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How to Live 10-15 Years Longer

We look at life expectancy in relation to cardiovascular risk factors.

We know this: Heart disease is the number one killer of men in the United States, but a healthy diet and lifestyle can dramatically reduce our risk factor.

Smell the roses  

In 2009, the British Medical Journal published a 38-year-long study that followed 19,000 men in the British Civil Service from age 50 and on. The study examined the following risk factors:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. High cholesterol
  3. Cigarette smoking

The men who entered the study with none of the three risk factors above lived 10 years longer, on average, than compared to men with all three of the risk factors.

Now, each of these risk factors that cut life short can be changed through relatively small modifications in diet and lifestyle. 

What is a healthy diet?

A healthy diet is simply a balanced meal plan that includes three meals per day and contains a nice balance of protein (nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, turkey) and carbohydrates (vegetables and fruit in a 4:1 veggies to fruit ratio).

What is a healthy lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle is as simple as walking at least 3.5 hours per week. It's important to find stress-reducing activities, since stress is a major contributor to the deterioration of health.

Examples of stress reduction techniques:

  1. Deep breathing/yoga breathing (five minutes per day)
  2. Social networking – whether it’s belonging to a church, support groups, kickball team — we know that keeping connected to others is important to mental health.
  3. All sports-related activities
  4. Owning pets

Stay healthy, and have a great week!

(This column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.) 

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