The best way to increase your life expectancy is to choose your parents carefully. If that didn’t work out so well, then plenty of exercise combined with proper nutrition will definitely extend your stay on the planet. These facts are well known, timeless, and probably wrong. The Japanese apparently know something that we don’t; they enjoy the longest average life expectancy of any nationality, while Americans rank 38th. I’ve tried eating rice with chopsticks, and I have a theory on why this is so. Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin, two professors at U.C. Riverside, have studied this extensively and published a book on their findings (The Longevity Project, Hudson Street Press, March 2011). Regardless of how many miles you run, or how much organic produce you eat, it turns out that your personality is the main factor in determining how long you’ll be around. Socially connected, optimistic, happy and extroverted folks fare the best. It also helps to be conscientious, and to laugh easily. (Those who didn’t even smile at my chopsticks joke take note).
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