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5 Lifestyle Habits For Sustained Health

Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life.  
 
According to Harvard researchers, we don’t have to go to St. Augustine to sip at the Fountain of Youth. 
 
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All we have to do is be careful about five lifestyle habits. 
Then, you can most likely extend your life for 10 years and be free of most chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  
 
What you need to know
 
The five lifestyle habits are:
 
1.   Eating a low-cholesterol diet;
2.   Regular exercise;
3.   Maintaining a healthy weight (as defined by body-mass index);
4.   Capping alcohol consumption; and
5.   Not smoking.  
The website Ladders provides a good summary of the Harvard University study.  
Female participants at age 50 who adhered to at least four of the five healthy habits lived an average of 34 more years without being diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or cancer. Men who did the same at age 50 lived roughly 31 years longer without being diagnosed with a chronic disease.

Those who practiced none of Harvard’s health lifestyle habits lived a little over 20 years longer before being diagnosed with a serious illness. Obesity and smoking were associated with the worst outcomes.

The 2020 study was a follow-up to and reaffirmed similar results from a 2018 Harvard study that found subjects who lived healthy lifestyles could reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by 82% and cancer by 65%. The 2018 study concluded that those subjects who had followed all five lifestyle habits were 74% less likely to die during the study period.

The Harvard Study was conducted by researchers at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in the British medical journal The BMJ.  
 

Mark Sunshine

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