5 ways you shorten your life every day
"Exercise 150 minutes a week, live 3.4 years longer!" You've probably seen that headline--from a recent Harvard study--and many others like it all over the web. Hit the gym, eat more vegetables, or quit smoking, and you'll be around for a few more years. (Click here for 50 Ways to Add Years to Your Life!)
YOUR LIFE IN MINUTES
Daily Activities that Add or Subtract Years from Your Life
+30 minutes: Drinking one alcoholic beverage
+30 minutes: Drinking 2-3 cups of coffee
+1 hour: The first twenty minutes of cardio
+30 minutes: The next forty minutes of cardio
+2 hours: Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables
-15 minutes: For every alcoholic drink after your first
-30 minutes: Watching two hours of T.V.
-30 minutes: Eating one portion of red meat
-2 hours: Just for being male
-5 hours: Smoking one pack of cigarettes
In concept, it's a good tool for motivation. The problem? It's hard to conceptualize how something you do today might affect you in 30 or 40 years, David Spiegelhalter, Ph.D., a professor of biostatistics at the University of Cambridge tells MensHealth.com. (And if you're already going to live to be 91, why bother trying to stretch those twilight years to the age of 94 years, 4 months?)
That's where Spiegelhalter's quirk of statistics comes in. He thinks about the effect of specific activities on your longevity in terms of "microlives"--30-minute windows. Break the numbers down and you'll see just how binge drinking cuts years from your life: After the first one, which increases your lifespan by 30 minutes, every alcoholic drink that you down today brings you 15 minutes closer to death. (That means the standard advice of "no more than two drinks a day" still stands, since you're still 15 minutes ahead after two drinks.)
We've laid out just how the good and bad habits you engage in daily are either adding extra hours to your clock, or stealing them away so that you can plan your time accordingly. (And, for more essential guy health and wisdom delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our free Men's Health Daily Dose newsletter!)
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- 6 ways to add years to your life
- How to feel 10 years younger
- Easy ways to add energy & years to your life
- Bing: Tips to live longer and healthier
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