Try these easy little tweaks to add years to your life and always feel young.
Peel off extra pudge to add one to two years. Being even a bit overweight can shorten your life, according to research in Lancet. Figure out your BMI here. Is it more than 25? Start a weight loss plan.
Sleep seven hours to add one to two years. People who live longest say they snooze about that much nightly, says Daniel F. Kripke, M.D., emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of California in Davis.
Push harder in Spin to add four years. Cycling workouts with intense bursts torch more fat and can extend your years more than longer, slower biking, researchers at Bispebjerg University Hospital find.
Eat tastier meals to add five years. Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (dark chocolate, veggies, fish) prettify skin and, research in BMJ indicates, could lower heart disease risk.
Go for a jog to add five to six years. Running—even slowly—three times a week is great for your bones, heart and mood, says Peter Schnohr, M.D., chief cardiologist for the Copenhagen City Heart Study.
Quit smoking to add seven years. Women who snuff their cigarette habit by age 35 enjoy a much longer life than their tobacco-puffing peers, the American Journal of Public Health notes.
Chew gum. The scent of peppermint incites the trigeminal nerve, which helps cue arousal and alertness, says Alan Hirsch, M.D., a neurologist and the founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.
Sniff the hydrangeas. Stopping to smell—or even just look at—the flowers (any flowers!) can help reduce anxiety and make you feel happier, Dr. Hirsch says. The aroma of a sweet bouquet may also help you learn new things, he says.
Don sunglasses. Better-mood benefits—like being cheerier, less stressed and more confident—arrive after spending only five minutes outdoors, says SELF’s medical advisor, Henry Lodge, M.D. The best part? After that measly time, the effects can last for up to two hours.
Nosh on cereal. Fiber helps slow your absorption of food, which keeps your energy percolating without a crash later, say self experts Stephanie Clarke, R.D., and Willow Jarosh, R.D. Avoid sugar-bomb cereals, though.
Revisit your yearbook. When people are put in a situation that mimics their younger years, they tend to look younger and reap health benefits, says study author Ellen Langer, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Harvard University. Who doesn’t love a little nostalgia anyway?
Laugh your ass off. People who crack up and smile look and feel younger. Need material? Peep at these self faves.
Blog surisburnbook.tumblr.com—“Suri Cruise” trashes the style of other celebrity spawn. “The non-PC-ness of the snark is delish.” —Laura Brounstein, features & entertainment director
YouTube video Kristen Bell’s sloth meltdown—The Self cover gal tells Ellen DeGeneres about the best surprise she’s ever received. “She’s crying over a sloth. And she’s not acting. I mean…” —Nicole Catanese, fitness director
Twitter Feed @WeirdHorse—“One of those gotta-see-it-to-understand-it things, but when the horse rewrites pop songs to be about farm life, I die.” —Anna Maltby, associate health editor
Tv show Episodes—“Matt LeBlanc plays a ridiculous version of himself. I’m also an eternal supporter of the Friends cast.” —Amber Herring, associate accessories editor
Movie Boomerang—“It’s my fave rom-com because the ladies run the show. Eddie Murphy plays a total womanizer, but his new female boss turns out to be a bigger player than he is.” —Lindsay T. Huggins, senior fashion market editor
Water Hydrating will help beat that groggy feeling and make your skin look its glowy best (both now and later in life), says David E. Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York.
Coffee The caffeinated drink may help your heart and (if you take it black) metabolism, and it reduces risk for some types of cancer, studies show.
Tea Green kick-starts metabolism and can help fend off breast cancer, says Jonathan R. Cole, M.D., medical director of the California Health and Longevity Institute. Black may lower blood pressure, research from the University of Western Australia suggests.
Hot cocoa Have it over ice if you can’t take the heat. It has more antioxidants than does coffee, red wine or green tea, a study from Cornell University reveals. Great for your heart and skin.
Red wine Piceatannol, a compound your body makes when you drink vino, could stunt fat-cell growth (woot!), the Journal of Biological Chemistry reports.
Milk Your skeleton will love the calcium, and your muscles will love the protein. You’ll wake up even stronger.
For more ideas on how to stay young, check out Self.com/about/antiaging.
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