Dr Michael Mosley explains the health benefits of press ups
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With life expectancy declining by 1.3 years for men and 0.9 years for women in England, many are seeking ways that could boost their lifespans. The pandemic has not only been linked to this data, but has also made many re-evaluate their lifestyles. Dr Mosley looked at one simple solution that could make you live longer.
The doctor explained that if you want to add as much as 10 years onto your longevity, being optimistic should do the trick.
Dr Mosley stated: “There is indeed good evidence that being positive and optimistic can improve not only our mental but also our physical health, too.”
The doctor was curious to see how positivity and longevity work when you put them into practise and made a documentary.
He visited Oxford in the state of Ohio, America, a few years ago.
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The reason why he picked this town was because in 1975, a scientist based in the local university looked into the ageing of more than 1,000 people over 50 years old.
Elaborating on this research, a team from Yale University discovered that the participants who had felt the most optimistic about the future back then ended up living about seven-and-a-half years longer.
Dr Mosley added: “In most cases, mental attitude was more important than almost any other factor.
“To put these extra seven-and-a-half years into context, if we could cure cancer tomorrow, it would add around four years to the average life expectancy.”
A more recent study from Boston University School of Medicine has found that optimistic people are actually more likely to achieve “exceptional longevity”.
Dr Mosley translated this to living to 85 and beyond.
The evidence from this study suggests that those who were optimistic lived seven to 10 years longer, compared to pessimists.
There was also a gender split, putting women at 15 percent extra boost and men at 11 percent.
Dr Mosley explained: “This is possibly because optimistic people are more resilient, better able to bounce back from stressful events.
“Or perhaps they expect to live longer and therefore have healthier habits, such as staying slim and doing more exercise — we don’t really know for sure.”
How to be optimistic?
The doctor offers five tips on how to turn into an optimist:
- Visualise a positive future
- Don’t give in to catastrophic thinking
- Challenge your thoughts
- Practise mindfulness
- Train your brain to look for the positive.
Mindfulness is one technique that has become more popular over the past few years.
The NHS describes it as paying more attention to the very moment you’re present in.
Focusing on your own thoughts and feelings as well as the world might help improve your mental wellbeing.
If you want to cover all bases when it comes to living well, the NHS advises exercising, a healthy diet, sleeping well, cutting down on alcohol and quitting smoking.
And being positive could be the cherry on top.
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