Go for a jog
nd3000/Shutterstock Of all the things you hear about how to live longer, one of the most critical is exercise. Aerobic activity, like running, is crucial for getting your blood pumping and your heart working. A recent study showed that a one-hour run adds seven hours to your life, up to four hours per week. People who run have a 25 to 40 percent reduced risk of early death and live about three years longer, the study says. Of course, people who run are often healthier in general, but running appears to have its own health benefits. “Running helps burn off or keep blood sugars normal, which is important because they keep your kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels healthy,” says Jennifer Kuca Hopper, MS, an exercise physiologist and director of employee wellness, worklife, and fitness at Piedmont Healthcare. Running also regulates blood pressure, increases lung capacity, reduces stress, and increases bone density, she says.
Eat more plant protein
abc1234/Shutterstock A recent study from Harvard found that people who ate a diet high in processed meats like sausage and hot dogs were at a higher risk of death—but those who got their protein from plants had a lower risk, especially of heart disease-related deaths. “The study said that for every 3 percent increase in calories from plant protein there was a reduction in risk of death by 10 percent,” says Shayna Komar, RD, a dietitian at Piedmont Healthcare. Plant proteins supply all nine amino acids the body can’t make on its own, and “unlike animal proteins, plant-based proteins can help lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, and decrease risk of cancer,” she says. Find out the top 10 sources of plant protein.