Sure, we all know that eating more fruits and veggies, keeping fit, getting enough sleep and not smoking will help us live longer, even upwards of over 10 years longer.
But there are some other rather simple ways you can add years to your life.
1. Smile big and wide. Even after controlling factors that are related to longevity such as education level and marital status, research shows that bigger smiles are related to a longer life. The researchers found that the biggest smilers lived to an average of almost 80 years, while their straight-faced teammates reached only an average of 73 years. Why? In part because smiling builds your immune system and improves your mood and stress levels.
2. Floss daily. Although there is some debate, it appears that daily flossing decreases low-grade inflammation, which increases the risk of early heart attack and stroke. Flossing also reduces gingivitis compared to brushing your teeth alone. That’s probably because flossing not only gets rid of food trapped between your teeth, but it also removes the bacteria that forms before it has a chance to harden into plaque – something your toothbrush cannot do.
3. Improve your posture. Turns out that mom and dad were right – sitting up straight is important. Your body is designed so that your heart and lungs work better when you have good posture since it reduces the excessive force that muscles and joints need to absorb. To have good posture when sitting down, keep your chin parallel to the floor; your shoulders, hips and knees at even heights; and your knees and feet pointing straight ahead.
4. Wash your hands. Washing your hands is a simple way to longer life. In fact, hygiene is a main factor in why our life expectancy has almost doubled in the last 150 years. Improper hand washing accounts for nearly half of all foodborne illness in the U.S. In one study, almost half of the participants had bacteria on their hands of potential – brace yourself – fecal origin. But rinsing with water cut that number in half, and adding soap left just 8 percent of people’s hands dirty.
Although two-thirds of adults typically wash their hands in a public restroom with soap and water, few people scrub for the recommended 20 seconds.
What are you doing to lengthen your life? Surely these 4 simple steps are a great place to start! And by the way…when was your last dental checkup?
If it’s been awhile, don’t put it off, call our office today to schedule your next appointment!