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State of Health

Learn How To Add Years To Your Life

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

What we do now can help determine not just how long we live, but how well we'll live.  There are some surprising and easy things everyone can do now, to ensure good health down the road.

What can 29-year old Lauren Scott do now, to be as healthy as her mom Faith, when she turns 56? And, what can Faith do, to one day be as spry as her mother, Margaret?

Margaret, 90, has seven daughters. The oldest, Dr. Susan Willard,  operates the Family Health and Wellness Center in south Tulsa. 

"Oh my goodness, if we can be 90 and have the kind of energy she has and everything else, that's a huge gift," said Faith, another of Margaret's daughters.

A glass or two of red wine every night, proven to add up to five years to your life expectancy!

"Particularly if you've been doing it for,  you know, several decades," Dr. Willard said.

And while you're at it, enjoy that wine with some nuts.

"It will add about three years to your life if you eat nuts five or six times a week, and we're talking about walnuts, almonds," the doctor said.

And eating spicy foods five or six times a week has also proven to lower mortality rates. That doesn't mean pepperoni pizza.

And once you're done eating - you've got to floss!

"Once a day will add three to five years to your life, and that's because of the gingivitis," Dr. Willard said. "It can increase your risk of heart and stroke and infections."

Lauren eats well but does deal with the daily stress of being a high school biology teacher.

"They keep me on my toes, and I teach high school because they give jab and I give one back," she said. "Maybe I'll do some squats, some core and what not and just some stress relief."

Exercise and waist-size are critical to longevity: 28 inches or below for women, 37 inches for men.

"It added three years if you were good, you know, on the low end for men and five years for women," said Dr. Susan Willard, Family Health and Wellness Center.

One more fascinating fact, I had no idea, but it turns out if your doctor is a woman, you've got a good chance to live longer.

"People survived their hospitalizations, 32,000 lives a year in the hospital if the woman doctor was managing the case so, that makes me happy," Dr. Willard said.

And good for the family too, as Margaret, Faith and Lauren know. Susie Willard happens to be my doctor too.

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