7 surprising things that make you live longer

Surprising things that make you live longer: Smiling in photographsSurprising things that make you live longer: Smiling in photographs

Want to add years to your lifespan and squeeze more into your life? You’re not alone. Researchers are constantly on the hunt for ways we can increase our longevity, and they have come up with some pretty surprising findings. To help pave the way for a longer life, check out these seven unexpected things that increase your lifespan.

1. Smiling in photographs

Next time someone asks you to smile for the camera, it may be wise to heed their advice if you want to live a longer life. A study by researchers at Wayne State University studied photos of former professional baseball players and found that the bigger their smile, the longer they lived. In fact, those players with the biggest smiles amassed an average of seven more years than those with none. It is believed that this is because big smiles in photographs reflect true happiness, which is beneficial for both your physical and mental well-being.

2. Having "positive" initials

While you may not give much thought to your initials, a surprising study by researchers at the University of California has revealed that having initials that spell out positive words (such as ACE, WOW or VIP) could add years on to your life. The study found that men with positive initials lived 4.48 years longer while men with initials that spelled out negative words died 2.8 years younger. Having negative initials most significantly seemed to impact on deaths with psychological components such as suicides and accidents, although there was a noticed increase in longevity in almost all disease categories for those with positive initials.

3. Getting married

If you’re lucky enough to have found the guy or girl of your dreams, research suggests that taking the next step and getting married could add years on to your lifespan. Being in love has many reported health benefits. In fact, researchers at the University of Rochester reported that a good marriage can be as beneficial for your heart as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing high blood pressure. Multiple research studies and statistics have backed this up, showing that those who are married live longer than singletons, generally due to the fact that they have a higher income and experience less social isolation.

4. Being slightly overweight

While poor diets and obesity are bad news for your health, research has suggested that slightly overweight people actually live longer than those of normal weight, and significantly longer than those who are obese or excessively thin. However, David Feeny, who led one of the surprising research studies, has warned that this does not mean that normal weight people should attempt to gain weight to increase their lifespan. Experts explain that although being bigger may add a few years on to your lifespan – perhaps due to it helping to safeguard against the weight loss and frailty that often incurs in old age – that does not mean that it will increase your quality of life.

5. Having religious beliefs

Multiple research studies have shown that believing in God – regardless of which faith you adhere to – could help to boost your health and increase your lifespan. A study involving liver transplant patients showed that those who had “strong religious connections” were up to three times more likely to survive, even if they did not attend church. Research results published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences also showed that people who attended regular religious services were 46 percent less likely to die during the six-year study. Experts believe that this may be due to increased social ties, less risky behavior and also the increased ability to cope with stress.

6. Being a social butterfly

Healthy living can sometimes seem like hard work and it seems to be rare that the things we love are good for us. However, if you want a fun way to boost your health, take note: research suggests that making regular plans with your friends can help you to live longer by reducing feelings of depression, stress and risky behavior, and encouraging you to look after your health. In fact, a study by Brigham Young University found that having a good social network boosts your survival chances by 50 percent, while having few friends affects you longevity as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

7. Laughter

Whether you’re having a giggle with friends or watching a funny movie, laughter is guaranteed to boost your mood and leave you feeling great. However, the benefits of laughter go way beyond that. Studies have found a multitude of ways in which laughter boosts your health, including lowering blood pressure levels, reducing bad cholesterol, enhancing the immune system and helping blood vessels to function better. A seven year study in Norway also found that those who laughed most often in everyday life were 35 per cent less likely to die during the study period. (Read more on Realbuzz.com.)

You may also like:

7 strange weight loss tricks

Unlikely things that make you gain weight

Top 10 historical sex facts

Beat the afternoon slump

8 most common sex myths

You could also log on to Realbuzz.com for more articles:

Follow realbuzz on Twitter
10 surprising things that age you
10 ways to look and feel 10 years younger

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 9:37 AM PHT
    NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual

    NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. …

  • The pursuit of happy-ness: Liz Uy's beauty secret Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 12:24 PM PHT
    The pursuit of happy-ness: Liz Uy's beauty secret

    The celebrity stylist lets us in on how she maintains her happy glow. …

  • To manage diabetes, eat breakfast like an athlete, dinner like a sloth, study suggests AFP Relax - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 10:24 PM PHT
    To manage diabetes, eat breakfast like an athlete, dinner like a sloth, study suggests

    Type 2 diabetes patients should eat a high-energy breakfast and a low-energy dinner for optimal control over their blood sugar, according to researchers hailing from Sweden and Israel who conducted a small-scale study. In the new study, published in the journal Diabetologia, they worked with eight men and 10 women who have lived with type 2 diabetes for less than 10 years. Ten of the 18 participants were being treated with a combination of diet advice and the drug metformin and the remaining …

  • Date without the pressure of hooking up: Peekawoo is the app for you Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 1:51 PM PHT
    Date without the pressure of hooking up: Peekawoo is the app for you

    This female-fueled, Filipina-made app brings old-fashioned courtship into modern dating. …

  • You are what you eat: 6 ways to eat mindfully Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Mon, Feb 23, 2015 8:31 PM PHT
    You are what you eat: 6 ways to eat mindfully

    Mindfulness can be brought into what you eat and how you eat. …

  • Eating peanuts early could prevent allergy in infants: study AFP Relax - Tue, Feb 24, 2015 4:47 PM PHT
    Eating peanuts early could prevent allergy in infants: study

    With peanut allergies on the rise worldwide, a study Monday found that contrary to previous advice, feeding foods containing peanuts to babies before 11 months of age may help prevent allergies. The findings in the New England Journal of Medicine are based on a British study of 640 children, aged four months to 11 months, who were considered at high risk of becoming allergic to peanuts either because of a pre-existing egg allergy or eczema, which can be linked to peanut allergy. Researchers …

  • How to create an urban tropical home Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Mon, Feb 23, 2015 8:20 PM PHT
    How to create an urban tropical home

    Bring the beach to your home with these 10 easy steps. …

  • Give in to the pressure! Pressure cooking is safe and easy Associated Press - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 6:14 AM PHT
    Give in to the pressure! Pressure cooking is safe and easy

    It's one of the most pervasive of culinary cliches — the exploding pressure cooker. And thanks to it, all manner of otherwise adept home cooks fearfully retreat from this kitchen workhorse. …

POLL

My New Year's resolution is to:

Loading...
Poll Choice Options
POLL

My New Year's resolution is to:

Loading...
Poll Choice Options