Increasing Life Expectancy is Easy if You Know What a Healthy Lifestyle Looks Like
- Posted on: Aug 15 2018
A recent study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation investigated the factors behind the relatively short life expectancy in our country. Despite being one of the wealthiest nations, the United States ranked #31 in the world for life expectancy. Why wouldn’t we want to explore the potential reasons behind this statistic?
Researchers who wanted to know more about our so-so standing in the world of wellness obtained the data they needed by opening the books on two major studies performed years earlier: The Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The analysis of these studies included 78,865 women and 44,354 men whose general health had been observed for at least 25 years. All participants were at least 30 years old at the onset of their study, and approximately 30 percent had died by the time their study was concluded. What researchers wanted to know was how lifestyle affected participants mortality risk.
Five lifestyle factors were determined as “ideal.” These included healthy weight, good eating habits, moderate alcohol consumption, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, and never smoking. At the conclusion of their analysis, researchers estimated that study participants who met all five criteria had 74% lower mortality risk than individual who met none of these ideals. More specifically, meeting all five models lowered a person’s risk of mortality from heart disease by 82%, and dropped the risk of cancer-related death by 65%.
Applying their insights to America’s population, researchers estimated that life expectancy might increase as much as 14 years by adopting a healthy lifestyle. What does that look like?
- Not smoking.
- Consuming alcohol in moderation. That is one drink a day for women and two for men. Wine is an especially popular drink for women these days. “One drink” equates to one 5-ounce glass of wine.
- Walking, biking, jogging, or otherwise moving the body intensely enough to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes or more a day.
- Eating a diet that includes more fresh, whole foods and less processed foods; cooking at home rather than hitting the drive-through; adding lean meats and healthy fats like avocado or coconut oil to meals.
Heart health is an essential topic of discussion and a matter of wellness that is easy to maintain with good habits and adequate assistance. Do you have questions about your heart health? Contact Premier Cardiology Consultants at 516-437-5600.
Posted in: Health and Wellness