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  • Writer's pictureROSEMARIE BINGHAM '18

9 Things You Didn’t Know Helped You Live Longer

We all have routines that we like to follow, but have you ever considered that these routines could be adding years on to your life, or preventing common diseases? Find out what activities in your daily routine might save your life.

1.) Brushing your teeth and flossing daily.

Dentists always tell you to continue brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day, and to floss at least once a day, too. Most of us nod our heads and say “thanks,” knowing very well that we probably won’t floss until the morning before our next dentist appointment. However, as much of a pain as it can be, especially with the bane of most teenagers having braces, taking care of your oral hygiene can boost your life expectancy, while also preventing heart disease, gum disease, dementia, and strokes.

2.) Keep a positive attitude about life.

Who knew something as simple as a positive attitude could keep you alive and healthy? Adults who don’t dread death live as many as 7 years longer than people who are scared to die, or live their daily lives with a negative mentality.

3.) Turn off the TV and be active!

The average American watches 5 hours of TV a day, according to the New York Daily News. Admit it, many of us have a Netflix addiction. If this sounds like your Saturday afternoon, maybe you’d like to know that watching this much TV a day will shorten your lifespan by 5 years. But don’t worry, not all electronics are bad for your health…which brings us to…

4.) Using your cell phone every day might actually be beneficial…

“Stop wasting your life, and get off that phone,” is a phrase most of our parents probably yell at us. “Put your phones away,” your teacher may yell at you moments before the bell rings. While it is certainly unhealthy to be obsessed with your phone by spending multiple hours on it, a new study from researchers at the University of South Florida concluded that your cell phone can lessen your susceptibility of Alzheimer’s (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

According to these researchers, the electromagnetic waves from a cell phone sink in the brain, and are able to erase specific proteins responsible for lesions and dementia. Not only can your phone protect you from the disease, but these scientists conclude that your phone could destroy Alzheimers if already present in the brain.

5.) Sing!!!

A study at George Washington University showed that singers in choir groups are physically healthier, have fewer doctor visits, and showed few signs of depression ( Similarly, other studies prove that singing reduces stress and could potentially save you from heart and lung diseases.

6.) No shoes. No socks. Go barefoot!

Did you know that your shoes are absolutely filthy? It sounds like common sense, but really, it’s much more complicated. The soles of your shoes are actually home to toxic heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, all of which can cause brain damage, cancer, infertility, and even obesity. By walking around your house barefoot, these toxins, chemicals, etc., are not being passed around so viciously, lowering your chances of getting them.

7.) Bring a Starbucks (or five) to school. It’s the Ursula way to get through the day!

Countless Starbucks cups are found around SUA every day. It would be logical to think that coffee is bad for you, since it is highly addictive if you drink it daily. However, coffee has many health benefits. It sounds excessive, but compared to non-coffee drinkers, people who drink at least 5 small cups of coffee or more a day are 40% less likely to get brain cancer.

8.) Eat less red meat.

You are at lower risk for several types of cancer if you stay away from red, processed meats such as ham, beef, bacon, sausage, lamb, etc. To maintain a healthy diet, try to only eat red meat twice a week at most.

9.) Lay out in the sun…but only for 15 minutes.

It’s crucial to have high vitamin D levels because vitamin D shortage can grow your risk for breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancer. To get more, take daily vitamins (specifically ones with vitamin D), drink orange juice, and get outside on a sunny day. Staying out for just 15 minutes a day without any sunscreen on can make a huge difference.

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