The secrets to a longer life

The secrets to a longer life

A recent American study from the University of California looked at the secrets to a longer life.  The study examined the lifestyles of a group of people over a number of years focussing on the reasons why some people lived a longer life, beyond 90.  The study found that those individuals who had gained weight and consumed two glasses of beer or wine per day were 18% less likely to die prematurely compared to those who abstained.

“As you age your body tries to put weight on. This is different to saying obesity is a good thing but maybe as you get to 60 or 70 physiologically it’s a good thing to gain weight. The best mortality experience is to gain between five and 10 pounds per decade.  Underweight people had a 50 per cent increase in mortality. It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old.”  Professor Claudia Kawas, University of California.

More than 17,000 people aged 55 to 100 were survey on their lifestyles, of which more than 1,000 who lived a longer life were tracked over the last 15 years to learn their secrets.  Those with a modest consumption of alcohol lived a longer life on average than people who were teetotal.  People who consumed a modest amount of caffeine, about two cups of coffee per day, also lived a longer life.

Longer lifeOther factors

Regular exercise is associated with living a longer life as you would expect, but also having a hobby, volunteering or attending groups all show correlation to living longer.  Those who spent 2 hours a day on a hobby, volunteering or attending groups were 21% less likely to pass away prematurely.

“The more people you speak to outside of your own household will lower your risk.  People think using your brain is solving a puzzle, but when you are getting out and interacting with people, you are using your brain a lot, particularly with people you are not living with.  The number of times people get out of the house and interact with people outside of their family, that’s cognitive exercise and I think it’s no different from physical exercise. If you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s easier to keep it and harder to get it back.  People should try to incorporate as many of these things into their day if they wish to give themselves the best chance of living to a ripe age, but adopting this healthy lifestyle does not guarantee that these extra years will be healthy ones. Our data shows none of these lifestyle factors make any difference to the likelihood you will develop dementia.” Professor Kawas, University of California.

How Gardiner’s Homecare can help

Gardiner’s Homecare can help people do to follow the advice above.  Our Care Workers can support you or a loved one to…

  • Maintain a healthy diet and support to put on weight if needed
  • Enjoy of glass of wine or beer.
  • Go shopping for or with Service Users.
  • Encourage / assist people to both eat and drink.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea of coffee and a chat.
  • Excercise – perhaps accompany fopr a walk – or exercises in the home.
  • Continue hobbies, volunteering or attending groups.

Please do get in contact if you think we might be able to help either yourself or a loved one.

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