Four practices can add potentially 14 healthy years to your life. In the EPIC-Norfolk Study, the people who didn't practice any of these four were four times more likely to die during the eleven-year period than people do included them in their daily lifestyle:

  1. Not smoking
  2. Keeping phyisically active
  3. Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily
  4. Drinking moderatelyDrinking moderatelyDrinking moderately

(Khaw et al., Combined Impact of Health Behaviours and Mortality in Men and Women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Population Study. PLoS Medicine5 (1) e12. dol:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050012. Published January 8, 2008.)

According to Dr. Laurel Yates and colleagues at Harvard University who followed 2,357 men in the 70s for 25 years,"It's not luck, it's not just genetics...it's lifestyle that seems to make a big difference." Participants who smoked, were obese, were inactive, had diabetes, and had hypertension had only a 4% chance of ever getting to age 90. On the other hand, participants had a 53% chance of living into their 90s if the following were included in their lifestyle:

  1. Not smoking
  2. Maintaining a normal weight
  3. Exercising regularly
  4. Having a low blood sugar
  5. Having low blood pressure

Conclusions: Modifiable healthy behaviors during early elderly years, including smoking abstinence, weight management, blood pressure control, and regular exercise, are associated not only with enhanced life span in men but also with good health and function during older age. (Yates, Laurel B., MD, MPH. Exceptional Longevity in Men: Modifiable Factors Associated With Survival and Function to Age 90 Years. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(3):284-290.)

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