Five Healthy Habits Add Years of Life

Ways to Increase Longevity




Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock.com

Analyzing why Americans have a lower life expectancy when compared to most other developed countries, Harvard researchers used 34 years of data on more than 120,000 health professionals to focus on five lifestyle factors that promote longevity. They found that women and men lived on average 14 years and 12 years longer, respectively, if they had a healthy body weight (between 18.5 and 24.9 BMI), never smoked, exercised at moderate-to-vigorous levels at least 30 minutes a day, ate a healthy diet and drank only moderately (one five-ounce glass of wine for women, two for men).

The effect was cumulative; the combination of all five produced the greatest life extension. Those that maintained the healthiest lifestyles were 82 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65 percent less likely to die from cancer, compared with those with the least healthy lifestyles.


This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Bug Apocalypse

The number of invertebrates and insects such as moths, butterflies and bees has dropped worldwide by 45 percent in the last 35 years, raising alarm about the global ecosystem.

Fish Revival

Following the removal two years ago of an obsolete dam, shad have returned to New Jersey’s Millstone River for the first time since 1845.

Horse Sense

The wild horse herds on North Carolina’s Outer Banks survived Hurricane Florence by huddling on high ground, hiding in maritime forests, and possibly by swimming.

Bat Cave Rescue

A fungus known as white-nose syndrome is decimating U.S. bat species, but scientists hope that genetic strategies and cave treatments will turn the situation around.

Mind Meld

Scientists are making progress toward using brain implants to help speech-paralyzed patients "voice" their thoughts.

Add your comment: