Four Strange Ways To Live Longer​​

Four Strange Ways To Live Longer​​

Why you should care

Because it’s good to explore your longevity options. 

There is no precise path to living longer. Some health experts recommend it’s all about the quality of food you put into your body while others suggest a positive state of mind is much more important. Then there are those who say longevity is all in your genes, which would explain the existence of centenarians happily consuming otherwise injurious foods. But until someone finds the real fountain of youth, it looks like we’ll be on our own trying to figure it out the best way to stay young. In fact, there’s plenty of advice out there, some of it strange, that may help you lead a long life. Check them out below.

Late Kids, Long Life?

Man looking at pregnant woman's belly on sofa.

Source Corbis

The following seems counterproductive to what we’ve heard for years but scientists are saying women who can give birth after age 33 might be predisposed to live a longer life. Why is this so? Turns out this ability indicates a woman’s reproductive system is aging slowly and so is the rest of her body. The study found these post-33 women were twice as likely to live to 95 or older, compared with those who had their last child by 29. How is this possible, check out the excerpt below from the original article.

The researchers suspect that the former group’s DNA might harbor genetic variants that slow aging and lower the risk for age-related diseases that can hamper fertility (like ovarian cancer or diabetes). Women with such variants could presumably bear children for a longer period of time, boosting their chances of passing these genes down to future generations — meaning we may have women to thank for the evolution of longevity genes. It could also explain why of the people who live to be 100 or older, 85% are women, compared to only 15% of men.

Why Happy Hour Could Help You Live Longer

A woman holds a drink at a bar.

Source Julio Gamboa/Gallerystock

Studies have also found that men tend to live lonelier lives than women, which means they’re often more depressed and may lead to their shorter lives. So what’s the solution? Dig in to your social circle and go to the bar for happy hour. Hard to believe, but a scientist recently recommended men do exactly that because the social support found at the bar can reduce stress, improve your cardiovascular system and help you fight off infectious diseases. This is hugely important because men often have a hard time letting their feelings come out, as the excerpt from the original article explains.

And we all know the Superman and Marlboro Man stereotypes: Real men suck it up; they don’t have feelings, and they never experience pain. Real men don’t need social support because they are so damn rugged. Who needs friends when you’ve got testosterone? The upshot: Men sorely need social support but don’t naturally fall into the close relationships that provide it.

Stay Away From Loud Noises

Long-term exposure to airports turns out to be horrible for our bodies and it has nothing to do with the bar food. Noise exposure is the big problem, says a study that estimates a 3.5 percent increase in heart-disease hospitalization rate per 10-decibel increase in airport noise. The study was conducted by researchers on people living near Heathrow airport, one of the world’s most busiest air transit terminals, but it’s good data nonetheless that can be used to improve the aural environment. What is being done about this problem? Check out the original article, excerpted below.

Noise emission labels on products are mandatory in some countries. However, the EPA has applied these labels to only a few products thus far, such as portable air compressors. Warning labels should be implemented for all products that are capable of causing hearing damage, and that especially applies to many children’s toys out today. Also, in some densely populated cities, “noise maps” are helping leaders make informed decisions about their noise policies.

Don’t Laugh So Hard

OK, so everyone knows laughing is good for you. It means you’re having fun, life is being enjoyed and moments of happiness are being uploaded to your cerebral cortex. However, there is a chance that you may be one of the the few people for whom extreme laughter can be really bad. How so? It could cut off your respiration, for instance. And there’s a lot of examples throughout history if this potentially being a problem. The legend of Zeuxis, for example, talked of a painter in fifth-century B.C. Athens who couldn’t stop chortling over the intentionally hideous image of Aphrodite he created until he croaked. So that’s not good. But if you have laughed crazy hard and didn’t have any problems, you’re probably OK. Dr. Sophie Scott, professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, has led studies of laughter and found it is the most universal bonding experience we have.

[Laughter] is practiced by remote tribes who don’t share our culture, and it also crosses species — tickle a rat or chimp and you’ll get the same spontaneous chuckle as when you tickle a baby.”

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