10 steps to add 10 years to your life

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How to add 10 years to your life expectancy in 10 easy steps

As a physician and a futurist I am often asked how to live a long and healthy life.

1.  Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day

Huge amount of research confirms important of roughage in our diet and that a large range of vitamins and other nutrients are best absorbed in fruit and vegetables rather than as vitamin tablets or dietary supplements of other kinds.

2.  Exercise regularly - at least 2 hours a week (brisk walking does count)

Exercise stimulates blood flow to the brain and also your immune system, helps maintain muscle bulk and bone density.

3.  Don't smoke tobacco / use nicotine products

Stop smoking for an immediate gain in life expectancy - this one really matters.

4.  Keep body weight at healthy level]

Being overweight triggers a vast number of problems of which one of the most serious is diabetes which itself leads to many other risks including heart attach, stroke and blindness.

5.  Limit alcohol to one drink a day (average)

Alcohol-related illnesses are one of the greatest threats to health in many nations.

6.  Keep a positive outlook on life

People with optimistic, cheerful outlook on life tend to live longer.  

7.  Form happy, long term relationships

People who are happily married tend to live longer - especially men - and death of a spouse increases risks of death.  Social contact is important to wellbeing.

8.  Find work or volunteering that you enjoy and you feel makes a difference

Sudden retirement or redundancy are both major health risks.  Work or volunteering gives us purpose, meaning, routine and keeps us healthy.  And I include unpaid work of all kinds eg parenting and grandparenting.

9.  Move to a nation with excellent free health care

Easy to take for granted, but quality of local health care will affect your life expectancy.

10.  Seek early advice if you have symptoms which could be serious

Listen to your body.  If you get new symptoms, check them out, seek help.  It could save you from early death.

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