One of my favorite things about living in Casper is the proximity to the mountains. All it takes is a quick 15-minute drive and you're surrounded by lush green trees and grass, stunning views and fresh air.

It turns out that there are some major benefits to simply living near the mountains.

This article from 55places.com listed five benefits of living near the mountains.

The last benefit they listed is actually, in my opinion, the best reason.

Both anecdotal evidence and a few studies have shown a correlation between longevity and living at a higher elevation. And whether it’s because of the reasons enumerated above, or another heretofore undiscovered factor, it can hardly be just a coincidence that 11 of the 20 US counties with the highest life expectancy were located above altitudes of 5,967 feet.

Summed up, living in the mountains means you have a longer life expectancy.

Constantly breathing in the fresh mountain air has benefits too. Not only is the air cleaner, but the smells of pine, sage and fresh wildflowers and grass are proven to reduce your stress levels. Lower stress means better overall emotional and physical health.

Last but not least, living at a higher altitude means that you burn more calories by simply existing.

Yes, you read that right.

Without doing anything, living at a higher altitude forces your body to burn more calories than those flatlanders. You can read up on the science of this here or you can just trust me that you can lose weight by simply existing when you're in the mountains.

So, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

No low calorie, high protein all-organic diets are needed here to try and reach the big 100.

If you live in Casper you're already ahead of the life expectancy game.