There are no magical fountains of youth out there, no miraculous ways to achieve a longer life. But while medical experts caution against hormone supplements, vitamin overdoses, anti-aging pills, extreme diets, and other life extension tricks, there are some good ways for men to increase their chances for a long and healthy life. Much of the advice is, stop smoking, eat wisely, drink moderately, exercise regularly, and get annual medical check-ups. But some of the tips from geriatric specialists and male health experts are also surprising.
The great thing about male longevity is that much of it is can be under our control. Only about 25% of what determines the length of life we have is based on genes. The rest is up to us. This is based on the famous Danish Twins Registry study, which began in 1954 and has produced a huge volume of information about genetic and lifestyle factors involved in health and aging.
Recent studies conclude that light to moderate drinking can reduce our risk of cardiovascular death. We are probably talking about two drinks a day for men, is recommended too. The older you get, the heavier the impact of the alcohol. But in moderation, alcohol not only has a relaxing effect, it can elevate levels of good cholesterol.
According to a Netherlands study, wine is more beneficial than other kinds of alcohol. The life expectancy of men who drank wine was more than two years longer than those who was involved in other alcoholic beverages. Earlier studies have shown that red wine may have an additional heath benefit because the polyphenolic compounds found in the darker beverage counter the build-up of fatty tissue in the arteries that can lead to strokes or heart attacks.
From consuming berries to getting injections of growth hormone, people try all sorts of things to live a long, healthy life. But what really promotes a long life, is still not clear. Having observed 1500 people for more than eight decades, a researcher has a pretty good idea about it. Continue reading as we explode some popular lies about longevity.
Common myths about Longevity
- First myth about longevity is, it is based on luck factor - Luck helps, but personality traits and social connections seem to be more important. Health risks are not totally random, and protective shields do not occur in isolation i.e. many individuals made their own luck.
- Next myth about longevity is, love is what counts - The romantic in all of us would like to think that the love of others sustains us physiologically as well as emotionally. But a researcher found that feeling cared for is not crucial to longevity. What does seem to promote a long life, is simple involvement with others like friends, family, or co-workers etc. Volunteering for this purpose also seems to promote longevity.
- Women are biologically programmed to outlive men - Women do tend to live longer than men, but that may have more to do with psychology than biology. It is found that men and women, whose outlook and behavior are masculine tend to die before their more feminine counterparts. The gender gap in longevity is not completely based on the Y (male) chromosome. Empathy and emotional connections are also key.
- Married people live longer - Marriage seems to help men live longer, but not women. In fact, single women tend to live longer than married women, and even women who take action and leave unsatisfying marriages.
On the other hand, men who are happily married enjoy longer lifespans, but divorce can put men in a downward spiral. A researcher jokes that men should be careful when picking a wife, as - one hundred percent of divorces begin with marriage.
- Hard work will send you to an early grave - Think too much time at the office will limit your time on earth. It turns out that highly motivated, successful, career-oriented types tend to live longer than folks with lay-about tendencies. Of the long-lived hard workers, they didn't work themselves to death. They worked themselves to life.
- Positive thinkers live longer – There is a downside to upbeat thinking. A researcher says people who were cheerful and optimistic during childhood tend to die before their more pessimistic peers. Seems the downbeat worry about their health enough to avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking excessively.
- Only vigorous exercise promotes longevity - Staying physically active throughout middle age and beyond seems more important than engaging in vigorous exercise. Forced workouts that you hate are counter-productive.
- Worriers die young - A bit of worrying seems to prompt us to take better care of ourselves. Even being a bit neurotic is associated with greater longevity. Serious worriers also fare better when faced with life's challenges. The death rate among worry widowers was 50 percent lower than that of widowers who were more copacetic.
- Early retirement means late death - Don't remove the golf clubs yet. Productive men live longer than their laid-back counterparts. Giving up an interesting job actually seems to increase the risks to health and shorten lifespan; especially when retirees move away from lifelong friends.
How such lies impact men’s health
The main way that telling lies impacts health and longevity is through increased stress. Lying is taxing both physically and emotionally. You can be forced into a nerve-wracking cycle of such lies. Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems and can decrease longevity.
Such lies can lead to:
- Depression and anxiety. When people deals with such lies to avoid dealing with emotions, the same problems continue to occur and get worse. It just makes for more emotional work. This often leads to depression and anxiety.
- Damage relationships. Such lies damage relationships.
Habits linked to Longevity in men
Many people think that longevity is largely dependent on genetics. However, it is proved that genes play small role than was believed. It is observed that diet and lifestyle are key factors for longevity in men.
Habits which are linked to longevity in men are:
- Ignore Overeating - The link between calorie intake and longevity generates a lot of interest. Animal studies suggest that a 10–50% reduction in normal calorie intake may increase maximum lifespan. Several other studies for longevity also observe links between low calorie intake, an extended lifespan and a lower risk of disease. Calorie restriction may help reduce excess body weight and belly fat, both of which are associated with shorter lifespans.
Whether calorie restriction slows aging or leads to longevity is not yet fully understood.
- Include nuts in your diet - Nuts can be termed as nutritional powerhouse. They are high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. They are good source of vitamins and minerals too such as copper, magnesium, potassium, niacin and vitamin B6 and E. A study show that people who consumed at least 3 servings of nuts weekly had 40 percent lower risk of premature death.
- Try Turmeric – Turmeric is a great option for anti-aging as it contains a potent bioactive compound called curcumin. Curcumin helps in maintaining heart, brain and lung and also protects against cancers and age related diseases. Curcumin also has links to an increased lifespan in insects and mouse.
- Stay active physically – Staying active physically can keep you healthy and live for long. In fact, 15 minutes of daily exercise may help you include an additional three years of life. Also, your risk of premature death may decrease by 4 percent. Hence, few research links vigorous exercise to a 5 percent more reduction in risk compared to low or moderate intensity activities.
- Quit smoking – smoking has a strong link to several disease and early death. People who smoke may lose almost 10 years of healthy life and 3 times more likely to premature death. So friends, it’s never too late to quit.
- Moderate alcohol intake – Heavy alcohol consumption leads to liver, heart and pancreatic disease, and even increased risk of premature death. On the other hand, moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a reduced risk of several diseases and almost 20 percent decrease in your risk of early death. Wine is beneficial due to its high content of polyphenol antioxidants. To keep is moderate, men should fix their daily intake to less than 3 units, with a maximum of 14 units per week.
Most importantly, there is no need to start drinking if you don’t usually consume alcohol.
- Practice happiness and spread it - Feeling happy can certainly increase your longevity. It is noticed that, happier individuals had a 4 percent reduction in early death. Those who felt happiest at 22 years of age were three times more likely to stay healthy and alive six decades later. Finally, a review showed that happy people may live up to 20 percent longer than their less happy counterparts.
- Avoid stress – Stress may definitely affect your longevity. The risk of premature death is up to three times higher for stressed men. It is suggested that, if feeling stressed, laughter and optimism could be key components of the solution. Hence, laughter and positive thoughts can reduce stress, potentially prolonging your life.
Longevity may seem beyond your control, but many healthy habits may lead you to a ripe, old age. These habits include drinking coffee or tea, exercising, getting enough sleep, and limiting your alcohol intake. Definitely, these habits can boost your health and put you on the path of longevity.