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5 ways to live healthier, longer

Everyone wants to look and feel younger, and there are dozens of anti-aging gimmicks out there – but the real secret to turning back the hands of time lies in a healthy lifestyle.

According to Health Magazine, “A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.” Yes, you read that right, 12 whole years!

Fortunately, the editors at Health are sharing their top healthy living habits that will keep you looking and feeling younger than your years:

Focus on fitness

It's no secret that daily exercise is good for you, especially since it’s shown to reduce the risk of certain types of disease. But when it comes to aging, exercise may also be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2012 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to six years to your life, proving that being active can pay off some serious dividends in the long run.

Get busy

According to Health.com, “Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life – as well as lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.” Not to mention, getting busy can serve as a super fun form of exercise, potentially burning the same amount of calories as running for 30 minutes. (Now there’s a great way to switch up your workout routine!)

Turn off the TV

We’ve all gotten sucked in to a Law & Order marathon now and then, but too much time in front of the TV can take a serious toll on your health. In fact, according to Health.com “a 2010 study found that people who watched four or more hours a day were 46% more likely to die from any cause than people who watched less than two hours a day.”

Fortunately, the American Council on exercise has some easy tips to keep you active while you watch TV, so you don’t have to give up Jack McCoy completely! Instead of lounging on the couch, why not sit on a stability ball and engage your core for a 60-minute episode? Now that sounds like a good idea!

Eat fruits and vegetables

“Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer,” writes Health.com. Plus, the antioxidants in fruits and veggies help fight inflammation and boost circulation, which can help you stay wrinkle-free!

Stay out of the sun

You don’t have to be a health nut to know that suns rays are bad for your health. Setting aside the skin cancer risk rays carry, too much sun can also give you wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy skin. But fortunately, “it’s never too early—or too late—to add sunscreen to your daily skin-care regimen (look for an SPF of 30 or higher),” writes Health.com, “and don’t focus only on your face – sun damage spots and splotches on your chest and neck will also make you appear older.

Source: Philly.com Health News , By Kelly O'Shea

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