The Power of a Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise, Stress Relief, and Weight Control
Imagine you’re presented with a choice: The likelihood of a longer life with more “disease-free years” or a shorter life with major chronic disease. Which would you choose?
Studies have been done to examine common recommendations from physicians for lifestyle choices that include a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress relief, and weight control. Data was used to evaluate the number of years, on average, that people lived free of major chronic diseases following these guidelines.
Here are some of the findings of how to live a healthier life:
- A healthy diet, regular exercise, stress relief, and weight control was associated with two extra years of good health and those without risk factors living an average of six additional years.
- Another study based on the general population showed people lived nine years longer before the onset of any chronic disease.
A new study published sought to expand on these findings to find out how different combinations of such low-risk factors are linked to disease-free life years. “Disease-free” years meant that they lived without major chronic diseases such as ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, asthma, and dementia. The study consisted of over 116,000 people with no major diseases. They were scored on four lifestyle factors including smoking, Body Mass Index(BMI), time per week spent being physically active, and how much alcohol they consumed weekly over 75 years.
During the study period, nearly 17,400 people developed one or more chronic health conditions- the overall healthy lifestyle score was linked to almost ten more years of healthy life in men and 9.4 more in women. For each additional point in the score, the number of disease-free years went up by about one year in both men and women. The four lifestyles linked to the maximum number of years without disease included a BMI less than 25, and two or more of the following: never smoked, moderate drinking, and engaged in regular physical activity.
The findings of the study aren’t surprising. Unfortunately, in our society, it can be very difficult to follow a healthy lifestyle from day to day.
My recommendation would be to find support, remind yourself why you’re doing it, and try not to be too hard on yourself. It doesn’t necessarily take more “work” to live healthily. Rather, it just requires spending more time focusing on yourself. This means doing a workout instead of watching another TV episode, cooking at home rather than driving to a restaurant, closing your computer and accepting that your workday is over, going on a walk with your family instead of sitting on your phones, and more. Try to make some changes and create a new normal over time.
For more information visit: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200406/Healthy-lifestyle-greater-disease-free-life-expectancy.aspx
Our team is highly skilled at helping patients live out a healthy lifestyle and reach your goals, whatever they may be. If you are interested, please give our office a call to set up an appointment.