You can add years to your life by following these simple — and healthy — steps. Here are five ways to live longer.
1. Sharpen your skills.
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.
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!
3. Get fit.
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.
4. Cut back on booze.
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.
5. Be active.
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.