7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Health

healthy eating

Most adults today are beginning to get the message: eat better and exercise more to be at your best and live longer. But, according to studies published recently by the editors of Men’s Health, there are a few simple – and very specific – measures we can take that are shown to boost health tack years onto our life span.

Health editors suggest starting with these seven tips:

1. Pack in the raw veggies – Italian researchers have found that eating a cup of raw vegetables daily can add up to two years to your life. So skip the soup and have a raw veggie salad for lunch – or pack a baggie full of cut-up veggies to munch on throughout the day.
2. Water, water – Scientists at Loma Linda University found that men who drink five 8-ounce glasses of water daily are 54 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack than those who drink two glasses or less.
3. Nuts to you – Loma Linda researchers also found that people who munched on two ounces of mixed nuts daily earned an extra 2.9 years on the planet. (Be sure the mix contains walnuts, which are sometimes left out of popular nut mixes.)
4. Burger one, cheese zero – The burger may not be so bad, researchers have found. But leave off the melting cheese – and steer clear of other fatty add-ons like mayonnaise, goopy sauces and full-fat salad dressings.
5. Be a pedal pusher – Not every city is blessed with lots of bike lanes – but look for them wherever you live. Danish studies claim that biking, hiking or jogging the running trails – even for as little as an hour a week – can add up to 6.2 years to your life.
6. Phone a friend – In a study of seventy-somethings, Australian researchers found that those with the largest network of friends, and those with the busiest social lifestyles, lived more than seven years longer than the more sedentary loners.
7. Plan for retirement – And not just financially! A Yale University study of older adults found that those with plans for retirement and a positive attitude lived more than seven years longer those who felt doomed to aging. Volunteering, especially, was seen as a healthy and gratifying distraction from getting older.