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Mounting Evidence Suggests A Good Sex Life Keeps You Young

And other ways to slow down the hands of time.

Most of us are aware that smoking, skipping sunscreen and carrying extra weight can shorten your lifespan. But you might be surprised to learn other seemingly harmless everyday habits are secretly adding years to your life.

While this may come as a bit of a shock, the good news is you can take control of these so-called "unhealthy" habits and halt premature ageing in its tracks.

Here are five everyday habits to keep you young.

Not having enough sex

While there's no denying that a healthy sex life feels good, mounting evidence  suggests that an active sex life can also help to strengthen your immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce pain and ease the symptoms of depression.

That's because your body releases mood-enhancing chemicals and substances -- such as endorphins and serotonin -- during sex that are thought to not only make you feel happier and healthier, but can also make you appear years younger than you are.

You hold on to a grudge

Just about everybody will have their feelings hurt at one time or another, but according to a study published in the Journal Biological Psychology, if you can't let go of these negative emotions and move on, it could be adding years to your life.

In the study, the researchers found that holding on to a grudge increases the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, which over a prolonged period can damage skin cells, resulting in premature ageing.

To make matters worse, another study revealed unresolved anger may increase your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease.

So in short, let it go to live longer. 

Too busy for catch ups

Has it been a while since you last caught up with your friends? Not only are microwave dinners for one boring and bland but according to health experts, not interacting with people on a regular basis will add extra years to your life.

According to Professor Sarah Harper from Oxford University, there's more to healthy ageing that just food and exercise -- of which both are important.

"Social connectivity and healthy friendships both within one's own peers, within a family, between generations. We know that in many ways that can have almost the same effect as living a good life, eating well, not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol,” Professor Harper said.

Cutting fat from your diet

Restricting fat from your diet may seem like an obvious health-boosting strategy, but according to certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist Franci Cohen, this is not the case.

Fat is an important part of our diets and is essential for good health. What's more as Cohen explained, fat is equally necessary for maintaining a more youthful appearance.

"Heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel) and certain nuts (such as walnuts and flax seeds) keep skin supple and plump, thereby preventing wrinkles, and they boost both heart and brain health as well," Cohen said.

Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and necessary for longevity. Image: Getty.
You watch too much TV

Yes, there's nothing better than a bit of a vino and a Netflix binge at the end of a long day, but if you're finding that you're smashing through season after season of all the hit shows, you could be doing more harm to your health than you realise.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, every hour spent in front of the television is shortening your life expectancy by 22 minutes. What's more alarming, the researchers revealed that for those heavy-handed remote users who average more than six hours a day live on average five years less than non-TV watchers.

Feature image: HBO.