Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has plenty of benefits, including prolonging life by at least a decade, or so says a U.S. study performed over the course of more than 30 years. That longer lifespan is linked to five specific healthy habits that should begin by middle age if not before.
Follow Or Nix These Five Habits
Following five habits can ward off death, especially but not limited to death from cancer and heart disease.
The study shows that women who follow all five of these habits at age 50 can expect to live 14 years longer than women who follow none of them. For men, following all five of these habits in comparison to refraining from all five would lead to a life expectancy of 12 years more.
The data collected for this study began in 1976 with around 79,000 female nurses and continued by adding more than 44,000 male health professionals in 1986. Half of the female group were followed for a minimum of 34 years. Half of the male group were followed for no less than 27 years.
Exercising regularly will help you gain those extra ten years of life. So will refraining from smoking, restricting alcohol consumption, eating a proper diet, and keeping a healthy weight. One of these habits is particularly linked to early death even more than the others.
Avoid One Of These Habits At All Costs
While the study was not initially designed to prove anything about life expectancy or even to understand which of these habits contributes most to living longer, one habit did stand out for its negative impact: smoking.
Avoiding smoking can help keep cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases away. Also, healthy eating habits and exercise play a role in the prevention of chronic disease. Keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum factor into avoiding cancer, as well as accidental death and injury.
Many Diseases Are Preventable
The United States is one of the richest countries worldwide, but Americans' life expectancy does not correspond to other wealthy countries. This is partly because Americans die at higher rates from diseases which are preventable.
The evidence is there to show that despite the advances of modern medicine, practicing healthy habits is still a necessary measure to take if a person wants to live longer.