Written by Salina Jivani
In middle school, my classmates and I used to secretly launch silly games and websites on our browsers when the computer lab teacher wasn’t looking. One that used to be pretty popular was a death clock that predicted the date and time of your death, counting down years, hours, even seconds. Sounds pretty morose, even perverse, as I’m writing about it now. But hey, it was middle school. We were only getting warmed up with the crazies!
The good news is the death clock was actually pretty generous and didn’t predict anyone would clonk out before the age of sixty.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work nearly as favorably and it certainly doesn’t dance to the tune of the death clock, granting everyone plenty of time to live out life.
As most of us know, promoting longevity requires effort and healthy practices like staying away from drugs, exercising and eating healthy. But here are five weird habits we bet you (and that death clock) never thought would shave off years from your longevity calendar.
You don’t laugh enough
We’ve all heard that we need a healthy dose of laughter in our lives. It’s why concepts like laughter therapy exist! But did you know your sense of humor can impact how long you live? In fact, studies prove that women who have a healthy sense of humor are 43% less likely to die from illnesses, infections and other ailments than those who don’t. And men have a 74% reduced risk of passing away from those same ailments.
You’re not getting any action in the sack
Everyone needs a little lovin’. But men in particular who haven’t had sex in a long time or have vowed celibacy can push their mortality rates up double of those who do get some sack action at least once a week. (A great way to bribe your woman into having some fun with you, especially when she needs some prodding!)
You don’t drink
No, that’s not a typo. You’re probably used to hearing quite the opposite, but recent research proves that, given you’re drinking responsibly, a regular helping of alcohol can actually combat diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and heart disease. Another surprising fact: a study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that mortality rates are actually higher in non-drinkers than those who drink heavily. Quite a shocker, yeah?
You don’t get along with others
Relationships are an important part of your wellbeing, because they affect your mood and stress levels, which have an impact on your body. So your relationships with people you spend a lot of time with—namely your family and co-workers—has a huge impact on your health. Studies show that those who get along pleasantly with their coworkers had a higher life expectancy because of lower stress, which promoted healthy cholesterol and blood pressure ranges.
You eat food that’s been sitting around
You’re in desperate need of bread and you’ve got exactly two slices remaining—just enough to make a sandwich for lunch. Problem is, one of the slices is slightly molded all the way in the corner. You look around, tear off that edge and toss it in the trash. And no one’s the wiser, right?
Well, not quite.
According to studies, eating food that’s even slightly spoilt or has been hanging around your refrigerator shelves just a bit too long can actually cause you to lose your lifespan. When scientists performed experiments on yeast, fruit flies and mice, they found that those that consumed a diet of ingredients derived from older components lived an average of 10% less longer than those that consumed fresher components.
In humans, when we eat foods that are old, we end up accelerating the aging of our cells, which ends up hindering life expectancy.
So while you’re out there piling on leafy greens and vegetables in your grocery cart, don’t neglect to toss out the items in your fridge that are past their due dates!