Care for others
Two recent studies suggest surprising but heartwarming keys to a longer life. You’re more likely to rack up the years if you:
Expect the best. Of 100,000 women in the Women’s Health Initiative study, those rated optimistic by special questionnaires were 14 percent less likely than pessimists to die during the study’s first eight years.
Care for a loved one. Despite the stress involved, men and women who put in the most time taking care of a spouse cut their own risk of dying by 36 percent over a seven-year period, researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found. Don’t miss these other habits science says can help you live longer.
Set a goal for greater edge
Whether you believe you have some purpose to fulfill on earth, or just have trips you plan to take and books you want to read, you have a survival edge over people with fewer goals. So say researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who interviewed more than 1,200 older adults. Elders with sure intentions and goals were about half as likely as aimless seniors to die over the five-year follow-up.