U.S. News cautions us not to inhibit our laughter, citing this old-fashioned statement, “Haters gonna hate. Laugh off criticisms.” She serves up ten suggestions to help us achieve our laughter zen. First, of course, is to laugh with rather than at others. Another good one is to seek out others whom you can lighten up and smile with.

“Every day, make a conscious effort to seek humor,” advises Karyn Buxman, motivational speaker and author of “What’s So Funny AboutHeart Disease?” Works for me — I have a friend who is a cancer survivor who reads the comics daily and is beautiful and healthy. She is also delightful to be around because of her ability to make me laugh and take life lightly.

See the rest below:




Julianne Moore’s Take On Aging

o-JULIANNE-570Where you stand on anti-aging procedures can be very different from your friends’ views. As we see reality show housewives and certain film stars with the faces of 14 year olds, it makes one wonder if that is how it should be. Should we all do the same?

Julianne Moore has nailed her view on plastic surgery while not criticizing those who choose to do so in the following statement. “I’d like to think that I can age as naturally as possible. I don’t want to come out condemning anything anybody does, because I think that all of these things can contribute to making people feel better about themselves, and that’s great. But I also want to look like myself. I mean, we’re not going to live forever. You could be dead at 45, and guess what? Then you don’t have to worry about aging.”

Enjoy photos of more celebrity women who have “not gone under the knife” here:


Oprah’s Tips For Adding A Year Or More To Your Life


“Stand up while you read this” is the first one … sounds quirky, doesn’t it? But, according to Oprah, every hour of sitting deducts 21.8 minutes from your life. Of the 24, many are fun — chocolate, coffee, joining a book group to develop close friends. Then, there is expanding your horizons by learning a new subject, driving less (to lessen the odds of dying early) and, of course, exercise but in moderation. Checking with your doctor about your vitamin D level and setting high standards for yourself, as well as believing that you make a positive difference in life can each add to your longevity.

See them all here:


Do You Want To Be Extremely Successful?

1ef6217Success at any stage in life is alluring. And not easy to achieve. Recently, Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways, mused in LinkedIn about other authors’ writings on the subject of success. His thesis is that hard work, rather than short lists quickly read, is the key to achievement. “The very reason success is elusive is that it still requires a lot of hard and often tedious work. Not just daily work at the office, but the constant work of making ourselves into more effective, more adaptable, more thoughtful people. That’s what it means to build character. No secrets here. Just hours, days, months, and years of persistence in doing what matters most, honoring commitments, and working well with others.”

Peterson cites blogger Alex Banayan’s “The 5 Traits of Wildly Successful People” which lists “be persistent, ignore convention, be a problem-solver, cut back on sleep, build good relationships” in order to succeed. Alas, if only it were so easy. I have a serious problem with reducing sleep as it has been proven that our minds simply don’t function effectively without a full night of shut-eye, and for me it is the truth. Certainly, persistence, thinking outside of the box and problem solving are effective traits of people whom we admire. But there is more.

Peterson worked with author Steven Covey, whose best-selling business book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” has been emulated by authors listing their versions of his work. Instead of following these plans, I would agree that working on oneself is preferable. Covey quoted Aristotle on the subject: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act – but a habit.” So, working on ourselves, such that character is built and positive habits become part of our personality will naturally point us in the direction for which we strive. Then, perhaps the shortcuts will triumph.

Peterson sums it up with this: “Aristotle’s notion – the one Covey also espoused – is a profound one. Success in life is rooted in aligning our actions with our values, until our choices flow naturally, and without calculation, from our character. Like everything else worth doing, this is a matter of consistent, determined practice – as unromantic, familiar, and headline-unfriendly a secret as that may be.”


Deepak Chopra’s 5 Tips for Leading a More Spiritual Life

201211-orig-deepak-chopra-300x205Spiritual leader, Deepak Chopra shares ideas for improving our inner life in these clips from “Oprah’s Lifeclass” and “Super Soul Sunday.”

First is “STOP” which is an acronym for Chopra’s suggestion for one’s reaction to a stressful situation. “Go to your ‘state of being’ by stopping, taking a deep breath, observing what is going on in your body and proceeding with loving kindness and compassion.”

“Sleep is when our soul refreshes itself” explains why it is so important to both physical and mental health along with good food and exercise.

In answer to an audience question about how to maintain a positive outlook while dealing with unhappy memories of the past, Chopra references an Indian saying: “I use memories but will not allow them to victimize me.”

See all of these tools for inner peace here:




The 50 Best Places To Grow Old

531524b9-da7f-42cc-a615-57ecbe979202_85x64956e34b0-f42e-470a-8984-aed1f5481ae8_85x64dc0953e5-7c86-4c1c-aadc-4d0a58d15d34_85x648cdd10f7-0271-47a4-9e4f-16a1103f3132_85x640c80ab6e-9c29-4ba4-826a-81b87bff79ca_85x64c2e3cff8-b0c7-4152-afed-f6b2c2139909_85x64e993f16e-cab4-44ea-8b4d-a1fd33875481_85x64It’s not what you think — Arizona, Florida, California or other warm areas. According to the new Global AgeWatch Index, a division of HealthyAge International, a nonprofit committed to healthy aging worldwide.

Based on 4 well-being categories : income, health, employment and education and an enabling environment. “Countries with high marks are likely to have social policies that benefit an aging population, such as universal pension or health coverage for all seniors.” Pictured here are some of the top countries including #1) Sweden, #2) Norway, #3) Germany, #4) Netherlands, #5) Canada, #6) Switzerland and #7) New Zealand. I find this particularly interesting as I’ve always been drawn to these cool, elegant countries. Having just returned from Reykjavik, I’m eager to see the rest on this bucket list of mine.

The United States came out with uneven rankings, though it did come in at #8). “While more than 80 percent of senior citizens in the U.S. are covered by a pension, almost a quarter live in relative poverty,” which lowered its ranking.

“On the plus side, Americans are educated and likely to be employed between the ages of 55 to 64. Ninety percent of people more than 50 said they have relatives or friends they can count on when they need help. This could be a huge health boost for American seniors: Social support and activity is strongly associated with a lower risk for physical and mental disease, disability and early death, according to numerous studies and a review from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Enjoy the photos of the entire list provided by Annie Hauser in Weather.com.  At the end of the article, click through “The Worst Thing About Your State” to learn some unpleasant statistics about each of them.