Americans are living longer. The U.S. life expectancy surpassed 78, setting a new record. But the secret to a long life is not what you think.
Society has created certain myths pertaining to living longer – retire early, eat your broccoli, and go to church are just a few. Yet, these lifestyle myths are not necessarily true. Researchers Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin report their conclusions in a new book, The Longevity Project.
Friedman and Martin looked to debunk 5 key myths. I will summarize a few of their findings:
Myth 1: Thinking happy thoughts reduces stress and leads to a happy life – Worrying and being realistic is actually sometimes a good thing. In the study, children whose parents described them as “extraordinarily optimistic” or “never seeing the dark side” were less likely to live to an old age.
Myth 2: Take it easy and don’t work so hard – The study found that those with the most career success were less likely to die young. High productivity was good for their health. On the flip side, those who moved from job to job without a clear path or progression were less likely to live a long life.
Myth 3: Get married and you will live longer – The study found that although a strong, happy marriage is beneficial, being single could be just as healthy for a woman. Furthermore, they found that divorce was not as harmful to a woman’s health as normally thought.
If you would like to find out more about the other myths, click here to read the full AARP article: http://www.aarp.org/health/longevity/news-03-2011/the_secret_to_a_longlifeisntwhatyouthink0.html.