|Five (surprising) health truths:|
|1. Do married men live longer than single men? YES. Lucy Flower, a Professor of Urban Sociology at the University of Chicago agrees, “Absolutely, married men can live up to 10 years longer than single men.” We won’t mention the Woody Allen joke here, though.
2. Does a glass of wine a day make your heart healthy? YES. (RED WINE ONLY) Nutrition experts at Yale-New Haven Hospital attributed the heart healthy effects of red wine to a 1992 study by Harvard researchers that suggests “moderate alcohol consumption” was one of the “eight proven ways to reduce coronary heart disease risk.” The cardio-protective effect has been attributed to antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes,” says researchers. Yale-New Haven nutritionists advise that four ounces of wine is one serving, and men should have two servings and women should have one serving of dry red wine a day to reap the health benefits.
3. Do women live longer than men? YES. Dr. Thomas Perls, Associate Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics at Boston University says, women can live 5 to 10 years longer than men. “Women win the longevity marathon compared to men—they tend to develop cardiovascular and other diseases later in life [usually in their 70s and 80s, about 10 years later than men, who develop them in their 50s and 60s.] It’s a double-edged sword, though, because women tend to cope better with chronic diseases compared to men, so they have to deal with illness longer than men—who just tend to die.”
4. Can regular sexual activity lower heart disease? YES. According to a January 2010 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, “Sexual Activity, Erectile Dysfunction and Incident Cardiovascular Events,” while low sexual activity (less than once a month) may be a predictor for cardiovascular disease. Men who had sex two or more times a week are 45 percent less likely to develop CVD.
5. Is your commute killing you slowly (stress)? YES.The most recent study published in 1998 from the Japan National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that people with long commutes (more than 60 minutes one-way) had compromised cranial nerve function, decreased vagal nerve function at rest and increased sympathetic nerve activity. Essentially, long commutes made it harder for the brain to “relax” and added to the driver’s stress levels.
To get the best rates on life insurance and cut your cost, start by losing weight. And for heavy drinkers, start by drinking less.
Obese and overweight people fall into a high-risk category because a high BMI, cholesterol or blood pressure reduces life expectancy, according to Jim Toole, Managing Director of Life & Health at MBA Actuaries, Inc. in Winston-Salem, N.C. Similarly, consuming more than two drinks a day disqualifies you for the cheapest preferred rates—more than four and you disqualify for standard rates.
Whether you choose term life insurance– which typically has the cheapest beginning rates– or whole life insurance, with fixed rates, your rates will increase based on age, gender and lifestyle. Since you cannot get any younger or change genders, cut costs on your insurance with a healthier lifestyle.
By maintaining a healthy weight, and, therefore, maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index), cholesterol levels and blood pressure, you’ll receive the best life insurance rates. Your life insurance company may be interested to learn of any wellness, fitness or counseling programs you are enrolled in, but low insurance rates are only given when results are proven.
Smokers, for example, can pay up to three times the life insurance premiums nonsmokers do, and it isn’t enough to be enrolled in a smoking cessation program—you may have to prove you are not a smoker through a blood or urine test.
Even if you quit, it may take anywhere from one to five years before your insurance company considers you a non-smoker. Some life insurance companies may offer to reduce your rate once you have quit for some period of time, but this varies by individual company.
If you smoke, quit. If you drink too much, cut down your consumption. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week. It’s not just better for your health—it’s better for your wallet as well.