14 Easy Ways to Extend and Enhance Your Life, Starting Now

The average guy lives to be 75 years old. That’s up about five years from what our life expectancy was two decades ago. The even better news: There are also fairly easy ways to make the most of the time you’ve already gained—and probably earn even more of it. We’re talking about small lifestyle or outlook changes with big impacts. Because your real goal shouldn’t be just to live longer, but to feel more vital.

To prove it, Men’s Health asked a fleet experts—everyone from longevity and healthy aging researchers, to top athletes and cultural icons—to share their own practical advice for carpe deiming. Here are 14 easy ways to help you extend and enhance your life. Starting right now.

Do Good, Feel Good, Live Longer

“Exercising random acts of kindness and donating time to good causes enhance social integration while improving self-gratification. Those factors, plus the stress relief those things create, can have profound longevity benefits.”

James Muruthi, Ph.D., Director of the Healthy Aging Lab at University of Oregon.

Feed-on-Fiber

“Eating fibrous foods like yams and asparagus and polyphenol rich foods like olive oil, coffee, tea, and dark colored fruits and vegetables produces a hugely beneficial phenomenon called mitochondrial uncoupling in our cells. Healthy old people have the most uncoupled mitochondria. This mitochondrial energy processing trick is the golden ticket to increasing energy levels, losing weight and yes, extending your lifespan.”

Steven Gundry, MD, form cardiac surgeon and author of The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at Ripe Old Age and Unlocking the Keto Code.

break

Respond Instead of React

“Slowing aging with slowing down. Cultivate a space between a stimulus (stress, unhealthy food cravings) and starts your response by going for a walk or taking ten deep breaths through your nose and out of your mouth. These activities will activate the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system, which will allow you to make choices from a place of clarity and certainty, helping you make healthier choices for your body in the long run.”

Kien Vuu, MD, clinical professor at UCLA Health and author of Thrive State: Your Blueprint for Optimal Health, Longevity, and Peak Performance.

break

Analyze Your Mood

“People with severe mental health disorders tend to die earlier than the general population, and taking charge of your mental wellbeing can do wonders for life extension. One way to start: Answer these questions right now: 1) How is my mood? (Answer with an emotion. Am I happy? Sad? Angry? Upset? Irritable? Euphoric? 2) Is this your baseline or normal mood? (Answer yes or no, because we all have off days. If it’s an off day, reevaluate later in the week or the following week.) 3) Am I content with feeling this way? If no, reach out to someone you trust to talk about it.”

Kalisha Bonds Johnson, Ph.D., RN, professor at Emory University’s School of Nursing, director of special programs at Black in Gerontology & Geriatrics.

break

Take a Cold Shower

“Cold exposure releases noradrenaline, a hormone that boosts cell performance. Due to the disappearance of “thermal stress” thanks to air conditioning and central heating, our body’s thermoregulatory system isn’t getting enough of the exercise or stimulation needed to feel invigorated and perform better. Through daily cold water immersion, you can boost your body’s natural repair and recovery response that’s central to slowing aging.”

Rose Anne Kenny, MD, geriatrician and author of Age Proof: The New Science of Living a Longer and Healthier Life.

break

Read Dense Books

“I come from an Indian background where we were taught Sanskrit chanting at a very young age. It requires a lot of memorization and involves rituals and practices. We chant a lot of verses, which can be like longform poems. It seems to have a meditative effect and it’s a form of memory rehearsal, which can keep the brain healthy as you age. Reading complicated fiction or non-fiction books can have a similar benefit because it challenges your brain to track the characters and the plot over time.”

P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, director of the Neurocognitive Disorders Program at Duke University School of Medicine.

break

Cut Back on the Sugar

“I eat fruit and treat myself to an ice cream once per month. But make no mistake about it—excess sugar in all its forms is poison. It is always one of the first things I recommend eliminating for those interested in longevity. To lessen your intake of sugar, I recommend avoiding all processed foods and sugary drinks.”

Sergey Younglongevity investor and author of The Science and Technology of Growing Young.

break

Actually Clean Between Your Teeth

“Tooth decay and gum disease are chronic infections which our immune systems can never quite get on top of. Thorough brushing and daily flossing will help prevent these, and therefore prevent chronic inflammation, one of the key drivers of aging.”

Andrew Steele, Ph.D., physicist and author of Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old.

break

Listen to Yourself

Words of affirmation are crucial to my wellbeing, it’s important to start my day off with positivity. Every day I am also intentional about taking personal time for myself. That could be listening to an old vinyl record or simply embracing silence in an effort to calm my mind and give peace to my thoughts.”

Matt HornPitmaster of Horn BBQ in Oakland, CA, and author of the Horn Barbecue cookbook, out April 12.

break

Focus Your Energy

“My dad told me early on: ‘Control what you can control and what you can’t control? You can’t let it bother you.’ One area I can just about control: raising my children, who motivates me every day. To be a better man, better dad, better human.”

Trent WilliamsNFL offensive tackle, cancer survivor, and subject of the new documentary, Silverback: The Trent Williams Storyout now.

break

Embrace Moments to Truly Relax

“I work so hard, and over time I’d developed strange guilt around resting. But there’s nothing better than an hour on the couch. Everything and everyone will still be waiting for you when you get up. It’s fine.”

Jason Reynoldsbestselling author of more than a dozen young adult books, including his latest, Ain’t Burned All the Bright.

break

Do Burpees, Lots of Burpees

“I grew up with the Gurkha and Special Forces heritage, so it’s all about discipline, being respectful to others, never give up on the mission you are going for, stay humble, and keep training. I always try and stay fit. That might be in the form of climbing mountains or when I’m not on the mountains, I do regular work outs. One of my secrets is burpees—but a lot of them—about 300 in one go.”

Nimsdai Purjastar of the documentary 14 Peaks (Netflix), and author of Beyond Possible: One Man, Fourteen Peaks and the Mountaineering Achievement of a Lifetime.

break

Remember What It’s Like to Wait Up for Santa

“Waiting for something wonderful can be painful if you look at it that way—Why don’t I have that promotion yet? Why can’t I afford the house I want? Or it can be anticipatory joy, like waiting for Santa as a child, reveling in the hope that you will receive wonderful gifts. And when things have passed out of existence, you still get to enjoy them in the present—Remember how wonderful that vacation was? What it felt like to sail, or to ride a roller coaster? But you only can enjoy them if you are okay with the present.”

Mary-Frances O’Connor, Ph.D., psychology professor, director of the University of Arizona’s Grief, Loss and Social Stress Lab, and author of The Grieving Brain.

break

Decide to Give a Crap

“Ethics is just the examination of how we make decisions that affect other people and the world we live in. By deciding to give a crap, you are acknowledging a few basic but important truths: We are not the only people who matter. We rely on others for certain things, and they rely on us. The big and small choices we make fall on a spectrum from “Excellent” to “Extremely obnoxious and bad,” and where they fall is (at least in part) up to us. The only possible advice is (1) Decide to care. (2) Understand that it’s a lifelong job. (3) Accept that you make progress by being a little bit better today than you were yesterday. (4) Know for a fact that from time to time, even trying your best, you’re going to fail in your quest to do the right thing. And that it’s okay.”

Michael Schurcreator of The Good Placeco-creator of Parks and Recreationand author of How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Questionout now.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Leave a Comment