While we're waiting for some brilliant chemist to discover the elixir for eternal life, these simple, doable strategies can help you buy a little extra time. 1. Stand up while reading articles like this one ...and (especially) while watching TV. Australian researchers determined that every hour of couch-potato-ness docks 21.8 minutes from a person's life.
2. Join a book club. People with a solid group of friends are 50 percent more likely to survive at any given time than those without one, found Carlin Flora while researching her book Friendfluence. Researchers from Brigham Young University calculated that being a loner is an equivalent mortality risk to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, says Flora—even riskier than being obese or not exercising.
Next: The fruit you should eat for breakfast6. Eat wild blueberries for breakfast. These vitamin-and-fiber-packed berries are a surprisingly good source of manganese, which plays an important role in bone health and metabolism. And as the girl at the famer's market likes to remind you, they're bursting with antioxidants (specifically, cancer-preventing anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol).
6a. ...or as a snack. Older adults who drank wild blueberry juice every day performed better on memory tests and were in better spirits than those who drank a placebo, found psychiatrists at the University of Cincinnati.
7. Don't fake it in bed. Several studies have shown a link between living longer and having sex more often (men) and having enjoyable sex (women). While researchers haven't yet been able to parse out whether sex extends life spans or whether those who have healthier love lives have healthier lives in general, at least one large study of more than 3,500 people showed that regular sex helps us look four to seven years younger.
14. Start telling yourself that you can make a difference. A sense that what you do matters may actually protect your brain from the eventual effects of Alzheimer's disease, concluded the authors of a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Researchers from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have been following more than 1,400 senior citizens since 1997, and they've found that those who believe they're living for a reason showed a 30 percent lower rate of cognitive decline.
Next: The benefits of getting involved17. Become the mayor of your block, your condo association or your apartment building. Men and women in the Longevity Project who liked to lend a helping hand—the ones who cared for their neighbors, the ones whom others turned to for advice—tended to live longer than those in the study who were not involved in such projects.
19. When choosing veggies, think "Christmas." You know about the nutritional benefits of kale, chard and other leafy greens. But also add scarlet cruciferous veggies like red cabbage, which are known to help protect against cancer, while beet juice contains nitrates that relax blood vessels.
23. Make peace with getting older when you're still young(-ish). Researchers found that people in their 30s and 40s who looked on the bright side of aging (it brings wisdom, retirement, and more time with family) were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease later in life (and had lower mortality rates) than those who faced each birthday with dread.