Do you want to live a long healthy life? Did you know the key to longevity is healthy living?
The United States’ per capita expenditure on health care is expected to increase from $9,892 in 2016 to at least $12,000 in 2020. That’s a lot of money, yet the country is ranked 46th in the world in terms of life expectancy, with a life expectancy of 79 years.
Too many Americans are dying early from cancers and chronic diseases because they focus on disease management instead of prevention. Unfortunately, once you develop a chronic disease such as heart disease, hypertension, arthritis or diabetes, your health is gone and no medication can bring it back.
However, you have the power within you to prevent diseases and live a longer healthy life. The key lies in healthy living.
The Link between Healthy Living and Longevity
You can improve your health and live longer if you adopt a healthy lifestyle. A number of studies have confirmed this. One study analyzed data on 78,000 women over 34 years and 40,000 men over 28 years to determine the effects of healthy living on health and longevity. The scientists defined healthy habits as:
- Healthy diet – consumption of foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids.
- At least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day.
- Healthy body weight – body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
- Not smoking.
- Moderate intake of alcohol, defined as 5-15g per day for women and 5-30g per day for men.
The study found that adopting these healthy living habits made a huge difference to health. Women in the study who met all healthy criteria enjoyed 14 years of life longer than those who didn’t. For men it was 12 years. Those who didn’t have any healthy habits died prematurely from heart disease and cancer.
Having just one healthy habit, any habit, extended life expectancy by two years. Also, the more positive habits people had, the longer their life expectancy. Details are available here.
This is not the only study of its kind. A 2017 study found that people aged 50 and over who had normal weight, didn’t smoke, and drank alcohol in moderation lived an average of 7 years longer than those who smoked and drank heavily.
Analysis of data in 15 international studies involving 500,000 people, revealed that more than half of premature deaths were caused by poor diet, smoking, too much alcohol intake, obesity, and lack of exercise.
These studies have proven that poor health habits reduce the lifespan and good health habits extend the lifespan.
Take Control of Your Health
Corporates spend millions of dollars every year developing fancy drugs and treatments for diseases, so don’t expect them to lead a health campaign. The government is not doing anything to improve health through public health efforts. Therefore, it is up to you to look after your health and the health of your family.
1. Make Your Diet Healthier
If you adopt a diet which mostly includes plant foods, you will benefit from:
- Many nutrients. By eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes, you get all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients that you need for health.
- Disease prevention. Plant foods contain antioxidants and other phytochemicals that maintain body health and prevent damage.
By avoiding or reducing unhealthy foods such as red meats, processed meats, trans fats, sodium and sugar-sweetened beverages, you prevent cancers and most chronic diseases.
2. Exercise Regulary
The body was made to move constantly and if you don’t move you develop stiff joints, weak inflexible muscles, a weak heart, weight gain and general unfitness. You must:
- Stretch every part of your body daily to develop flexible joints and muscles in order to prevent serious injury should you slip and fall.
- Engage in aerobic exercise to build heart endurance. Then you can run when you need to and even climb a hill if you want to without struggling to breathe. In the process you burn calories and keep your weight under control.
- Lift weights to strengthen muscles and prevent muscle waste that comes with inactivity. Strong muscles support your internal organs, give you a good posture, and make your body look beautiful. Just because you are older does not mean you must look old, bent and shapeless.
- Exercise to retain your youthful looks for a long time through the production of the growth hormone.
Yes, you can look young even in your 70s and 80s.
3. Control Your Weight Loss
By eating healthy foods in small amounts, eating less carbohydrates, avoiding sugar, and exercising regularly, you can see your excess fat melting off. When your weight is under control, you prevent many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Best of all, you will look youthful and sexy!
4. Refrain from Smoking
Smoking is known to cause lung and other cancers, heart disease, emphysema, skin problems, early aging and many other health problems that lead to early death. By stopping, you prevent these diseases and add more healthy years to your life.
5. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
By stopping or reducing alcohol intake, you prevent diseases and you can have a longer life. Alcohol has devastating health effects. One study of data on about 600,000 people found a strong link between alcohol consumption and strokes, heart failure, aneurysms, and early death. People who drank 7-14 drinks per week shortened their life by 6 months at the age of 40. Those who drank 14-25 drinks per week shortened their life by 1-2 years. Those who drank more than 25 drinks per week shortened their life expectancy by 4-5 years.
Now Back to You
Your health is your responsibility! Healthy living is a choice.
Take control of your health! Eat healthy food and exercise regularly. If you carry excess weight, include a lot of aerobic exercise and reduce the intake of carbohydrates and sugars.
You will definitely lose weight while improving and maintaining good health. If you smoke and/or drink, stop! If you can’t stop on your own, seek professional help.
Very soon you will be proud of your healthy youthful looks!