Only five lifestyle habits can transform your health perspectives into old age and, although they are simple, they may not be easy to implement at once.
There are five particular habits that, if established in midlife, could free an individual from chronic diseases later in life, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They are: eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy body weight, do not drink excessively and never smoke. Living this lifestyle could prevent type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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The researchers, who came to this conclusion in a study published years ago, are duplicating their conclusion.
“This study provides strong evidence that following a healthy lifestyle can substantially extend the years in which a person lives disease-free,” said Yanping Li, a senior research scientist at the Department of Nutrition and author of the study. Previous studies found that these lifestyle habits improve life expectancy and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but have not mentioned how these routines would affect those years of living a longer life without disease.
Harvard researchers found that women who developed four out of five of these habits at age 50 lived 34 years more free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, compared to those who did not maintain this lifestyle, and lived almost 24 more years without disease. . The men who began to incorporate four out of five of these lifestyle habits at age 50 lived 31 years without chronic diseases, compared to their counterparts without this lifestyle who lived 23.5 years without disease.
The authors analyzed 34 years of data from more than 73,000 women and 28 years of data from more than 38,000 men who participated in the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The latest findings were published online at BMJ.com, a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Americans live longer than ever, but some suffer from numerous chronic diseases. The number of older people with four or more chronic diseases was expected to double between 2018 and 2035, according to a study published in the British scientific journal Age and Aging. Two thirds of the additional life expectancy (3.6 years for men and almost 3 years for women) will be spent suffering from these diseases.
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Even starting years after Harvard researchers suggested, as in the late 50s and early 60s, it could have a significant effect on your health later in life. A healthy 60-year-old man who exercises regularly, eats well and sleeps at least eight hours a night could expect to have 13 more years of healthy life, according to researchers at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research.
As with many resolutions and new goals, starting with small adjustments to a routine may be the best. For some, that could mean climbing the stairs when possible, while for others, it could be eating more homemade meals, rather than take-out food. Other changes to adopt for a longer and healthier life? Socialize, what discourages isolation and loneliness, and learn new skills, what challenges the mind.