Healthy lifestyle choices lead to a longer life

New research published on healthy lifestyle habits of citizens in the United States provides evidence that healthy lifestyle choices improve the life expectancy of both men and women.  The researchers found that men and women who follow five healthy lifestyle choices lived longer than those who did not.

Researchers from the Stanford School of Public Health analyzed data from over 30 years including over 75,000 subjects to determine if a healthy lifestyle influenced longevity.  Their results indicated that Americans who followed a healthy lifestyle lived over a decade longer than their peers who did not.

The five factors for a healthy lifestyle included:

  1. Never smoke.
  2. Limited alcohol intake.
  3. Moderate daily exercise for 30 minutes a day
  4. Healthy diet of recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and healthy fats; limited salt, sugary drinks, trans fat, red and processed meat.
  5. Maintain a normal weight.

This research provides evidence that life style choices influence your life span.  The lifestyle choices that you make every day have an impact on your overall health. Conversely, poor lifestyle choices also impact health as is evidenced by the number one cause of death in both men and women in the United States – heart disease.

Risk factors for heart disease include high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, excess weight, smoking, and inactivity. According to Dr. Michael Lauer, a heart disease specialist at National Institutes of Health, “Scientific evidence is strong that controlling high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure prevents cardiac events such as heart attacks.”

While having a healthy heart cannot guarantee a longer life, taking steps to lead a healthy lifestyle can improve your heart health which can positively affect your lifespan.  Even taking small steps towards a healthy lifestyle can help decrease your risk factors for a heart attack.

Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and begin taking steps towards a healthier heart today.

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