Add Years to Your Life

designbythink 2018, Quarter 3 Newsletter 2018

Add Years to Your Life
Starting Today

For centuries explorers and adventurers have been looking for the secret to living longer. From the mythical fountain of youth that is said to give a person longevity when bathing in its waters to the philosopher’s stone, people have been searching for something that can add a few years to their lives.

The latest scientific research shows that you may not need the mythical fountain of youth, after all.

You can add a number of years to your life by making a few small changes to your lifestyle.

Following are some habits you can add to your daily routine that could help you live longer

Get enough sleep


Sleeping at odd hours or getting less than seven hours of sleep increases your risk of major illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Besides getting enough sleep it’s important to find time to relax. Find a way to relax every day to help offset the effects of stress and anxiety. Whether it’s listening to music, meditating, reading a book, gardening or cooking, your time to relax could add years to your life.

Watch less TV


An Australian study of over 8 000 adults with no history of heart disease found a link between the amount of time spent sitting in front of the TV and your risk of premature death and heart disease. Participants in the survey who watched four or more hours of TV every day were nearly 50% more likely to die from any cause compared to those who spent under two hours watching TV. Step away from the TV and take a walk or spend quality time with friends.

Stick to one serving

National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner travelled the world to find the best strategies for longevity. He called the places where higher percentages of people live much longer, the blue zones.

Following this project, Dan wrote the book ‘The Blue Zones’, which sets out what people were doing differently in these areas.

His research shows that the oldest people in Japan stop eating when they are about 80% full. Jiroemon Kimura was verified as the oldest man in history when he died in 2013 at age 116. He credited his long life to eating small portions of food.

Stay in Touch


A social network, whether it’s real-life friends, a sports club or cooking class, can make a positive difference to your mental and physical well-being. They can give you physical or emotional support with daily tasks.

Research by Dan Buettner showed that a committed life partner can add three years to your life expectancy while psychologist Sheldon Cohen reported that people with strong relationships were half as likely to catch a common cold when they’re exposed to the virus.

Eat more vegetables


Eating at least one cup of raw vegetables every day can add at least two years to your life, according to Italian researchers.

Add some nuts to your diet. Harvard University researchers found that people who ate nuts every day were 20% less likely to die during the study than those who didn’t.

Wash this all down with water to regulate your body temperature, protect your joints and carry oxygen to your cells.

Add to your retirement savings


With advances in modern medicine, people are living longer. Chances are you’ll live for at least 20 years after you retire.

That’s 240 paydays for which you won’t get a salary, but will have to spend from your savings.

Planning for your retirement entails saving enough to sustain you for as long as you live. Simply put, if you have enough saved to sustain you for 15 years after retiring at 60, then once you hit 76, you will experience financial challenges.

Make sure you save enough for your extra years.


Consider making additional voluntary contributions to your retirement fund to help you save enough for your retirement. You can find the Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) form on our website www.wgrf.co.za.