To Your Health Newsletter
- Article Index
- Year-Round Breast Cancer Prevention
- Simplifying Weight Loss
- Healthy You, Healthy Baby
- Fitness Facts
- The Road to Less Stress
- Your Unhealthiest Habit: Not Exercising Enough
- Say No to Yo-Yo Dieting
- Video-Game Playing Benefits Your Child?
- 5 Ways to Live a Decade Longer
- Poor Sleep: Worse Than Drugs?
By Editorial Staff
Taking care of your health can seem complicated sometimes, but it's really not. Pursue healthy habits, and you'll increase your risk of enjoying a longer, more productive life. Pursue unhealthy habits, and well – your number could be up sooner than you want it to be.
Here's how simple it is: A merer five healthy habits can help you live more than a decade longer, suggests a study in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association. All five of these habits are associated with a reduced risk of suffering from one of the two most prevalent health risks today: cancer and cardiovascular disease. Here they are:
- Never smoking
- Maintaining a healthy body-mass index
- Doing moderate to vigorous exercise
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation
- Eating a healthy diet
How important are these five healthy habits? According to the study, people who adhere to all five lifestyle factors at age 50 have an additional 14 years of life expectancy if you're a woman, and more than 12 additional years of life expectancy if you're a man, compared to people who adhere to none of the five factors.
Take a look at the five factors again. Are they worth an extra decade-plus of living? Ask your friends, family and loved ones if they want you around an extra 12 years or more. (No, this isn't a trick question.) Now talk to your doctor about your health status, how many of the five habits you're currently engaging in, and what you can do to ensure you're not doing zero (gasp), one, two, three or four – but all five.