The 12 numbers that could help you avoid dying young

The 12 numbers that could help you avoid dying young

WE all want to stick around on this planet for as long as possible.

Making sure we are fit and healthy is one of the best ways to live longer, but this can be hard when there are so many different rules and reasons to follow.

While there are plenty of lotions and potions available to make us look younger, unfortunately there is no magic pill that can help us to live longer.

In order to live as long as possible you need to take care of yourself from everything from your diet to getting regular checkups.

Below experts reveal the 12 magic numbers that could help you avoid dying young.

9 hours

Sleep can vary from person to person, but the NHS recommends that you get around 6-9 hours sleep every night and by getting a full nine hours it is likely that you will feel rested.

Getting enough sleep can improve your overall health and when you are asleep your body is doing vital work to help you rest and repair.

A previous study from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience in Stockholm, Sweden found that getting an average of five hours or less of sleep per night over the weekend increased the odds of death by 52 per cent, compared with getting at least 7 hours of sleep.

5 fruit and veg

Your plate always looks more colourful when it's full of vegetables and both the World Health Organisation and department of health recommends we eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Because of the nutrients fruit and vegetables contain, people who eat more of it tend to live longer.

Produce that is brightly coloured is helpful because of natural pigments that can help prevent cancer.

The Okinawans, a group believed to have the world's longest life expectancy have low rates of heart disease and cancer – they follow a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, focusing on those of dark green and yellow varieties.

75 minutes vigorous exercise

The NHS recommends 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week or 150 minutes of moderate exercise.

Vigorous exercise would include jogging or running and sports such as tennis or basketball.

It was previously found that older people who exercise are stronger, happier, healthier and don't experience a steep cognitive decline.

One square

If you've got a sweet tooth then this one is for you as just one square of chocolate a day could help you live longer.

Cocoa beans are packed with antioxidants that help cut your risk of heart disease.

One woman, who lived to 122 said her good health was down to regulary eating chocolate.

But just one square a day is enough and you should try and go for bars that have over 70 per cent cocoa.

7 times

Experts have previously found that using a sauna 4-7 times a week can help you live longer.

Data published in Finland found that men who used a sauna 4-7 times a week were 50 per cent less likely to die of cardio-vascular related causes and had a 40 per cent reduction in all causes of mortality.

10 minutes meditation

A study conducted at Binghamton University in New York found that meditating for 10 to 15 minutes a day can boost the brain’s ability to concentrate on tasks.

Brain health is critical to your overall health as it controls so much of your daily functions.

Check your bits every 31 days

Medics say you should checks your breasts once a month for anything abnormal.

Men can also check their balls once a month.

Spotting signs of cancer early on means it can be treated and eradicated faster.

How to check your boobs

Charity CoppaFeel says you can check in any way that feel comfortable to you.

The charity recommends making this a monthly habit, and by doing this you will build confidence and awareness.

Step one: Begin by looking in a mirror, facing it with your arms on your hips and your shoulders straight.

You should be looking for any dimpling, puckering, bulging skin, redness, soreness, a rash or changes in the nipple.

Step two: Still looking in the mirror, raise both arms above your head and check for the same changes.

Step three: With your arms still above your head, check for any fluid coming from the nipples.

This can include milky, yellow or watery fluid, or blood.

Step four: While lying down use your opposite hand to check each breast. Using a few fingers, keeping them flat and together, go in a small circular motion around your breasts – beginning at the nipple, and pressing down to check behind it.

Make sure you feel the entire breast by going top to bottom in these small circles.

It helps to develop a system or pattern to make sure every inch is covered.

Use light pressure for the skin and tissue just beneath, medium pressure for the tissue in the middle of your breasts, and firm pressure to feel the tissue at the back, feeling down to your ribcage.

Step five: Feel your breasts while either standing or sitting, using the same small circular motions.

If you spot any unusual changes in your breasts then it's important that you visit your GP.

Breast tissue reaches all the way up to your collarbone and across to your armpit, so it’s vital to check these areas too.

Breasts do change naturally as part of your monthly menstrual cycle, so you should get to know your breasts, how they feel and what changes they usually go through to know if anything is out of the ordinary.

If you’re pregnant your breasts will go through a lot of changes, and probably will never look the same.

Eye tests every 2 years

The NHS recommends that you get your eyes tested every two years.

It's important to get your eyes tested as doing this can detect conditions such as diabetes which affects the capillaries in your retina and may cause them to leak a yellowish fluid.

It can also detect certain types of cancer.

14 units of alcohol

The NHS recommends no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

A study in Sweden previously found that cutting out booze could give you 20 extra years of life.

Simple 6

To reduce your risk of high blood pressure you should try and cut down on the amount of salt you eat.

Around one in ten people in the UK know that their daily recommended salt intake is just a teaspoon, and one in 15 add it to their plate out of habit.

Six grams of salt is the recommended amount to lower your blood pressure levels.

GP and LoSalt® adviser, and Season With Sense collaborator, Dr Sarah Jarvis said that reducing the amount of sodium in your diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of hypertension.

She explained: "Salt raises blood pressure and high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke – so it’s not surprising that the roadmap identifies a reduction of dietary sodium as a key factor for the prevention and management of hypertension."

15 mins

While it's hard for Brits to get enough sun, just 15 minutes a day could help you live longer.

That's just enough to boost your vitamin D levels.

A lack of vitamin D is linked to cancer, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis.

Healthy 42

For most people a healthy blood sugar level is less than 42 mmol/mol. High blood sugar levels can show both prediabetes and type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes UK states: "Men and women in the same age range with Type 2 diabetes are up to two times more likely to die prematurely.

"The most common complications of diabetes which can lead to early death are strokes and cardiovascular disease."

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