health

9 micro-habits that are proven to make you live longer.

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Real talk - building healthy habits (and y'know, keeping them) is hard as s**t. 

Yes, we all know we're supposed to exercise every day. Yes, we know that eating plants and stuff is good for you. And sure, staying off the turps is ideal.

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But if you're anything like us, you find yourself regularly going on these kinda 'health kick' things, where you start off really big and strong... only to fizzle and go back to your old habits shortly after.

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But what if it was a simple as doing a little thing here and there to ensure you stay on track and feel better? Like, what if it's all about playing the long game instead of going all-in?

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Well, it is. It really is, you guys. Cause science said so.

Research has shown that picking up specific micro-habits might not only help you feel better in the long-run, but can actually help you live a longer life.

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So, while these little things may require little effort, the benefits you reap are pretty damn great.

HOW GOOD'S THAT. We love minimal effort and massive ROI.

Here, are 10 simple micro-habits you can start right now.

1. Take a walk.

It's no surprise that being physically active will benefit your health and help you live longer, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to absolutely annihilate yourself in the gym for, like, four hours every single day.

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Studies have shown that as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day may help you achieve a whole heap of health-boosting benefits, which could include an additional three years of life.

No, seriously we're not making this stuff up. 

Recent research proved a 22 per cent lower risk of early death in people who exercised on the regular - even though they worked out less than the recommended 150 minutes per week.

Go for the walk!

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2. Read a book.

Sure, you read approximately 67395 emails a day, but it's not quite the same as reading a book.

Not only can getting stuck into a good book help boost your creativity and help you learn some new ~skillz~, but it can also help you live longer. Crazy, right?

A study by Yale University discovered that people who reported reading books for 30 minutes a day lived nearly TWO YEARS LONGER than those who read magazines or newspapers. 

They found that people who read three and a half hours per week were 23 per cent less likely to die, while those who read three and a half hours per week were 17 per cent less likely to die. 

Um. Wow.

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Another study in the UK found that reading a book or newspaper for just six minutes lowered people's stress levels by a whopping 68 per cent.

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BE A BOOKWORM, KIDS.

3. Take breaks.

How much time do you spend away from your desk on an average work day? We all sit down too much. Like, A LOT. 

And our bodies probably hate us. Because sitting on a chair for up to nine hours a day can do things to you (oh hey, lower back pain! We didn't see you come in).

Taking regular breaks is not only good for your body (it increases your blood circulation and such), but it's also good for ol' mate brain.

So, if you're sitting for long periods of time, remember to get up and stretch your legs (set up an alarm on your phone if you can't trust yourself).

Try moving your joints in the opposite direction - like, bend backwards a few times if you've spent the last 234 hours hunched over. 

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Do some high kicks. Pop some squats. Make a TikTok. 

Trust us, you'll feel better for it.

4. Be alone.

This one is hard, because some of us have little dependent people who want to be with/on us every single hour of the day and night. Fun!

But setting aside some time to yourself has a heap of scientifically backed mental and physical benefits — ranging from stronger social networks to a healthier body.

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Whether it's reading a book, grabbing something to eat or sneaking in a quick 30 minute workout - asking for some alone time is important to help you rewind and reset.

So, don't feel guilty! 

5. Write out your goals.

According to a study that followed 1,500 boys and girls into old age, conscientious and goal-orientated people live 11 per cent longer than less conscientious people.

It was also found that those who are more conscientious have lower blood pressure and fewer psychiatric conditions, as well as a lower risk of diabetes and heart or joint problems. 

This might be because these kind of individuals are less likely to take dangerous risks in their professional and personal life or react negatively to stress.

That's pretty wild, hey.

This way of thinking can be developed at any age - so if it's something you've never done, it's never too late to start. 

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As well as writing out your goals (could be daily, monthly, yearly), it could be as simple as tidying up a desk or sticking to a daily to-do list at work. 

6. Find inspiration in others.

It's time to get inspired by others, friend. 'Cause, listening to someone's story about how they tackled failure or success can give you a big ol' mental boost and get that brain thinking.

Sure, lapping up some motivation is nothing new - but these days it's easier than ever to find inspiration. So, get into it! 

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Whether it's listening to a TED Talk or getting your ears around a good podcast, anything that makes you feel inspired or broadens your horizon is only going to do you good.

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7. Eat more nuts.

If you're not sashaying around with a zip-lock bag full of nuts, you're doing it wrong. Nuts are the JAM.

Rich in protein, fibre, antioxidants, they’re a great source of vitamins and mineral, like copper, magnesium, potassium, folate and such.

There's been a whole heap of studies on the beneficial effects of nuts on things like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and inflammation. 

There was even one particular study that found that people who consumed at least three servings of nuts per week had a 39 per cent lower risk of premature death. 

NBD.

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So, yeah - pls eat all of the nuts.

8. Get enough sleep.

Sleep is EVERYTHING. 

If you aren’t clocking in enough shut eye each night and there is something you can do to get more hours in (like, if it's just because you're staying up too late etc.), you should start making sleep a priority. 

Why is not getting enough sleep so bad? 

Well, consistency getting very little sleep could increase your risk of numerous health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, inflammation, obesity and depression - which in turns impacts your health and overall lifespan. 

Sheesh.

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Just keep in mind that it's a fine balance - because excessive sleep is a thing, too. So, don't go too crazy.

Studies have found that those who sleep less than five to seven hours per night have a 12 per cent greater risk of early death, while those who sleep more than eight to nine hours per night could also decrease your lifespan by up to 38 per cent. 

Just make sure you're getting the right amount of sleep, and try to form a regular sleeping pattern, such as going to bed and waking up around the same time each day.

9. Catch up with your mates.

This is a biggie, you guys. Research has found that maintaining a good social network can help you live up to a whopping 50 per cent longer. 

Um. That's, like... A LOT.

And we're not saying you need a few thousand mates to catch up with regularly. Having just three healthy social ties could potentially decrease your risk of early death by more than 200 per cent. Again, big numbers. HUGE.

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Why is socialising so healthy for you?

Well, studies have linked strong social networks to positive changes in heart, brain, hormonal, and immune function, which can potentially minimise your risk of disease - obviously having a positive effect on your lifespan.

So, tee up a date with a mate.

Ooft! Look at you and your long life!

Feature image: Getty

What do you think of these micro-habits? Do you tick a few of 'em off every day? Share with us in the comment section below.

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