These five healthy habits will add a decade to your life, according to a Harvard study.

Human lifespan is at an increasing rate as the world evolves. So how long can a human live? We can’t tell for sure, but trying not to die earlier in life is something you should consider. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) National Center for Health Statistics, Americans have a much shorter life expectancy compared to almost all other high-income countries.

According to research data from the CDC, the average American has a life expectancy of 78.7 years — that’s well below the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD’s) average life expectancy of 80.3 years. However, a 2018 Harvard study from the University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found five healthy habits that could prolong a person’s life by up to a decade or more. The study analyzed 27 years and 34 years worth of data from more than 44,000 men and 78,000 women, respectively.

The results showed a correlation between healthy behaviors and cardiovascular issues: people who kept a healthy lifestyle were 82 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular diseases; and 65 percent less likely to die from cancer as compared to those didn’t. Here are the five healthy habits that could add a decade or more to your life — eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, not drinking too much alcohol, and not smoking.

#1. Eat A Healthy Diet

Its easier said than eaten: “I’ll eat a healthier diet from now on …” Do you still love brownies, burgers, donuts and ? Well, your not alone. Keeping a healthy diet is not easy. According to a 2018 study published in the British Journal The Lancet, a poor diet could lead to one in five deaths — and can also lead to high blood pressure and metabolic disorders like diabetes.

A balanced diet, according to the researchers, contains minimally processed, whole foods and grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and any natural source of protein like fish and beans. Sounds nutritious, huh? But if you’re even more serious about changing your diet, you can consult a nutritionist. However, you can try British billionaire and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s breakfast — muesli and fruit salad.

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#2. Exercise Regularly

They say a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. So how often do you hit the gym? That should be your haven of rejuvenation. Most successful individuals make physical activity a daily priority — Ronaldo, Messi, Woods, Mayweather? In a 2018 study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it found that that just small amounts of daily exercise can extend life expectancy by as much as 4.5 years. The whole ordeal is to avoid inactivity — don’t keep to a desk job if you don’t visit the gym often.

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“Physical activity has been shown to help maintain a healthy body weight, maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, promote psychological well-being and reduce the risk of certain diseases, including some cancers,” according to the NCI.

#3. Keep A Healthy Weight

According to the Harvard study, “weight control significantly reduced the risk of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular risk factors and breast cancer.”

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) indicates that the healthy body mass index (BMI) should be between 18.5 and 24.9. (Calculate your BMI here.) Check your body mass quite often — but don’t be obsessed with it. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who monitored their body mass less frequently were more likely to gain weight. You must see the scale as a tool to help you keep your body in good shape, and check your weight after this article.

#4. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

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As hard as it is taking in booze, it is that hard to quit as well. Avoiding alcohol nowadays isn’t as easy as it sounds; there is booze everywhere — at the bar, parties, birthdays, and so many places of social convenience. Alcohol is the world’s highly rated recreational drug, and some even rely on it as a daily stimulant. Here’s the downside: for beginners, it can add to your waistline and increase your chances of several cancers — breast, colon, esophagus. Like seriously!

Let’s face it: its difficult moderating your booze. According to the CDC, one in eight Americans struggle with alcohol addiction, but the United States government’s “Dietary Guidelines” for moderate alcohol consumption is one drink for women per day and two for men, and failure to comply is a federal crime. Missing prohibition?

(Fun fact: Your liver can process 355 ml (12 oz.) of beer, 148 ml (5 oz.) of wine, and/or 45 ml (1.5 oz.) of distilled spirits per hour; anything beyond that will make you drunk).

#5. No Smoking

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus | Quitting smoking concept. Hand is rejecting cigarette offer.

They say the best is always at last, but this last one is the worst. Its been decades since the campaign to end tobacco gained attention globally. Smoking is the major cause of most respiratory diseases and lung cancer, as the health risk of smoking becomes more relevant, efforts to warm people about the dangerous effects is increasingly apparent. This isn’t going to be easy avoiding the unsightly bad habit, but your body will thank you in the long run. Quit smoking now!

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Feb 01, 2021.



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