You know the drill: Don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, maintain a normal weight, drink alcohol only in moderation. A healthy lifestyle can help you feel and look your best, but new research published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), suggests it can also increase longevity by 14 years for women and 12 years for men.
The researchers combined data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study – ongoing studies of dietary, lifestyle, and medical data in thousands of U.S. adults – with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and mortality info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They found that following the five healthy habits above can reduce the overall risk of death by 74 percent, the risk of death from heart disease by 82 percent, and the risk of death from cancer by 65 percent.
AHA recommendations dubbed Life’s Simple 7 also include maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. By avoiding overweight and obesity – risk factors for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and premature death – Americans can lead longer, healthier lives.
Diane is a Senior Content Producer at Remedy Health Media, LLC. She writes the Daily Dose for HealthCentral and is the editorial director at HealthCommunities. Her goal is to contribute to a valuable, trustworthy, and informative experience for people who are searching for health information online.