In the last century, human life expectancy has been up 30 years. This can be considered as the greatest accomplishment in human history for the past five thousand years. The
number of centenarians from 1990 to 2000 has increased by 51%.
Healthcare, education, disease prevention and medical treatments are the essential factors, of course. You may not know something like habits or living environment that seem unimportant, could have major impact on your life expectancy.
A new study shows a series of science-based signs can predict longevity.
Researchers also provide some helpful suggestions to achieve longevity.
1. How old was your mother when you were born?
(If you mother was young when she gave birth to you, most likely you will live longer).
Scientists at University of Chicago studied two groups of people: one group was given birth by a mother aged 25 or younger; the other group was by a mother older than 25. They discovered that the probability of living pass 100 in the first group is twice greater than the second group. They believe that is probably because inception at a younger age could result in healthier offspring.
2. Do you have a habit id drinking tea?
(If you have a habit of drinking tea everyday, you will most likely live longer).
Drinking 1-2 cups of tea a day is good for your heart. However, be sure that the tea is brewed on that day. Red tea from the supermarket, however, does not have the same health effect. Studies showed adding milk in tea will reduce the cardiovascular protective effect. If you want to add favors to your tea, honey or lemon is more desirable?
3. How often do you walk?
The latest research of 2,603 men and women shows that 30-minute walk every day can keep people healthy. Regardless of their body fat content, people walk 30 minutes daily live longer than those who don't. A study also says obese women increased by 10 minutes of exercise every day will improve their heart condition. Therefore, walking after lunch every day is healthy. More walking you do, the more exercise you accomplish.
4. How often do you drink soda?
Boston University scientists found that one or more cola drinks a day will double the risk of having the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of abnormalities including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, abdominal obesity, high uric acid, abnormal blood coagulation, etc. These factors increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Tests using animals found that the coloring additive in coke can increase the risk of having the metabolic syndrome.
In addition, scientists forecast that carbonated drinks in long-term can ruin taste buds. When getting used to the sweet agents, in the long run it can easily lead to obesity.
Avoid drinking cola, instead drink tea and fruit juice. Controlling blood pressure, blood sugar and lipids, and staying away from cigarette smoking can possibly prolong your life by 6-9 years.
5. Are your legs very strong?
Stand against a wall with a straight up body, slightly bend your legs and slowly move forward, and then return steadily to wall until your lower back touches the wall. Repeat this movement several times. Do this steady movement daily. If possible, do this few seconds longer each time.
6. Do you like purple food?
A new study indicated that purple grapes, blueberries and red wine rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols can maintain elasticity of blood vessels to prevent heart disease and dementia. The director of the Centre for Cognitive Impairment at University of Cincinnati said any food that benefits the coronary blood vessels is also good for the brain. An initial research on animal shows that black grapes in the diet increases and improves brain functions. Another study shows that drinking blueberry juice daily can enhance brain cell functioning, hence improve memory.
7. Did you maintain a normal body weight at adolescence?
The outcome of a study tracking 137 African Americans from birth to the age of 28 years was published in a magazine on pediatrics showed that people overweight at the age of 14 has high the risk in getting diabetes. In addition, according to the American Heart Association, the risk level of diabetes patients is 2 to 4 times higher than normal people.
8. Do you like fast food and eating meat?
From American Institute for Cancer Research, a report shows that eating red meat more than 18 ounces a week can increase the risk of colon cancer.
3.5 ounces of cooked processed meats (hot dogs, cured smoked bacon, etc.) daily can increase the risk of colon cancer by 42%.
As to why red meat is unhealthy, experts are not very clear. Some experts speculate that due to the preservatives nitrate antiseptic treatment in the process (barbecue, smoked, dried, salted and the like), meat had been added with cancer causing elements.
9. Did you have a higher education?
In Harvard Medical School, a study showed that people have 12 years or more of formal education (even include only 1 year in higher education) live 18 months longer than those who have less than 12 years. It is believed there is a linear relationship between higher education and smoking habit. CDC data show that about 10% of the highly educated adults smoke, while 35% in those with secondary or lower education.
10. Do you have friends who really like you?
An assistant professor of psychology in American Baptist College, said good relationship with others is a good decompression agent. Knowing someone supporting you, can keep you mentally healthy. Studies showed that chronic pressure can weaken the immune system, accelerate aging, and eventually shorten the life of a person by 4 to 8 years.
11. Are your friends very healthy?
According to "New England Journal of Medicine" a study indicated, if your best friends gained weight, the likelihood that you also gain weight is 72%. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, is often the same goal of those in who are close together. Participating in a weight loss program, in a fitness club, a long walk event and so on, are always done together with good friends.
12. Do you like new challenges?
Two studies showed that those whose life is more organized, more disciplined will live longer. Their chance of Alzheimer's disease is 89% lower than people who are not organized. Professor Robert Wilson, a principal researcher, said ability to focus and control can activate more intelligent brain function. Challenge yourself by establishing personal or professional goals, and setting a deadline to accomplish them. Try something new to stimulate your brain. For example, read a science fiction, then next time try to read a biography, and then review them afterward.
13. Do you handle and finish up things yourself?
One study found that one hour of ordinary housework such as mopping the floor, cleaning the windows can consume about 285 calories, which is significant enough to reduce the risk of death by 30%.
14. Are you an optimist?
According to an American psychologists magazine, about 17% of Americans are optimistic. They have a great attitude towards life, clear understanding of purposes of living and a strong social identity. They are a lot healthier than the pessimists. A U.S. professor of sociology suggests that we should try to remain optimistic and positive in seeking the meaning of life. Sardinia of Italy and Okinawa of Japan, have the world's longest living people. They work extremely hard, but they pay more attention and spend more time with their families to keep themselves in good mental state. And they are willing to help others.