How To Live Longer So You Can Be Around For People Who Need You

Who wouldn’t want to live to see 100? We bet Ruth Bader Ginsburg would. Imagine a few extra years to spend with loved ones, see the world, or cast the deciding vote in even more high court decisions.

Here are several research-backed tips to help you live longer. They’re so simple, you can work them into the busiest routines ― even that of, hypothetically, a Supreme Court justice. 

1. Follow a Mediterranean diet.

A 2011 study found that elderly individuals who eat fish, produce and foods high in healthy fats may have a 20 percent increased chance of living longer compared to their peers who don’t follow a so-called Mediterranean diet. This would definitely apply to people who are 84. 

2. Spend time with good friends.

Strong social bonds can have a positive influence on your health. Research shows those who have close connections with others are at lower risk of dying early than those who don’t. So don’t shut out your closest pals, even those who vehemently disagree with you politically.

3. Embrace aging.

Getting older is the one thing every person must deal with ― so don’t make a federal case out of it! A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that adults who had a positive outlook on aging lived an average of seven years longer than those who had a dissenting opinion of the aging process.

4. Consider getting married. (Or remarried. Or supporting marriage for everyone.)

More good news for people who just want to have a state-recognized family of their own: Research shows that marriage can boost a person’s wellbeing. A 2013 Danish study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology also found that “among men in Denmark, it is more dangerous to be unmarried or divorced than to be married to another man.” At press time, same-sex marriages are legal in the United States. 

5. Manage your stress.

This one is really important for everyone, especially for those with a high-profile career or a full caseload to judge. Studies show that excessive or chronic stress can shave time off your lifespan, which could mean missing out on watershed moments in American jurisprudence. Looking for some ways to keep your worries at bay? Here are 100 tricks to get you started (that also happens to be a wonderful age). 

6. Help others.

There’s power in lending a hand. Those who volunteer for selfless reasons live longer than those who do it for more personal reasons or those who aren’t altruistic at all, according to a 2011 study. Or, as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said of the best way to live a meaningful life, “One lives not just for oneself, but for one’s community.”

7.  Hit the gym.

Just a little bit of exercise can work wonders. Being active can extend your life by about four to seven years, or well past the next presidential election. A recent study also found that just an hour of running ― perhaps up and down the steps of a courthouse, for example ― may add seven hours to your life.

The recommended amount of physical activity is approximately 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Remember to consult your doctor or a fitness expert before beginning any new exercise regimen. (Washington, D.C.-based trainer Bryant Johnson is supposed to be great.)

Lindsay Holmes Deputy Healthy Living Editor, The Huffington Post

Kate Palmer Editorial Director, Lifestyle, The Huffington Post

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