I came across these 10 tips while sitting in the waiting room at my son’s last doctor appointment. I thought they were simple targets to aim for.
1. FLOSS! Flossing is so important because it prevents gingivitis. Gingivitis can age your arteries and lead to heart disease and decrease your immune system. Studies show that people with gum disease have an increased risk of heart disease and higher mortality rate.
2. LAUGHING! When you laugh your body produces less aging stress hormones. According to a 2006 Norwegian study of critically ill patients, odds of survival increase by 31 percent if you laugh a lot.
4. TALK AND WALK! Exercise is important, but taking a friend with you is even better. You not only get the physical activity but also social contact that helps bolster immunity and reduce stress.
5. VOLUNTEER! People who volunteer live longer and have fewer health problems, including heart disease and depression, than those who don’t.
6. SEX! One study found that women who said they enjoyed a healthy sex life lived longer than those who didn’t. Sex has also been linked to lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system.
7. OPTIMAL WEIGHT! Gaining a pound here and there may not seem like a lot, but if you gain a pound a year after the age of 18, that’s 22 extra pounds on your body by the time you are 40. Extra weight gain is linked to high blood pressure, which affects aging.
8. FINISH TASKS! Research has shown that the burden of leaving a lot unfinished on your to-do list can have the same cumulative impact on health as a major life event like divorce or a death. So, pay those bills and clean out that closet!
9. EAT COLOR! The more colorful and vibrant your diet, the healthier you will be because you will be getting loads of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals that can lead to cancer.
10. SLEEP! Aim for 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep to decrease risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.