How to live longer: 9 things you should do everyday to add years to your life – and they take a matter of minutes

You can’t stop the aging process, but you can try to slow it down.

Many simple everyday habits are linked to longer life and don’t require a lot of money.

Small efforts could have big results


Small efforts could have big results

Calling a friend, reading the chapter of a book, and eating a handful of nuts can all be helpful to ward off illness.

Here we take a look at nine simple things you can do every day to add years to your life…

1. Training shots

The NHS says exercise “can reduce the risk of early death by up to 30 per cent”.

Adults are recommended at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week (21 minutes per day).

Or an intense activity — anything that makes you breathe heavily and quickly and gets your heart rate up — only needs to be 75 minutes a week (11 minutes a day).

One study found that as little as four to six minutes of vigorous activity a day was enough to reduce the risk of early death.

Those who ran to the bus or took the stairs — while getting their heart pumping — were 40 percent less likely to die from any cause than those who didn’t.

2. Flex those muscles

As part of an exercise program, it is recommended to do weight bearing or resistance exercises to pump these muscles.

dr Michael Moseley, from www.thefast800.comtold The Sun an American study found muscle mass to be one of the strongest predictors of life expectancy, even surpassing weight or body mass index.

Researchers tracked 3,600 men and women over the age of 50 for a decade and found that those who had more muscle mass had a lower risk of dying from all causes.

dr Mosley said, “Strength training can even reverse aging at the cellular level.”

“In a small but intriguing study, scientists asked 14 elderly people to do strength training twice a week for six months and then compared their muscles to those of younger adults.

“They studied the part of muscle cells that produces energy, the mitochondria.

“Typically, these decrease with age, but the older adults who did strength training increased their mitochondrial levels similar to younger men and women.”

dr Mosley suggests taking these household items with you for a quick workout.

Try these three exercises (10 reps each for three rounds):

  • A bicep curl with a large pack of milk
  • Calf raises by pushing yourself onto your toes using a countertop or work surface
  • Weighted squats by filling a backpack with books

3. Eat some nuts

Nuts are among the greatest snacks you can make.

Aisling Pigott, a nutritionist and Registered Dietitian based in Cardiff, said: “A handful of nuts is an opportunity to nourish your body with unsaturated fats (which help protect the heart) and are often high in protein, fibre, vitamin E, K, magnesium and copper.

“Many nuts are a great source of essential amino acids.

“Nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals – vitamin E, for example, plays an important role in immunity and keeps us healthy as we age.”

One study found that women in their late 50s and early 60s who ate a few servings of walnuts per week were more likely to be healthy elderly and not have major illnesses by age 65.

Aisling said, “Nuts are not individual nutrients, but packages of wonderful nutrients that nourish our bodies in the most amazing ways.”

4. Call a friend

If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of socializing.

Ten free minutes is enough to call a friend for a quick chat while reaping health benefits.

Many studies have found a connection between a good social life and a long life.

For example, a large 1970s study A study of 7,000 men and women found that those who were disconnected from others were three times more likely to die than those with strong friendships during the nine-year study.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology, those with good friends and an unhealthy lifestyle lived longer than those with poor social connections but healthier lifestyle habits.

5. Have a cup of coffee

Drinking tea has been shown to prolong life and prevent heart disease — especially green tea.

A 2020 study of people in China showed that those who drank tea three or more times a week had a 15 percent lower risk of dying and around 20 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease or stroke over a seven-year period had.

Brits love their tea, and a large study of half a million people in the UK found that those who drank at least two cups a day had a nine to 13 percent reduced risk of dying over a 14-year period.

There is no evidence that tea directly wards off death. But researchers say tea drinkers can be assured of potential health benefits.

Coffee has antioxidant properties and may also help prevent diseases associated with early death.

6. Read before bed

Stop scrolling your phone before bed and read a chapter of a book instead.

A 2016 study found that book readers over 50 lived, on average, two years longer than non-readers.

The study, published in the September issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine, examined the reading patterns of more than 3,600 people over the age of 50.

Over a 12-year follow-up period, 33 percent of non-book readers died compared to 27 percent of book readers. The more hours a week the better, but even half an hour a day was beneficial.

The researchers said reading can increase concentration, empathy, emotional intelligence, and cognitive engagement, all of which have positive effects on survival.

If you start reading for ten minutes, chances are you’ll carry on or, better yet, get sleepy and get a good night’s sleep.

7. meditate

Meditation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices are all ways to take care of your mental well-being and, in turn, your body.

The benefit of these practices is that they can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

Stress is a normal part of the human response.

But if you are constantly in a state of stress, triggered by small events such as a traffic jam, it can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure, they say Harvard Health.

In addition, the stress response also suppresses the immune system and increases susceptibility to colds and other illnesses.

For example, a 2005 review of two studies found that when tasked with learning different forms of meditation, older people’s blood pressure dropped significantly within three months compared to other groups.

While many mindfulness practices are rooted in very ancient Eastern traditions, evidence is emerging to support their benefits.

In 2021, the NHS was recommended mindfulness-based therapies to treat mild depression by health regulator NICE.

8th. Watering plants

Gardening is an activity that many experts recommend for staying fit and active, reducing stress, maintaining dexterity, and getting to know other people in the community.

It is now recognized that gardening has so many benefits that the NHS added it to its Social Prescribing List in 2019, allowing patients to benefit from being out and about in their community and connecting with nature.

Australian researchers who followed people in their 60s found that those who gardened regularly had a 36 per cent reduced risk of dementia – one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

9. dental floss

You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes.

However, if you really care about your oral health and want to spare a few minutes, floss to remove plaque.

dr Sulaman Anwar, a specialist periodontist, told The Sun: “Poor oral health is linked to many different health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, pregnancy complications – even sexual health.”

“The mouth is the gateway to the body, all of which can be affected by your dental health.

“If people don’t take care of their teeth or only brush once a day, especially if they don’t brush in the evening, they leave a lot of bacteria on their teeth.

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“At night, when they’re asleep and not making a lot of saliva, it makes them more susceptible to lots of bacteria entering their bloodstream.

“Of course they will get tooth decay, but the bacteria will also circulate in the rest of their body and long-term illness will be more expensive for their body.”

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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