Are you having enough fun?

The key to longevity if you’re middle-aged is to simply have fun, say experts.

British scientists have found that over-50s who consistently enjoy life cut their risk of dying in the next seven years by a quarter.

A team from University College London tracked more than 9,000 men and women in their 50s and 60s living in England.

The researchers suspect this may be because someone’s general mood can alter the levels of harmful and beneficial hormones in their body.

Simply being happy reduces stress and anxiety hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which can be a burden on the heart and raise blood pressure.

Previous studies have found those who are less stressed have lower cholesterol levels, are less prone to inflammation, have a better immune response and higher levels of antioxidants in the blood.

As well as this, if you are miserable, you are more likely to smoke and drink to unhealthy levels.

The findings come after a study published last week by the Harvard School of Public Health found that optimists lived longer.

The scientists found that having an optimistic outlook was linked to a significantly reduced risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and infection.

So what are your views? Do you have a high level of enjoyment in your life? Would you describe yourself as an optimist or a pessimist? Are you generally happy with your life?

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