Ten Surprising Ways To Live Longer

We have even more reason to strive for long, active lives. But we're so busy taking care of little people that our own health often takes a backseat.

Here's where the happy news comes in: Small, simple behavior changes can pay major health dividends.

1. Be single

If you're female, that is. Researchers Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin found that women who remain single, but have a rich social life, live longer than or as long as married women. For men this is not the case: They live longer when they've a wife to take care of them.

2 . Be kind to your mother

While it stands to reason that you should be nice to your mother - she brought you into the world, after all - research by Harvard University has also found that it is good for your health. 91 percent of the 'guinea pigs' who had a poor relationship with their mother had a serious illness in middle age, but only 45 percent of the participants who were very close to their mother were seriously ill in later life.

3. Be religious

According to the International Journal for Psychiatry and Medicine, regular attendance at a church, mosque or other place of worship is a good way to live longer. Adhering to a religion and being part of a religious community helps people reduce stress and emotional problems, and it can also reduce the risk of heart disease and digestive problems too.

4 . Eat Apples

It's no surprise that eating apples is healthy. But did you know that regularly eating apples, and the lovely antioxidants within, can increase your life expectancy by ten years? Scientists have done extensive testing with fruit flies. The insects not only lived longer but were more nimble too. Research has also shown that women who often munch on apples run a 13 to 22 percent lower risk of heart disease.

5. Eat Chocolate

A Harvard University study shows that people who regularly eat small amounts of chocolate live longer than people who don't indulge at all. Chocolate contains polyphenols, which some studies suggest have antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic benefits.

6. Eat garlic

Regular consumption of the fragrant bulb is said to prevent against cardiovascular disease. It's also a natural blood thinner, which promotes circulation. Also, eating the plant according to Dr. David Servan-Schreiber help in the fight against cancer. Servan-Schreiber should know, he has twice had a malignant brain tumor. He is convinced that garlic stimulates the death of cancer cells.

7. Floss Regularly

Good dental hygeine not only takes care of your teeth and gums, but helps you live a long and healthy life. Bacteria around your teeth can cause your veins to swell, with the result that the risk of heart disease increases.

8. Have a big bottom

A recent study by Oxford University found that women with larger behinds live longer. Fat in the hips, thighs and buttocks, according to Dr Konstantinos Manolopoulos, can prevent clogging of the arteries. "Fat that is stored in these areas absorb many harmful fatty acids."

9. Sleep less

A recent study has shown that people who sleep for six to seven hours a night live longer than people who get more than eight or less than four hours' sleep.

10. Work hard

According to U.S. researchers Martin and Leslie Howard Friedman, the key to long life is hard work. Their research found that men and women who were career-driven lived longer than people who preferred to slow down.