Revealed! five key lifestyle factors for healthy longevity

Living to a ripe old age doesn’t necessarily mean healthy or happy longevity if it is burdened by disability or disease. Now researchers from Harvard University have suggested five key lifestyle factors that result in healthspan, which promotes more healthy years of life:-

·       Healthy diet

The prevalence of hypertension and dementia increases with age. Sticking to a healthy diet like the Mediterranean can lower the risk of these and other chronic conditions that accompany older ages.

·       Regular exercise

Regular physical activity lowers age-related chronic conditions including heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, certain cancers and cognitive decline. Exercise also helps to lower anxiety and blood pressure, besides improving sleep quality. One should move more and sit less. For additional benefits, a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes weekly of moderate to vigorous activity, like brisk walking or fast dancing, as well as two days a week of muscle-strengthening exercises is advised. Older adults who are at risk for falls may include balance training such as Yoga.

·       Healthy weight

An individual should determine the healthy weight that keeps them fit and agile. The factors to consider include reviewing current health conditions, family history, weight history, and genetically inherited body type.

·       Not smoking

Smoking is injurious to health and can lead to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung diseases, etc. as it promotes chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Quitting smoking early cuts down the risk of these diseases.

·       Moderate alcohol

The research found that moderate drinking, defined as one drink daily for women and two in the case of men, is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and early death from cardiovascular diseases. Low to moderate levels of alcohol raises levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and prevents small blood clots that can block arteries. However, alcohol intake, especially heavier drinking, is also associated with liver disease and several types of cancer. It’s best to seek the opinion of your physician to weigh your personal risk versus benefit.

The researchers of the Harvard T.H. Chan School relied on data collected from men and women from the ‘Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study’. They found that women at age 50 who practice four of five of the healthy habits listed above lived about 34 more years free of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer compared with 24 more disease-free years in women who practiced none. In the men’s case, the same was 31 years as against 24 years in those who practice none.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School is the public health school of Harvard University and is ranked as the best school for public health in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Managed by

Leave a Comment: