Longevity revisited

I’ve just found this week’s New Scientist magazine has nine articles on longevity and how to achieve it.

Here’s my summary of the ‘nine secrets’ of longevity.

  1. Go for the burn: The value of appropriate physical stress which keep the body’s repair mechanisms in good working order. Exercise is the obvious candidate.
  2. Don’t be a loner: Being sociable, especially being married. Marriage can add up to seven years to a man’s life and two to a woman’s (maybe being married to the man deducts five of those years from the woman!). You don’t have to be married to get the benefit (which is lucky for me), a network of good friends can serve the same purpose.

    “I hope this marriage will last”
    104 year old Wook Kundro, who has just got hitched for the 21st time to a man of 33.

  3. No, I didn’t make that quote up!

  4. Consider relocation: This might be trickier for most people. The hot spot for centenarians is Okinawa with 34 per 100,000.
  5. Make a virtue out of a vice: Everything in moderation. Apparent vices such as wine, beer and chocolate can benefit you in appropriate amounts.

    Whatever your pleasure, the great news is pleasure itself is good for you. Really good, not only does it counteract stress, it causes our cells to release a natural antibiotic called enkalytin.

    Helen Phillips, New Scientist
  6. Exercise the little grey cells: Use it or loose it. Taking up mental activities seems to protect you from the mental ravages of old age.
  7. Smile: A positive disposition helps people cope with stress better, lowering the level of the stress hormone cortisol which dampens the immune system. So get laughing, smiling and relaxing.
  8. Nurture your inner hypochondriac: If you think you have a problem go to a doctor, rather than wait until an illness is well developed.
  9. Watch what you eat: In spite of what they say about chocolate and wine, the advice here is to lower your calorie intake to just enough to get by on, and eat plenty of vegatables and fruit.
  10. Get a life: Do something interesting with the years that you’ve got. Try out new things and take some risks, you may as well enjoy yourself.

The last word should go to George Burns who appears in this article as well.

“If you live to be 100, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.”

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