Four lifestyle changes will keep you healthy

How much work does it take to protect your heart and significantly lower your risk of death?  According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, it may be as easy as four simple lifestyle changes.  The research indicates that exercising regularly, eating a Mediterranean diet, keeping a normal weight and not smoking may be all you need to protect your heart and reduce risk of death by as much as 80 percent.

The researchers evaluated data on more than 6,200 men and women, aged 44 to 84, from a variety of ethnicities.  Study participants were followed for an average of 7.6 years, and those who adopted the healthy lifestyle behaviors had an 80 percent lower death rate over that time compared to those who undertook none of the healthy behaviors.

The lifestyle changes protected against coronary heart disease and the early buildup of calcium deposits in the arteries. Not surprisingly, smoking status made the biggest difference in a person's overall health.

While some heart disease risk factors cannot be controlled – such as age or family history – these findings show how much people can take control of their heart health.

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Sourced from: Science Daily, Four lifestyle changes will keep you healthy