I think it is fair to suggest that most people want to live longer lives, so it only stands to reason that they’re interested in ways to do just that.
Unfortunately, there are also a great many folks who have paid extravagant amounts of money for the promise of anti-aging therapies, including lasting beauty, freedom from disease, and extended longevity.
I am here to tell you that you really don’t need to spend a great deal of money in order to significantly improve your chances of living a longer life. If you simply make a few simple lifestyle changes, this can greatly affect your longevity.
If you look at the big picture here, something should become quite clear regarding your ability to extend your own lifespan.
Most people die prematurely because they have developed a chronic disease like cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, or diabetes. This creates a number of co-morbid medical issues and complications, which can shorten their lives.
So, let’s imagine that you could eradicate all of the chronic diseases most people experience by the time they are 60 years of age.
Do you know how this could possibly affect the average death rates in the U.S.?
Recent research conducted in Europe has conclusively indicated that people who exercise regularly, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, don’t smoke, and consume a healthy diet have a much better chance of extending their own life expectancy.
A research team led by Dr. Brian Martin in Switzerland looked at the data regarding lifestyle habits and death rates from 16,721 people, aged from 16 to 90, between the years of 1977 and 1993. The death rates were also tracked until 2003. The researchers were trying to understand whether there was any clear-cut relationship between lifestyle habits and longevity.
The results of this study indicated that current smokers had the greatest risk of dying prematurely. It was determined that smokers were 57% more likely to die prematurely relative to a non-smoker.
This news alone should cause all of those who smoke to take serious pause and try everything they can to quit ASAP.
In addition, it was determined that the subjects who smoked, did not exercise, ate a poor diet, and drank too much had a mortality rate that was 2.5 times greater than someone who practiced healthy lifestyle behaviors throughout the study period.
Some other interesting findings regarding this research indicate that any given individual in their study population who was 75 and practiced all of the unhealthy lifestyle habits only had a 35% chance of living another 10 years. However, in male subjects who practiced all four healthy lifestyle behaviors, the same man would have a 67% chance of living an extra 10 years.
In women, the news is better. Those women over the age of 75 enjoyed a 74% improvement in the chances of their living another 10 years if they practiced all four healthy lifestyle habits.
Wow…this is the type of research we should all be reading!
However, I have a word of caution to you regarding this research…
This study also indicated that unhealthy lifestyle behaviors affected mortality rates differently for those who are 44 to 55 as opposed to those who were 65 to 75.
The impact of poor lifestyle choices upon mortality was much more evident and significant in the later age groups, as one would imagine.
The longer you are unhealthy…the more damage done…the greater impact it will have on your health outcomes.
The takeaway message: practice healthy lifestyle behaviors throughout your entire life if you want to live longer. However, if you are over 40 and change your lifestyle dynamics appropriately, you can still add years to your life.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Sole, E., “The Four Things That Can Predict How Long You’ll Live,” Yahoo! Shine web site, July 9, 2014; https://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/healthy-living/lifestyle-calculator-university-of-zurich-add-ten-years-192504982.html.
Martin, B., et al., “The combined effect on survival of four main behavioral risk factors for non-communicable diseases,” Preventive Medicine August 2014; 65: 148–152.