No tobacco, little alcohol, 5 fruits and vegetables, 30 minutes of sport… Beyond these golden rules, there are other more amazing ways to make old bones. Scientific evidence in support.
1. Three cups of daily coffee offer a few more years.
It is often accused of all the ills: to prevent us from sleeping, to twist our stomachs… But two large studies, one European, the other American ( Epic and Annals of Internal Medicine), have just shown that coffee drinkers would live better and longer. “Coffee lowers the risk of cardiovascular and digestive diseases (cirrhosis, liver cancer)”, says Marc Gunter of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, one of the main authors.
Explanation: it is most certainly thanks to the antioxidants it abounds, including polyphenols. And good news for those who do not support the exciting effect of coffee: it also works with deca, since it is antioxidants, not caffeine, that boosts longevity. What else?
2. To make a booklet saves two years.
This is the conclusion of a study published in September 2016 by Yale researchers ( Social Science and Medicine ). “Lovers of literature live on average 23 months more than people who never open a book,” says Becca Levy, Professor at the School of Public Health Yale. And it works even if we spend a little time there. “Half an hour of reading a day reduces the risk of dying by 20% over a 12-year period,” says Levy.
Explanation: “We think it is thanks to the cognitive engagement induced by reading. Because it involves creating more connections between one’s own life, the content of books and the outside world, “says the researcher in public health. A permanent stimulation of the imagination and the intellect that keeps, in short.
3. Walking regularly rejuvenates the body by 10 years.
There is no age to come out of the closet and sneakers! The Canadian Center for Activity and Aging in London, Ontario has scrutinized the physical capabilities of 220 retirees over 3 years. Half did not do any physical activity, the other practiced brisk walking 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
Result: after one year, the group of walkers showed a 12% increase of their maximum aerobic power and 10% of their strength and flexibility of the hips, the equivalent of what they could have lost in 10 years. they had not practiced any physical activity. So courage, let’s walk!
4. One more year of study brings 11 more months of life.
This has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland ( Nature Communications ). The originality of their work is to have screened the genetic information of 606 059 people (from Europe, Australia, North America) for which the lifespan of parents were known. And to look at genetic variants and modifiable risk factors involved in the life span, such as the number of years of schooling.
As a result, “His extra months are probably due to the fact that educated people have more resources, better access to care, and a better understanding of good practices that improve health, such as smoking less and eating better,” he says. Peter Joshi, Honorary President of the Usher Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, one of the lead authors of the study. So, if you dream of re-enrolling in history school or learning Italian? Go for it!
5. Meditation pampers our chromosomes!
The chromosomes are protected at their ends by small caps, the telomeres. The longer they are, the more the chromosomes are preserved during cell division, so the younger we are.
Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn was rewarded in 2009 for demonstrating that stressed women had shortened telomeres. In 2013, she recurs with meditation. She studied two groups of women, one who was doing a meditation retreat for 3 months, the other who was on the waiting list for this retreat.
Result: Intensive meditation increased by 30% their secretion of telomerase, the enzyme that protects the telomeres from wear and tear of cell division, hence aging. A good reason to sign up for a mindfulness meditation course near you: it’s great fashion!
6. Being a mother after 40 years would triple the chances of being centenarian. In 1997, a study on the factors of longevity in a population of centenarians, published in the prestigious magazine “Nature”, made a great noise. The researchers found that 19% of the women studied had a child after 40 years. They then compared their results with a much younger population of women who died at age 73: only 6% had been mothers in their 40s. Two other recent studies, published in 2015 and 2017 in “Menopause”, go in the same direction, showing even that the telomeres (still them!) Of women who give birth late are longer.
Explanation: This does not mean that you have to wait to be quadra to start your family in the hope of ending your centenary, but that the physical ability to be pregnant after age 40 is an indisputable marker of longevity. This is an argument that quadra moms will be delighted to send in the face of Cassandra who repeat that it is not reasonable to have a child so late! It just proves they have great genes … that they can pass on to their toddlers …
7. Live as a couple, it keeps!
No offense to hardened singles, marriage softens manners … and lengthens life! Many studies claim this, such as the one published in 2013 by researchers at Duke University in the United States ( Annals of Behavioral Medicine ). They analyzed the data of 4802 baby boomers born in the 1940s, and discovered that those who were in a relationship at the age of 40 lived much older than the others.
Thus, individuals who entered midlife without having ever been married were twice as likely to die prematurely as married couples; and those who had already been married but were no longer forty years old had a risk of premature death multiplied by 1.64. Another study, French ( INSEE 2007 ), states that people in couples live longer than others (and that the champions of longevity are men and women with two children).
More fun, in 2016, Lawrence Whalley, Emeritus Professor of Mental Health at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said at a conference in Oxford on “How to protect yourself from degenerative diseases and aging”, that being married to a smart woman is a good way to prolong your life and avoid Alzheimer’s disease! Thus, rubbing shoulders with a keen mind on a daily basis would protect the brain from decline. Do not worry, ladies, it works also when we marry a man who has in the skull …
Explanation: Dr. Whalley adds that “in general, smart people are healthier and healthier, especially when they get older.” So to summarize: if you’re smart, you get in a relationship … with a smart spouse too, and we make old bones together!
8. Having children, especially for men, saves years of life expectancy
This is enough to comfort the parents sometimes – it must be admitted – a little on the kneecaps. The sleepless nights to watch their sick toddlers and later, the tearing of hair as a teenager, will ultimately bring a nice gift. A large Swedish study published in March 2017 ( Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health ) showed that life expectancy at age 60 is nearly two years higher for parents of at least one child than for those without children. Fathers graze even a few more months than mothers: 1.8 years for them and 1.5 for them.
Explanation: The reason for this parental bargain is on the one hand the support and help given by the children to their elderly parents. And the fact that by becoming a parent, one adopts a healthier way of life, especially concerning the food, advance the authors of the study.