According to a study, you could add years to your life by including these five behaviours in your daily routine. In a study of 123,000 volunteers, researchers have calculated that incorporating five specific habits into their daily routines meant men saw an extra 12 years added to their lives, with women adding an extra 14. The scientific study into the effects that healthy living can have on life expectancy saw results that were far more dramatic than predicted.
Quit smoking: According to the British National Health Service, smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England. It accounts for more than 80,000 deaths a year, with a smoking-related disease killing one in two smokers on average. Smoking makes your blood thicker, increasing the chances of clot formation.
It also narrows your arteries and reduces the amount of blood circulating to your organs, which means that your heart has to work much harder than it should. As a result of this, smokers are heavily prone to heart attacks, strokes and many other diseases. Putting a stop to smoking could easily reduce your exposure to these causes of death, so understandably, it’s quite a major one of the five habits said to extend life expectancy.
Limit your alcohol intake: This study specifies that, for women, alcohol intake should be limited to just one 150ml glass of wine a day. For men, that’s two 150ml glasses a day.
Daily exercise: Exercise is held at high esteem for good reason. It can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50 per cent and lower your risk of early death by up to 30 per cent. According to research, constant exercise has also been proven to boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy. It’s also said to reduce stress, depression, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease. You certainly wouldn’t have to be a gym rat to see the effects either. According to this study, just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day would be enough to increase your life expectancy by several years.
Maintain a BMI of 18.5 - 24.9: Body mass index (BMI) is a specially calculated number that uses your weight and height to reveal how healthy your weight is. For the average adult, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy and ideal. If your BMI is below 18.5, you’d be classified as underweight, and if it was between 25 and 29.9 you’d be considered overweight.
Those with a BMI between 30 and 39.9 are considered to be within the obese range. To get your BMI down or up to the range of 18.5 - 24.9, you’d need to incorporate constant exercise and a good diet into your daily routine, and since these are both good for you - it’s clear why this point would help you live longer.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables: Your diet wouldn’t have to be squeaky clean, but you would have to make smarter choices on a daily basis. So that means, instead of buying a meal deal of crisps, sandwiches and juices - a better option would be salad, fruit and water. According to this study, if you’d like to live longer, a diet that’s rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains but low in red meat, saturated fats and sugar is key.