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Friday, February 29, 2008

9 Fun Tips For Living Longer

If you want to live longer, be happy. Happiness is the key to successful aging, according to Dr. David Lipschitz, a University of Arkansas geriatrician and author of "Breaking the Rules of Aging."

And he has a plan to help you be happy. First you have to follow the nine tips for living longer. To help you follow those tips, the good doctor prescribes travel. Ride bikes in Costa Rica. Eat pasta in Italy. Drink wine in California. He thinks we can actually travel our way to an old age.

Nine tips for living longer:

  1. Be happy.
  2. Love. Nurture an intimate, sexual relationship.
  3. Have a purpose in life. Stay occupied and involved.
  4. Nurture high self-esteem. Feel good about yourself and see the inner beauty in those around you.
  5. Nurture your faith and the capacity to forgive.
  6. Learn to control stress.
  7. Eat right, but don't diet. Being moderately overweight is not a major risk factor for disease.
  8. Exercise--the more the better. Both aerobic and resistance training are important.
  9. Get regular medical checkups. Become an educated consumer of health care.

Source: Dr. David Lipschitz

So where does the travel come in? Travel is part of a healthy lifestyle, especially for seniors, Lipschitz told The Dallas Morning News. Follow his logic: A key factor for longevity is having an intimate relationship. Traveling together is one of the best ways to help that relationship thrive. "Traveling will re-energize a relationship," he told the Dallas paper. "Love is one thing that is needed for long life, and traveling will fuel it."

He has the statistics to prove it: Married men live about a decade longer than unmarried men, while married women live an extra three years on average.

Live longer by having more sex? A new Harris Interactive survey of 911 women and 909 men ages 45 to 65 overwhelmingly concluded that if you want to stay happy as you get older, have more sex. According to the poll results, a whopping 96 percent of mature women who have sex one or more times a week are happy in their relationship. In addition, 66 percent of men and 57 percent of women consider sex to be an important part of their lives.

"The study found that among those mature adults in a relationship, the more active their sex life is, the more likely they are to report being in a happy relationship," said Dr. Drew Pinsky, one of the nation's top relationship experts and host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show, "Loveline."

This seems like a great way to grow old!

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