how to live longer
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5 Ways to Live Longer: Add Years to Your Life by Following These Simple — and Healthy! — Steps

Oct. 6 2023, Published 4:17 p.m. ET

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You can add years to your life by following these simple — and healthy — steps. Here are five ways to live longer.

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1. Sharpen your skills.

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Harvard Medical School researchers say you should build a strong social network and enjoy mental activities everyday to increase your odds of a longer life.

“I write with my left hand even though I'm right-handed, walk backwards in a very safe place — anything that engages your brain,” says star Rita Moreno, 91.

2. Break the habit.

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A 2018 study by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found ways women can increase lifespan an average of 14 years (and men, 12 years). First tip? Don’t smoke!

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3. Get fit.

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Next on the study’s list: Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Try for a low-risk body mass index (your weight divided by height squared) from 18.5 to 24. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and polyunsaturated and long chain omega-3 fatty acids. Cut the red and processed meats, sugary drinks, trans fat and sodium.

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4. Cut back on booze.

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The Harvard study also suggests consuming only moderate amounts of alcohol. A low risk amount is defined as up to about one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women, or up to two glasses for men.

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5. Be active.

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The study's final longevity tip is to exercise at least 30 minutes or more a day with moderate to vigorous physical activities, including brisk walking. To lose a pound a week and reach your optimal BMI, you need to cut about 500 calories a day by becoming more active and eating less.


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