How can our behaviour affect our longevity?

October 4, 2018

Retirement isn’t always a money thing. There’s mounting evidence that how we behave – the things we do or don’t do – can directly impact how long we live.

Let’s not include dietary matters (most of us obsess about them enough already) in our look for things that add years to our lives.

According to Reader’s Digest, a key behaviour is to de-stress. “Stress and stressors are everywhere,” the magazine notes. “Learning how to manage your stress with guided imagery, meditation, deep breathing or another practice can add years to your life,” states Dr. Michael Roizen in the article.

The Westlake Bay Village Observer notes that quitting smoking by age 30 adds 10 years to your life, and if you quit by age 65, you get three additional years. “Some health benefits are immediate,” the article notes. “Hours after stopping smoking, heart rate and pressure improved,” and within a year, your risk of a heart attack is cut in two.

Then there’s fitness. Cardiovascular Business magazine notes that being fit while middle-aged can extend life significantly. “Middle-aged men with the highest cardio respiratory fitness (CRF) levels live an average of five years longer than peers with age-adjusted CRF in the bottom 5 per cent of the population,” the magazine notes.

Some easier things to do that add up – Woman’s Day reports that flossing your teeth daily will add three to five years to your life, because research shows that “periodontal and cardiovascular disease are linked.” As well, going to bed 15 minutes earlier will add three years to your life, the magazine reports.

Save with SPP has noted, empirically, that cranky people seem to live longer. The Internet provided some backing for this belief, but we couldn’t nail down anything concrete. However, a CBS News report  found that people who “express their anger live two years longer, on average, than those who bottle up their rage.”

Those who don’t blow off steam, the article says, ran the risk of “an elevated pulse, high blood pressure, and other serious ailments.”  If there’s a theme that connects these dots, it is to relax and to not worry. That’s the feeling you can have about your retirement if you sign up with the Saskatchewan Pension Plan – check them out to discover inner peace about retirement saving.


Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. After a 35-year career as a reporter, editor and pension communicator, Martin is enjoying life as a freelance writer. He’s a mediocre golfer, hopeful darts player and beginner line dancer who enjoys classic rock and sports, especially football. He and his wife Laura live with their Sheltie, Duncan, and their cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22
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