Did you know that the USA is one of the countries with the lowest life expectancies of all developed nations? And, it spends the most on health care. Here’s another pretty scary statistic: 610,000 people die of heart disease in the US each year and about the same number are expected to die of cancer this year.
So what can YOU do to change your life?
After a huge study done by Harvard University, which followed over 120,000 participants between 1980 to 2014, there have been some proven ways to increase your life expectancy by roughly 14 years. And, as it turns out, it’s not too hard to do. In fact, those who followed all five of the following healthy habits were also 82% less likely to die of heart disease and 65% less likely to die of cancer.
Here are 5 Ways to Boost your Life Expectancy:
1 – Healthy Diet
Increase your healthy foods like fresh vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, raw nuts, unprocessed whole grains, healthy fats like avocados, olives and coconut oil. Add more omega 3s to your diet with chia, hemp, walnuts and fresh water fish. Avoid red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fats, and sodium.
2 – Move your Body
We’re not talking about becoming an athlete. Walking, daily, for 30 minutes at a moderate to vigorous intensity level is all you need to boost your life.
3 – Healthy Body Weight
In medical terms, this means keeping your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. Not sure what your BMI is? Use our calculator HERE. High percentages of body fat increase inflammation in the body which increases your risk for multiple diseases. Plus, excess body weight limits your mobility and daily comfort.
4 – Stop smoking
In the terms of the Harvard study, “healthy” means never having smoked in your life. However, saying goodbye to cigarettes can still add years to your life. Research from 2002 concluded that even if you quit smoking as late as age 65 you will live longer. Men who give up the habit at age 35 can expect to live up to 8 years more.
5 – Limit your Alcohol
We’re not fans of people drinking their calories. Match that to the impact that alcohol has on your body, blood sugar levels and vital organs, and it’s best to avoid it all together. According to the Harvard study, it is recommended to limit alcohol to one drink daily. We feel it is best to reduce this even more for vitality and longevity, limiting alcoholic beverages to less than 3 drinks per week.
Healthy habits make a big difference in living a longer life. By improving these 5 areas of health you can live up to 14 years longer. But here’s something even more surprising, by adopting just ONE of the above habits you will increase your life expectancy by two years. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, they all benefit your life.
Problem is, only 8% of adults in the US are following these 5 healthy habits. Why? Maybe it’s because it’s too easy and so it seems unlikely to have that much impact. But, as Jim Rohn says, easy to do also means easy not to do.
Take the daily steps and trust that these uncomplicated habits will create a long and healthy life filled with energy and happiness. When you do good for yourself, you radiate positivity. Your days are your life in miniature. Now go eat some kale.
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