What are some scientifically valid ways to increase your life expectancy?

  1. As the title says, what are some scientifically valid ways to increase your life expectancy? That is, which practices (ex: diet, exercise, etc.) have been shown to increase the average life expectancy in experimental studies?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Did you do a search for studies before asking?
     
  4. Yes, and I found some, namely on the effects of jogging. However, I thought that asking here could not only benefit me, but also other people; and it could also bring in answers from those who have accumulated big amounts of knowledge on the topic. It could also expand my searching domains.
     
  5. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100.html

    A lot of studies being done on this. We need to relax, keep mentally and physically active, have lots of friends and family around. I think this video mentioned how exercise for the sake of exercise wasn't very helpful, that for example running a mile after a long day at work can actually be harmful unless you're doing it because you love running. Walking to see a friend who lives far away and then relaxing with them and having a cup of tea is beneficial. We need to find ways of exercising that we enjoy and that help us relax.

    It's a while since I watched the video!
     
  6. there is that aubrey degray guy who wants to be immortal
     
  7. I've seen a documentary about him. He seems like a crackpot.
     
  8. Don't smoke. Get 8 hours of sleep per night. Get some exercise but not too much. Eat a variety of foods and don't overeat. Avoid stress. Stay social. Live long.
     
  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    He *is* a crackpot.
     
  10. marcusl

    marcusl 2,114
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Calorie restriction (starvation) to the point of constant hunger is known to dramatically extend the lifespan of a wide variety of animals. It is being tested in humans as well.
     
  11. bohm2

    bohm2 795
    Gold Member

    A fairly recent paper argues that at least in rhesus monkeys, this may not be the case:
    Calorie restriction falters in the long run: Genetics and healthy diets matter more for longevity.
    http://www.nature.com/news/calorie-restriction-falters-in-the-long-run-1.11297

    Impact of caloric restriction on health and survival in rhesus monkeys from the NIA study
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7415/full/nature11432.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  12. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Besides having good genes - diet and exercise, and a healthy lifestyle help. There a number of books on proper foods to eat - e.g., fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Exercise could be simply walking for 1/2 to 1 hour per day, running, swimming, or some activity that gets the heart rate up for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Stress reducing activities are helpful, as is good relationships with close friends or companions.

    Coincidentally, I just came across this article
    http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/weird-test-predicts-longevity
     
  13. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Reading the article, gee, ya think?

    I could have guessed that without a test. :rolleyes: The oldest people in the test were more likely to die. I'm shocked.
     
  14. We just had a presentation for insurance plans at work. I can't remember the exact info but recall a few points that were interesting. They said if you live to age 80 you've got a better chance of living to 86 and if you make it to 90 you've got a better chance to make it to 93. They also said smokers and skydivers can expect to pay a lot more for the same coverage.
     
  15. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    Better than what?

    If you calculate the probability to live up to age 86 (based on the current mortality rates), a person of age 80 will get a higher probability than a child. Of course, the child has to survive some decades just to reach 80 (~48% (male) or 62% (female) probability according to this website).
     
  16. From the http://life-span.findthedata.org/d/d/86 link, a male infant expectancy is 75.38 and female is 80.43. The answer to your question of "better than what?" would be an extension of these. If the male lives past 75.38 and makes it to 80 - he has a good chance to make it 7.9 additional years and the female 9.43 years http://life-span.findthedata.org/d/d/86. (I'm finding this link cumbersome to use).
     
  17. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    That is just the effect I described. Those males survived all the dangers of the first 80 years, so their total life expectancy is longer. The remaining life expectancy drops all the time (this is different for many other animals, by the way).
     
  18. Back to the OP, I'm not sure we can call it scientific but, apparently avoiding all of the dangers in life does help increase life expectancy.
     
  19. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    What baby boomers need to live to 100
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/baby-boomers-live-100-144233325.html

     
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