At this stage, we should all be looking to enhance our aging by making simple modifications. Just small incremental changes in our lives can help us live four to seven years longer plus maintain our cognitive functioning for more than a decade!

It is now all about maintaining a positive attitude towards aging and trying to follow simple recipes for a longer life.

Here are little life changes you can make to live longer and stay healthy.

Increase brushing, flossing and dental visits. Sadly, African Americans are among the racial/ethnic groups that have the poorest oral health in the U.S. A study in the Journal of Aging Research followed nearly 6,000 adults ages 52 to 81 for over 15 years to measure the relationship between oral health and mortality. According to the researchers, those who failed to brush their teeth at night had a 20 to 35 percent greater risk of dying. Those who never flossed increased their risk of death by 30 percent. Not seeing a dentist over a 12-month period increased the risk of death by a whopping 30 to 50 percent! So, you might want to brush at night, floss and hightail it to a dentist!

Avoid taking meds with fruit juices. Scientists and consumers have known for years that grapefruit juice can increase the absorption of certain drugs — with the potential for turning normal doses into toxic overdoses. As a result of the so-called “Grapefruit Juice Effect,” some prescription drugs now carry warning labels against taking grapefruit juice or fresh grapefruit during drug consumption.

Now, the researcher who first identified this interaction is reporting new evidence that grapefruit and other common fruit juices, including orange, pineapple, and apple, can do the opposite effect by substantially decreasing the absorption of other drugs, potentially wiping out their beneficial effects. According to study leader David G. Bailey, Ph.D., a professor of clinical pharmacology with the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. “The concern is loss of benefit of medications essential for the treatment of serious medical conditions.” The bottom line? Take your prescribed meds with just water!

Go shopping. Hitting the stores may actually help you live longer! (Online shopping doesn’t count.) A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shared the results of scientific research that involved analyzing the habits of 1,850 men and women who were aged 65 and older. Of the group studied, those who went shopping every day lowered their risk of death by roughly 25 percent.

Maybe it’s because daily shopping helps to ensure some level of physical activity and socialization, or maybe it’s because shopping just has some secret magic to increase your life expectancy. Does it really matter? Spending can be fun as long as you don’t overdo it and go outside of your budget. Being a hermit certainly won’t help to add years to your life, so get out there and try a little retail therapy. Shopping will give you something to look forward to, a bit of socialization, connection with the world around you,

Try tub bathing instead of showering. Yes, a bath can increase the length of a person’s life as well as clean the dirt and sweat from their bodies. A Japanese study of more than 30,000 people concluded that compared with people who took baths less than twice a week, those who took baths nearly every day had a 28 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.” Additionally, the study also found that those who bathed every day had “a 26 percent lower risk of stroke.” 

Switch to tea. Yes, Black people do drink tea, just like Whites and especially East Asians and South Asians who come from the places from which tea originates. Drinking two or more cups of tea per day is linked with a lower risk of dying from a stroke, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease in general. Tea is known to contain beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants that boost your overall health. Previous studies in China and Japan have suggested that drinking green tea regularly is linked with better health and a lower risk of dying. Research suggests that even adding milk or sugar to your tea is linked with a lower risk of death.

Laugh it up. Researchers in Japan and Norway have conducted studies that suggest laughter may lead to living a longer life. Laughter can boost the body’s immune system. This helps fight off deadly diseases. Other studies have shown that laughter can help reduce inflammatory compounds. These lead to inflammation in older adults, which helps diseases such as arthritis and cancer progress. In this way, laughter may indeed help people live longer.

Pucker up and kiss more. A psychological study done in Germany during the 80’s found that the men who kissed their wives before going to work in the morning lived an average of five years longer than husbands who didn’t kiss.

When it comes to kissing, more is definitely better. Kissing can restore not only emotional well-being and physical health but longevity as well. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona, kissing also has the ability to decrease the amount of stress hormones in our body. American cardiologist, Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., published a study in the American Journal of Medicine with findings that indicate kissing can actually burn between 2 and 26 calories per minute. So, go ahead and get busy, a little lip-locking may be just what the doctor ordered.

Dance! People who dance are less likely to die of heart-related diseases, an Australian study claims. Researchers from the University of Western Sydney examined 11 population surveys carried out in the UK between 1995 and 2007. These surveys covered more than 48,000 adults aged 40 years and above. When the researchers followed up with the respondents again, they found that 1,714 had died of cardiovascular disease. People who danced were less likely to die of heart diseases as they had lower body mass index and were more physically active than non-dancers. Go ahead and kick up your heels!

Go to church. New research shows that Black Americans are more likely to pray, say grace, and attend church than other racial groups.

According to a recent study, people who regularly attend religious services live approximately four years longer than average. Researchers from Ohio State University conducted two surveys studying more than 1,500 newspaper obituaries first from Ohio, then, from across the United States. In both samples, the study showed that those with documented religious affiliations lived an average of 9.45 and 5.64 years longer respectively than those who did not. Researchers for the most part agree that prayer and church attendance—are evidence of a healthy, integrated, and balanced life.