The good life is not only for the rich

7 affordable hobbies that can help you live longer

The relentless desire of the human race to look younger and live longer has created multi- billion dollar industries, spanning health, fitness, beauty and leisure.

Living longer need not cost you a fortune. Research shows that some hobbies have such a powerful influence on your well-being and can help you live longer.

Here are 7 hobbies that science says may increase your lifespan.

1. Reading

7 affordable hobbies that can help you live longer

Stress is a major source of health problems that shorten lives. But simply picking up a book and escaping into another world can reduce stress levels by almost 70%.

It takes just six minutes for reading to begin working its magic, according to a research. Why is reading so effective in soothing your nerves? This is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.”

2. Gardening

A green thumb can help grow your golden years. Several studies show that the physical activity of gardening — combined with being in a lush, green atmosphere — can enhance and extend life.

People in their 60s who garden lower their risk of developing dementia by 36%, according to research.

3. Cooking

7 affordable hobbies that can help you live longer

Restaurant foods and processed goodies can wreck your health, contributing to life-shortening illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. By contrast, people who make meals from scratch are much more likely to eat more healthful fare.

Home-cooked dinners were associated with greater dietary guideline compliance, without significant increase in food expenditures. By contrast, frequent eating out was associated with higher expenditures and lower compliance.

4. Listening to music

A good melody can tickle the ear and add years to your lifespan. Regularly attending concerts can add years to your life. The study led by Fagan found just 20 minutes of listening can increase your mental stimulation by 75%

The study concluded that such positive feelings can boost lifespan by up to nine years.

5. Volunteering

One of the best ways to do a little good for yourself is to help others. But only if your motives are pure.

A study published in the journal Health Psychology found that volunteering does indeed extend life.

6. Walking

The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can have a profound impact on your health. Incredibly, those who take brisk walks might live up to 20 years longer than inveterate couch potatoes.

Even better, the benefit is available to people regardless of their body mass index, which is a medical measure of weight that accounts for height. So, you don’t have to be a Slim Jim or Skinny Minnie to reap the rewards of walking.

But you do have to put some effort into it: The researchers note that brisk walking — at least 3 miles per hour, or 100 steps a minute — is required to get the life-extending perks.

7. Owning a pet

7 affordable hobbies that can help you live longer

Few bonds are as strong as those that bind owners to their beloved pets. A raft of research has found that these owners enjoy many health benefits from being around their furry friends.

The benefit is even more pronounced for people who have existing heart problems. The study authors believe walking a dog — and getting a little extra exercise — may play a big role in these improved health outcomes.


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