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How to Live Longer by Having a Little Fun

How to Live Longer by Having a Little Fun

If not today, goof off soon. Take that vacation, unwind with friends, or spend the day at the beach. "Frivolous" indulgences like these are a must for longevity.

Because research shows that spending ample time doing leisure activities may keep you from developing a whole host of disease risk factors. And that's a great way to help extend your life. Having fun yet?

Good Times, Good Times
When people in a study were assessed on how frequently they engaged in 10 different types of leisure activities, those who spent ample amounts of time having fun also had lower blood pressure, a slimmer waist, a smaller body mass index, and lower levels of the health-damaging stress hormone cortisol. The funsters also reported better physical function than the all-work-and-no-play crowd.

Rest from Stress?
Why would having fun be such a strong health facilitator in how to live longer? Researchers aren't sure, but it may simply be that it reduces stress -- that ravager of body and mind. Stress has long been shown to boost disease risk and hasten aging. Just one more solid argument for shortening that to-do list and finding a few fun leisure activities to do each day instead.

Get personalized treatment if stress is affecting your work, daily activities or personal relationships.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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