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Dr. Mehmet Oz gets asked a lot of questions, but he says the number one most common is, "how do I slow down aging?"
So, the doc explains how six lifestyle factors can add or subtract years from your life.
A little bit of stress can make us more productive, but too much stress can cause medical issues that can "age" you. Finding ways to reduce your home and work stress from "constant" to "little" (going to "none" isn't really an option for most people) can help.
Both oversleeping (more than 9 hours of sleep a night on average) and under-sleeping are problems in today's society. Going from 4 hours a night to 7 hours a night can help keep you "younger."
Independent of occupational and recreational exercise, sitting too much during a day can "age" you. Even if you have to sit, getting up and walking around a few minutes an hour makes a big impact.
"Sitting is our new smoking," Dr. Oz warns. His advice? "Fix your job. Find out your day, hack it so you're always more active than you used to be."
Walking just 20 minutes a day makes a big improvement in your health and longevity compared with being sedentary.
5. SOCIAL NETWORKS/RELATIONSHIPS
A good social network with strong relationships can help keep you "young." A good social relationship means you:
- See or hear from multiple friends and relatives (ideally 9 or more) at least once a month
- Frequently hear from your relative you have most contact with
- Have several people you can talk to about important matters
- May have people who rely upon you to help them daily
- Participate in group activities
6. BORDERLINE HYPERTENSION
We now know that blood pressures that are only modestly elevated (like 140/90) increase risk of heart attack and stroke. Just five points down to normal (135/85) can make a huge difference, and getting it to optimal (110/70) will increase your longevity the most.
You don't need medication to bring the blood pressure down a few points, according to Dr. Oz. And he emphasizes that in fact, some of the other changes on the list (stress reduction, regular walking, good relationships, better sleep), along with salt reduction if necessary, have been proven to bring blood pressure down, and may have other health benefits as well.
If you'd like to take the full "RealAge Test" referenced by Dr. Oz in the segment, you can visit the third-party health and wellness platform sharecare.com co-founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz.