The two top killers in the United States are cardiovascular disease and cancer. You can't always prevent them, but you sure can do everything in your power to keep them as far away from you as possible.
There are actually five simple things you can do to prolong your life and live well.
- Never smoke (or quit if you do)
- Maintain a healthy body-mass index
- Keep up moderate to vigorous exercise
- Don’t drink too much alcohol
- Eat a healthy diet
After analyzing the data, researchers found that, in 2014, the overall projected life expectancy at age 50 was to live 33.3 more years for women and 29.8 more years for men. But the adults who said they adopted all five healthy lifestyle factors, the researchers found, they lived 43.1 more years among women and 37.6 more years among men. That's practically a decade!
Among those adults who reported that they didn't follow any of the five healthy lifestyle factors, researchers found that they lived only 29 additional years among women and 25.5 additional years among men. That makes me sad.
My stepdad is 85 years old. He doesn't smoke. He walks a few miles every day. He rarely drinks. He might be a little overweight and I would say he doesn't always eat the best, but overall...he's living a great life! He's healthy, he's active, he's happy, he's social.
On the other hand, we have another relative that is only 67. He smokes, and drinks. He has a horrible diet, weighs much too little, and rarely moves from the couch. He's depressed, he's easily angered, he's bored, and he has no friends. It's depressing to US! We've tried to get him out. We've tried to introduce him to new people. We've tried to get him to eat good food on a regular schedule. But he just won't have it. You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink, as the saying goes. It won't surprise you that my stepdad who is almost two decades older than him can (literally) walk circles around him. Yes, we're worried about him and we're worried for him.
So seeing this list just solidifies in my mind what I knew from the examples in my life. I hope you take care of yourself and those around you. It isn't always easy, or fun (I hate eating well), but it seems to be worth it.
(CBSDFW) Photo: Getty