Adopting Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Can Increase Life Expectancy

Healthy lifestyle behaviors have been found to increase the life expectancy of those who adopt them.  Specifically, adopting the following five behaviors mid-life (age 50) can potentially add up to 10 years onto your life:  healthy diet, maintaining healthy weight, do not smoke, drinking alcohol in moderation, and regular exercise.  Researchers found that each single lifestyle behavior adopted will help the individual live longer and better.

Life expectancy of males/females with zero healthy lifestyle factors compared to those with all five healthy lifestyle factors.

Life expectancy of males/females with zero healthy lifestyle factors compared to those with all five healthy lifestyle factors.

A healthy diet, one of the lifestyle behaviors, can be defined as one that is high quality.  Specifically, individuals are encouraged to reduce added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods.  A healthy diet also includes increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables. Researchers emphasized the lifestyle behavior of maintaining a healthy weight, specifically a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.  They explain that a healthy diet and regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight. Adopting the lifestyle behavior of not smoking can have several health benefits for the individual including reduced risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, improved lung function, and reduced risk of lung, mouth, and throat cancers.  Researchers encourage individuals to drink alcohol in moderation, which is defined as 2 glasses of wine per day for males and 1 glass of wine per day for females.  A healthy lifestyle behavior of exercising regularly in encouraged.  This includes at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, which might include walking, jogging, biking, or other exercise activities.

Researchers have identified these five healthy lifestyle behaviors as important for living a longer and better life.  Specifically, adopting these five behaviors during mid-life (age 50) can potentially add up to 10 years onto your life expectancy.  Each single behavior adopted will have positive effects on an individual’s health and can help add years onto their life.  Additionally, it is never too late to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors.  Adopting these behaviors mid-life was found to increase life expectancy.  The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help by providing education on these various behaviors and how they can be incorporated into an individual’s life.  We can assist by collaborating to identify health goals and by providing continued support for your health.

By Matt Lewandowski

Sources: Li et al. (2018). Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population. Circulation, 137(23); Gardner, C., Trepanowski, J., & Del GobboL., et al. (2018). Effects of Low-Fat vs. Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association with Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion. JAMA, 319(7), 667-679; Fact Sheet About Healthy Benefits of Smoking Cessation. World Healthy Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/tobacco/quitting/benefits/en/; Start Active, Stay Active. UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines 2011