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3 Surprising Ways to Live Longer

3 Surprising Ways to Live Longer

If someone told you there really is a fountain of youth, would you believe him? What if it was one of the world’s leading cancer doctors? David Agus, MD, says you can live longer, stave off disease and feel younger than you ever thought possible if you follow his advice. Dr. Agus teamed up with Mehmet Oz, MD, to share these longevity-boosting tips.

Tip # 1: Automate Your Life
We all have busy schedules, and sticking to a routine can be difficult. But Agus says automating things like when you go to sleep, eat meals and exercise can add years to your life. According to Agus, it doesn’t matter how many meals you eat -- it could be three or even five -- as long as you eat them at the same time each day. Why? Eating meals at different times causes your body to go into stress mode, which raises cortisol levels, says Dr. Oz. High levels of cortisol lead to spikes in insulin, which causes inflammation and can increase the risk of cancer.

“If you want to live a longer, healthier life, schedule it,” says Agus.

Tip # 2: Pop This Pill Daily
You don’t have to wait for a headache to take an aspirin. Agus suggests you ask your doctor about taking this powerful anti-inflammatory pill once a day. Studies have shown that daily aspirin reduces the risk for heart attacks and strokes as well as for dying from common cancers, including colon, prostate, brain, lung and pancreatic cancer.

Aspirin therapy isn’t for everyone, so talk with your doctor before you start.

Tip #3: Stand Up
Sitting all day could be worse for your health than smoking cigarettes, says Agus. “Women seem to be more severely affected by inactivity than men,” he adds. A recent study found that women who sat for six or more hours a day were 40 percent more likely to die during the 13-year study than those who sat fewer than three hours a day.

“Bursts of exercise is not the answer; 2 hours of exercise per day will not compensate for 22 hours of sitting,” says Agus. He suggests finding ways to move more during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and pace when you’re talking on the phone. When you’re watching TV, don’t just sit there. Cook, fold laundry, empty the dishwasher or march in place. If you have a desk job, make sure you get up and move every 30 minutes.

“Medicine can’t do it alone,” says Agus. “Patients need to take matters into their own hands -- and only then can we end illness and enjoy the fountain of youth.”

Medically reviewed in March 2018.

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