What can you do to live a longer, happier life? Depending on who you ask, you can get myriad responses to this question. Some will say veganism is the key, others swear by fermented foods, kombucha, seaweed, essential oils, perhaps dietary supplements that will only cost you $39.99.

Many have looked for the secret to a long and happy life all over the world. Some have analyzed the lifestyle and diet of those living in the countries with the longest-living people, others – doctors, researchers, and their likes – have studied the secrets of our bodies to find the key to prolonging life. So far, they didn’t find the fountain of youth – they have discovered a few things, in turn, that will almost certainly prolong life.

1. Exercise

Exercise

In the age of cars and public transportation, the people in our modern-day society barely move – especially those of us working in an office. We spend most of our days sitting in front of a computer, then sitting in our cars on our way home, only to sit on the couch watching TV or streaming TV series before lying on our beds for hours.

Being sedentary is a very bad habit – especially because being active is healthy, and it can prolong life.

A number of studies have proven that regular exercise can add years to our lifespan. As little as 15 minutes of physical activity a day can add years to one’s lifespan, and the recommended 150 minutes a week will reduce the risk of premature death by almost 30%.

2. Diet

Diet

Plants are healthy – nobody argues with that. A diet built around plants will add vital compounds like vitamins and minerals to your diet, making you healthier in the long run. A plant-based diet has been shown to reduce the risk of conditions like cancer, heart disease, and brain deterioration, among others, while a mostly meat-based diet will increase the chances of these to form.

Another important factor to keep in mind is calorie intake: overeating is bad for our health, and in the long run, can reduce our lifespan through its contribution to obesity and type II diabetes. Losing fat, in turn, and maintaining a healthy weight is important for long and happy life.

Oh, and so is snacking on nuts and fruit instead of cookies, potato chips, and other types of junk food.

3. Bad habits

Bad habits

Finally, there is one thing no article about a long and happy life should fail to mention: bad habits. Let’s just take a look at the most common – smoking, drinking alcohol, and coffee.

Coffee is a bad habit that could have a positive effect on your health and longevity, at least this is what some studies suggest. The other two, in turn, are bad for your health, and will almost certainly reduce your lifespan.

Smoking has been repeatedly shown to seriously harm your lungs and heart. Heavy drinking harms the liver, the pancreas, and the heart. So, if you want to live longer, don’t smoke – and only consume alcohol moderately.

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