5 great ways to live longer and have more fun
Here for a good time and a long time? Here are some expert-backed ways to live longer and have fun along the way.
Dreaming of living to the grand old age of 100 – or maybe even longer?
If that’s the plan you may as well be enjoying yourself along the journey.
These science-backed suggestions may help you clock up a few more spins around the sun, all while you’re having fun.
5 fun ways to live longer, according to science
1. Be like Barbie (or Ken)
Strap on the fluorescent rollerblades!
Regular exercise is key to a longer life, so jump on board the Barbie-inspired rollerblading comeback.
The sport also grabbed headlines when US longevity expert Dr Florence Comite extolled its life-extending benefits.
Rollerblading is gentler on the joints than sports such as running, gets the heart pumping and is good for balance, exercise physiologist Kate Save says.
“Rollerblading strengthens the muscles that help with balance, improves coordination and is good for cardio fitness,” Kate explains.
“Maintaining balance is crucial as we age, as life expectancy significantly reduces when people fall and break a hip.”
2. Become a social butterfly
One of the best prescriptions for living longer is also the simplest: friendship.
A 10-year longitudinal study of older Australians found people with a wide circle of friends and confidants have a higher chance of survival.
Flinders University Associate Professor Tim Windsor says strong social networks are just as important for longevity as avoiding smoking and obesity.
“One of the direct effects of friendship is stress buffering,” Assoc Prof Windsor, of the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, says.
“Sharing the emotional load of stressful events helps us deal with problems.
“Sometimes, people on the periphery of our networks can also become important when we need a certain kind of help or support.”
3. Look on the bright side
Embracing the ageing process with a sunny attitude can help.
That’s why longevity coach Marcus Pearce advises talking positively about ageing, and ditching expressions such as: “It’s all downhill from here”.
“We’re so obsessed with our diet or the latest exercise trend, but how many of us consider our beliefs around getting older?” Marcus says.
Rather than worrying about the ills that await, think of fun things to do in retirement, whether it’s learning to surf, completing an Ironman at 80, or simply planning a cruise.
4. Throw a shrimp (or a prawn) on the barbie
And while you’re cooking your shrimp, add some pomegranate, pistachios and pumpernickel bread to your nibbles platter.
The party season is nigh and with grazing tables all the rage, Kate, who is also a dietitian, suggests swapping the chips, chocolate, cheese and crackers for healthier options.
Research shows that people who eat five serves of fruit and vegetables a day can live three years longer.
Kate suggests go-to menu items for healthier platters include barbecued broccolini, fresh figs, red grapes, purple carrots and fresh berries.
“Ensure you are preparing all colours of the rainbow on your grazing platter – and your plate – each day,” she says.
5. Join the party
Dance the night away to DJ beats and disco lights – minus the hangover – with The Jungle Body, a dance and aerobics fusion ticking all the longevity boxes.
Not only is dancing a good way to get physical, it can also reduce cognitive decline.
The Jungle Body instructor Megan Lawler says the unique classes, which cater for children and adults, offer physical, emotional and social benefits.
“It’s like a party with a workout, and people are always smiling afterwards,” Megan says.
Read more on healthy ageing:
- How to adopt a positive ageing mindset
- Why you’re never too old to exercise
- Ways to embrace ageing as a natural part of life
- Why it’s never too late to learn a new skill
Written by Elissa Doherty.