It's no secret that a good diet, along with proper exercise, is key to a happy, healthy, and long life. However, there are lesser-known habits and lifestyle choices that can also help prolong your stay on earth. Read on to learn these health hacks.

Say goodbye to soda.
Before you say that you aren't overweight or that you work out regularly, you should know that a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health has shown that the consumption of soda impacts the life span of even the healthiest individual. In particular, this half decade long medical scrutiny found a strong link between the shortening of telomeres and soda intake. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes. Every time a cell splits, telomeres shorten. In layman's terms, it acts like an aging countdown.

Do it like the French.
According to Dutch research, a glass of wine per day does more to decrease the number of cardiovascular deaths than total abstinence on alcoholic drinks. An intake of 20 milliliters or less significantly lowers the risk of all causes of death. "Tchin-tchin!" That's cheers in French.

Sex it up!
A little bump and grind is undeniably the most fun way to add years to your life. Since the '90s, various research studies have shown a clear connection between numerous orgasms and a longer life span. Besides feeling pleasurable, it allows you to have a better connection with your partners and also provides you a workout. Other benefits of rolling in the hay include stress relief, a stronger immune system, better appetite control, and the release of endorphins. For best results, doctors advise at least two to three orgasms weekly, but feel free to go for more.

Get the right kind of sleep.
Quality sleep plays an important role in lengthening your stay on Earth. Many reports have connected the lack of proper sleep with a higher chance of death, and other studies have illustrated that deprivation of the necessary 40 winks may up the odds of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Our tip: Establish a routine. Set the exact same bedtime and waking time even on weekends.

Adopt a furry friend.
Furry friends of the four-legged variety will help you live longer, according to published studies. Logically, owning a pet keeps a person active and will, therefore, result in the lower risk of health issues such as heart problems. An accumulated 150 minutes of physical activity a week is advised. Psychologically, pet ownership also decreases stress, brings meaning, and even purpose, to a person's life.

No one would seriously think that daily oral hygiene could greatly influence a person's life span. But did you know that insufficient flossing can bring about inflammation, which could eventually add to the risk of a stroke or a heart attack? Various research studies have linked oral bacteria to cardiovascular health concerns. Flossing at least once a day is a must for overall health and a beautiful smile.

A cup of joe not only energizes your morning, but also brings forth longevity. Your risk of developing chronic ailments such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and heart health issues is reduced immensely thanks to these beans. Moderation, however, is key, as over caffeinating can block the absorption of calcium as well as trigger insomnia and anxiety. Keep your mug of coffee basic and avoid adding syrups, toppings, and whipped cream, as these can cancel out the aforementioned health benefits.

Sit less.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, another way to increase telomere length is to sit less. Researchers measured the effects of physical activity and the consequences in relation to sitting time of 49 overweight and sedentary participants. Those who were involved in a six-month long intervention involving physical activities showed an increase in the length of telomeres, which are directly linked to the health and life span of red blood cells. If you spend most of your day at work, you can give the standing desk method a shot. As an added bonus, standing desks also improve your posture.

Be happy.
so happy
After conducting a study of 243 centenarians, scientists at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York found that living to a hundred involves doing away with meanness and cantankerousness. Having a positive outlook and a love for laughter leads to lower stress levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar count, all of which can result in a healthier body. Laughter is, indeed, the best medicine. So go ahead and watch your favorite comedy shows or stand-up acts to get your fill of giggles.

Be optimistic.
It may sound cliche but an Illinois study shows clear proof that individuals who are happy have healthier and longer lives than their less jolly peers. Pessimism, stress, and depression all lead to a shorter life span. Sources expound that happiness causes your hormones to be more relaxed. Positive thinking is the quickest and the cheapest way to a living a long happy life.

Find your purpose.
If you've seen Hector and the Search for Happiness, you will know that happiness and finding your purpose in life interconnectsno matter how old you are. During the study that lasted 14 years, researchers discovered that individuals with a greater sense of purpose in their lives were least likely to expire as opposed to those who did not have a clear goal in mind. Our tip: Focus on the positive impact you have both at home and at work rather than get worked up on perfecting every single detail of your life.

Snack on nuts.
Individuals who snack on nuts several times a day have a lower mortality rate than those who snub this treat. Rich in unsaturated fatty acids and high fiber content and antioxidants, nuts are perfect in helping lower your risk of heart illnesses. A good serving size should be limited to about 20 nuts or one ounce. Like anything, moderation is key.

Leave the social network alone and meet your friends for coffee, the movies, or just catch up face to face. Data from a Brigham Young University analysis of over 140 studies indicate a clear link between life span and social connections. In fact, individuals who have stronger social bonds have a 50 percent greater possibility of a longer life. Hit two birds with one stone by getting off your chair and interacting outside of cyberspace for once.

Eat more fish.
Fish are friends, but also food. Popular tuna commercials repeatedly tell you how an omega-3-rich diet is good for both the mind and the body. Case in point: Adults whose blood levels are high in omega-3 fatty acids (found in albacore, mackerel, lake trout, salmon, and tuna) live two years longer than those whose blood levels are low in them, according to the study published the Annals of Internal Medicine. Experts recommend having at least a 3.5 ounce serving of fish each week.

Lend a hand.
Volunteering or offering to help others instantly boosts your happy hormones, which may also add more years to your life. The logic is simple: Volunteering makes you happy, being happy is a positive attitude, and positivity means a stress-free mind and body. Besides, there is a 20 percent lower probability of death in individuals who volunteer, in accordance to the data that was published by the BMC Public Health Journal. When you volunteer, everybody wins.

You do not have to run a marathon or spend hours on a treadmill. A recent discovery explains how running for at least five to 10 minutes a day can boost your life expectancy. Running aids in proper blood circulation, which consequently means a smaller chance of contracting heart diseases. No need to beat Usain Bolt. Running at six miles or less per hour once or twice weekly already poses health benefits.

PHOTO: Pixabay; GIFS: Giphy

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