6 Ways You're Healthier Than You Think

03/30/2015 08:22 am ET | Updated Mar 30, 2015

So you’re not "eating clean," training for a marathon or meditating before your restorative nap each day? Relax -- you still might be healthier than you think.

By Carlin Flora

1. You talk about whole foods more than you eat them, but you speak two languages.

Lifelong bilinguals are protected against the onset of dementia, compared with monolinguals.

2. You know the benefits of red wine, but you choose a bit of bubbly instead.

woman champagne

Not only is champagne usually lower in calories than red wine, it is also heart-healthy. Plus, a study from the U.K. found that sipping 2 to 3 glasses of champagne per week can improve memory and stave off brain disorders.

3. Your mom (or grandma) is still alive at 95, and she was no health nut.

Family studies have indicated that genetic factors account for around 20 to 30 percent of the variation in the adult lifespan. One gene that scientists have their eye on is APOB, a cholesterol transporter that helps carry "bad cholesterol" in the blood. You might have it!

And if you suspect you don’t, focus on the 70 percent, some of which is definitely within your control. Two words: Eat nuts!

4. You stay out too late, but you do have sex twice a week.

couple bed

Sex on a regular basis improves the immune system. A study from Wilkes University, in Pennsylvania, found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of a particular antibody compared with abstainers.

5. You don’t have a treadmill desk at the office, but you have the admiration and support of your coworkers

A 20-year study concluded that the risk of death was significantly lower for people who reported a high level of peer support on the job.

(Salary and job descriptions are important, of course, but if you don’t feel respected and bolstered by your colleagues, you might want to freshen up your résumé.)

6. You don't work out, but you do work that floss.

woman flossing

There’s a growing body of evidence that heart disease, clogged arteries and strokes might be linked to inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.

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7 Things Every Woman Doesn't Know About Her Own Body
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