Much has been written about adopting so-called “healthy behaviors” that could lead to a longer, healthier life. Like many people, your eyes might already be glazing over and your mind retreating to that delicious fat- and sugar-filled snack you’re about to have after your smoke break. To help you stay connected with the whole idea of living your life in a healthy way so that you can continue to enjoy it, free from repeated visits to the doctor or hospital, here’s some scientific proof.
Researchers at the University of South Carolina recently conducted a study that looked at healthy behaviors and their effect on mortality. They examined the combined effect of several positive health factors: 1) reaching and maintaining a normal weight; 2) not smoking; 3) sticking to a moderate alcohol intake (i.e. one to 14 drinks per week); 4) being physically active (moderate to high level); 5) and having greater cardiorespiratory fitness. The study was massive, including 38,110 men aged 20-84 years.
What did the researchers find? When all five positive health behaviors were combined, there was a 29% reduction in mortality risk. They concluded their study with the simple suggestion that targeting more of these health behaviors may provide substantial health benefits in middle-aged men.
If it’s true that you only get one life to live, then you’ll want to make the best of this life. Keeping your weight in check, avoiding smoking, keeping alcoholic drinks to a moderate level, using your body in a physically active way, and getting some cardiovascular exercise just makes sense on so many levels.
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Adopt these behaviors now and you’ll reap the benefits almost immediately. You’ll also benefit long-term as you grow older, when illness sometimes threatens to take away your quality of life.