To Your Health
May, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 05)
The Secret to Living Longer: 5 Habits
By Editorial Staff
We can't live forever, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy as long and healthy a life as possible. What if you could extend your life by more than a decade merely by adopting a few healthy lifestyle habits? You can, according to research published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, which found people who adopted five healthy habits lived significantly longer than people who adopted none.
The study evaluated longevity using a database of more than 120,000 men and women, calculating that a 50-year-old man who adopted all five habits would live 12 years longer than a similarly aged man who adopted none of the habits, while a 50-year-old woman would live 14 extra years.
The Good News
So, what are the five healthy habits? They're not brain teasers, and they're certainly not beyond your reach:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Not smoking
- Exercising consistently
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Maintaining a normal weight
Easy, right? Not so fast.
The Bad News
According to the researchers, less than 2 percent of the study participants were engaging in all five healthy habits, and a third of participants were engaging in two or fewer. If we extrapolate that to the general population, that means – as you might have realized before you started reading this article – too many people are dying far younger than they should be.
But let's end with a little more good news. Take a look at the five healthy habits again. Impossible? We don't think so. If you're currently a member of the "none" club, dedicate yourself to adopting one or more of these habits in 2018, and then continue the trend in 2019, and so on. If you're somewhere in the middle (2-3), try to get to five by year's end. Whatever your starting point, once you've achieved all five, you'll not only feel much better about yourself; you'll also be in an ideal position to live a long, healthy life. And who doesn't want that? Talk to your doctor for more information.