People are living longer nowadays which has been scientifically proven. With the advances in science, medicine, and technology, the life expectancy has steadily increased. There was a small drop of 0.1 years in 2017, but that was the first drop in two decades. To put it into perspective, in 1960, the average life expectancy was 69.7 years, and it is now 78.6 years. That isn’t necessarily the largest increase that one would expect in over five decades, but its progression which is what we want.
Although people are living longer, that does not necessarily mean that people are living better. What does that mean? Well, those bad habits that we all have, but aren’t so easy to give up. Some of those habits being far worse than others. In a recent study done by Harvard, they’ve determined the top five GOOD habits that can add 12 years to your life because who doesn’t want to live to be 90 years old? That’s a blessing.
Top 5 habits that can add 12 years to your life:
5). Eat more produce
Fact: Eating more produce can lead to a 24 percent reduced risk of heart disease, a 33 percent reduced risk of a stroke, and a 28 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.
Tip: Incorporate more produce in dishes and not just eating them plain. For instance, instead of just eating broccoli alone, you can incorporate it into a healthy stir-fry dish.
4). Avoid drinking alcohol
Fact: Alcohol impairs judgement when consumed and can lead to drinking and driving, unintended sexual activity, and violent behavior.
Tip: Set parameters on how much you will drink, mix a drink with a non-alcoholic beverage which will reduce your intake, and try to avoid triggers that may cause you to drink more heavily and frequently.
3). Exercise regularly:
Fact: Aside from physical health, regular exercise improves mental health as well. It can improve your memory, concentration, and creativity.
Tip: Walk your pet for an extra 15 minutes per day, 3x per day, which is 45 minutes a day, totaling 225 minutes a week. No pet? Walk on your lunch break with a friend or co-worker instead of remaining sedentary.
2). Maintain a healthy weight:
Fact: Annual medical cost of obesity related illnesses reached $147 billion.
Tip: Many insurance companies cover visits to a Registered Dietician, so check with your doctor and insurance company. This is an instance where seeing a professional can reduce having to visit the doctor more often.
1). Give up smoking:
Fact: The CDC estimates that adult male smokers lose an average of 13.2 years of life, and female smokers lose 14.5 years of life because of smoking.
Tip: Replace urges with other mechanisms that can stimulate relaxation. For instance, get massages every week or replace smoking with activities. Smoking is an expensive habit. Try putting money that is normally spent on purchasing cigarettes towards partaking in stimulating and healthy outlets.