I read an article in the AARP Bulletin, titled “50 Great Ways to Live Longer.” Right away I knew I had to change my unhealthy ways and calculate my new longevity. My father lived to be 80 years old, so I always figured I’d live that long at least. I did the math below:
If I cut back on my pain pills, I would decrease my chances of heart attack or stroke by 10%. That adds 8 years (don’t get caught up in the details) to my life. That brings my life expectancy to 88 years.
If I get less than six hours of sleep, my chances of dying increases by 12%. Therefore, if I can get in six hours of sleep, my life expectancy will increase to 98.5 years. Looking good so far.
If I can stay married, I have a 46% lower risk of death compared to never married men. My life expectancy increases to 143+ years (1.46* 98.5). This might be a tough one.
By drinking coffee, I add another 15% to my life, bring my life expectancy to 165 years (143*1.15). I already drink coffee, so no biggy.
Eating three or more servings of whole grains per day, reduces my death by 20%. Now my life expectancy is up to 198 (165*1.20). I may start to moo.
Eating hot peppers reduces the death rate by 13%, bringing my expectancy to 223+ years. I’m on a roll here.
Drinking whole milk can add eight to ten years to my life. My life expectancy now increases to 233 years (223 + 10).
Switching to a vegetarian diet can deduce my death rate by 12%. As much as I love meat, this switch would add 28 years to my life. Life expectancy is now 261 years (233 + 28).
Stopping smoking reduces mortality by 15% or more. Now I expect to live to 300 (261*1.15%).
Loneliness increases the risk of early death by 45%. Therefore, if I stay social, I can add 135 years (300*.45%) to my life. I may live for 435 years.
My new plan to live to be over 400 is simple -- cut back on pain pills, sleep six hours, stay married, drink coffee, eat three servings of whole grains per day, eat hot peppers, drink whole milk, switch to a vegetarian diet, stop smoking, stay social. You can’t argue with math. See you in 400 years.