Throughout history, we have been on the search for the secret to long life. In today’s society, the popularity of anti-aging products makes it clear we haven’t given up on the search – but a team of scientists now reveal we may be looking in all the wrong places.

The global Anti-Aging Market is estimated to reach a value of $331.41 billion by the year 2021, a clear indicator of just how invested we are in trying to hold onto our youth. From anti-wrinkle creams and hair restoration to anti-cellulite treatments and plastic surgery, we’ve proven that there is little that we, as a society, won’t do to avoid the effects of aging. However, these cosmetic efforts fail to address the bigger picture – our overall health and well-being to allow us to actually live a longer life.

Sure, you could start eating only the best foods and hitting the gym twice a day, but even that isn’t guaranteed to give you the results that you seek. With a 2017 study indicating that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most effective exercise in reversing the effects of aging at a cellular level, it’s clear that to see a real impact, you’re going to have to put a lot of work into it first.

Or do you? What would you say if someone told you that you could enjoy some of your biggest personal weaknesses on a regular basis, and it would actually help to extend your life? Great news, that’s exactly what researchers from the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders have discovered. Whether your guilty pleasure is a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine before bed, this is one study that’s going to leave you feeling like a total winner.

Known in the scientific community as ‘The 90+ Study’, this is one of the largest studies to ever be conducted. How so? In order to truly understand the impact of lifestyle choices on longevity, the study began in 2003, following the lives of over 1,600 participants from year to year. The goal? Determine which lifestyle choices will extend our lives and which may be costing us precious years.

What did they discover? The conclusions may surprise you! In a world where we are constantly being told about the importance of eating better, staying in shape and abstaining from ‘unhealthy’ options – the study participants who lived the longest broke many of the rules. Those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee throughout their lives lived longer than those who avoided every taking a sip. Even more surprising to many, the people who lived longest were considered to be ‘overweight’ in their 70s, not those who were ‘normal weight’ or ‘underweight’.

So, next time you want to go out and enjoy a cold drink and some good food with friends, remember – you may actually be helping to extend your life! Cheers!

 

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