No one can say just how long his or her life will be.  We do not have that kind of control.  What we can do, however, is increase the probability of living a longer, happier life.

Here are 10 things you can do to increase your chances of living a longer, more fulfilled life.

1. Go Outside

Yes, going outside increases your life expectancy.  When you go outside your skin is exposed to sunlight, which triggers cells in your skin to produce vitamin D.  Vitamin D is essential for good bone health and reduces depression, heart disease, diabetes, and the list goes on.

Going outside for at least 15 minutes each day and exposing your face and hands to the sun is enough to maintain the vitamin D levels required by your body.

Better, go for a walk while you are outside.  A brisk half-hour walk three times a week is recommended for everyone.

2. Exercise

It is not always possible to go outside for a walk, but daily exercise is an excellent way to improve not only your life expectancy, but also your overall health and energy level.

Why daily? Like everything else, it is easier to keep doing something that has become a habit.  Including exercise into your daily routine allows it to quickly become a habit, and therefore it becomes much more likely that you will keep up the practice throughout your life.

Exercise wherever and whenever works for you.  If you are not a gym person then try yoga or a dance class.  Get together with your friends for a friendly game of basketball.  It does not matter what you do, just get up and move.

3.  Spend Time with Family and Friends

The more connected you are with your family and friends, the better your overall health.  The better your overall health, the longer your life expectancy.  Building positive relationships with your spouse, significant other, family members, and friends is the best way to stay connected.

4. Eat Healthy

Eat lots of vegetables.  Vegetables are full of antioxidants and antioxidants help your body repair some of the damage caused by the aging process.  The idea is to eat not only a lot of vegetables but also a wide variety. The more you eat, the more raw materials available for your body to make needed repairs.

It is also important to make sure that fish is a regular part of your diet.  Eating fish once or twice a week can reduce your risk of having a fatal heart attack by more than a third.  The Omega-3 fats found in fish may reduce the risk of several cancers, ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, lowers triglycerides, reduce the chance of having a stroke, and lower blood pressure.

5. Help Someone Else

Try being helpful and considerate with other people every day.  Doing so helps you feel better about yourself, and increases your self-esteem and happiness.  The extra benefit is that higher levels of self-esteem and happiness also help increase your life expectancy.

6. Unwind or Destress

Stress has been linked to literally dozens of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.  Stress also causes feelings of irritability and the inability to sleep.  If you focus on decreasing your stress levels now, not only will you be happier right now, you will also be increasing your life expectancy at the same time.

7. Lift Weights

Muscle and bone loss can be stopped, and sometimes even reversed with weight training. So go to the gym or buy yourself some weights and get started building up your muscle and bone health.

8. Turn off Your TV

It is not the actual watching of TV that decreases your life expectancy; it is the behaviours that tend to go hand in hand with TV watching.  These behaviours include:

  • You are inactive, burning few calories, while watching TV.
  • People tend to eat (often junk food), while watching TV.
  • People watch TV rather than going out with friends and family.
  • TV watching can be stressful, especially if you watch the news.

9. Regular Check Ups

Visit your doctor regularly.  Do not neglect your annual physicals.  Take any recommended medical tests and health screenings.  These tests and screenings can catch diseases at the early stages, making it much more likely that they not only can be treated, but often also cured.

10. Quit Smoking

Smoking has been proven to shorten life expectancy by up to 14 years.  While some damage has already been done if you already are smoker or were a smoker, and that damage is likely unrepairable, there are other advantages.  The most important benefit is that quitting smoking reduces that chance of your having a heart attack.