So the researchers at Harvard University conducted a pretty cool report. This study had 123,000 volunteers that shared their medical records and answered a lifestyle questionnaire.
They asked this questionnaire to gain an understanding of how much longer someone would live if they followed a few certain habits. These Habits Include:
Related - 4 Keystone Habits to Optimize Your Life
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Controlled their weight
- Regularly exercised
- Drank only in moderation
- Did not smoke
Once the information was gathered, scientists calculated the average life expectancy - and they noticed a dramatic effect from the healthy habits.
Scientists found that men and women who adhered to all five of these habits saw their life expectancy at 50 to rise from 26 to 38 years in men, and 29 to 43 years in men.
That's an extra 12 years for men or 14 for women.
So What Exactly Are These 5 Habits?
- Having a body mass index between 18.25 and 25.
- Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in per day.
- Drinking no more than 150ml glass of wine a day for women, or two for men.
- Having a diet rich in a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Limiting red meat, saturated fats, and sugar.
The researchers were hoping to understand why the US spends more on healthcare as a proportion of gross domestic product than any other nation.
According to the World Health Organization, the life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 76.9 and 81.6 years old for US men and women, respectively. This puts the US ranked 31st in the world for life expectancy at birth.
These studies suggest that choosing to live a poor lifestyle was the major factor in cutting American's lives short. According to the reports, only 8% of the general population followed all five healthy habits.
What Do the Statistics Show?
Men and women who lead a healthy lifestyle were 82% less likely to die of heart disease. They are also 65% less likely to die of cancer compared to the least healthy lifestyles.
This has been shown over the course of roughly 30 years.
Look, healthy lifestyle habits aren't a secret - we all know what to do. The problem is adopting healthy habits into your lifestyle.
Many people struggle with quitting smoking. It's highly addictive and habit-forming qualities make it extremely hard to just "put it down."
Continuously eating and overeating unhealthy foods is cheap, easy, and tastes good... most of the time. It's hard, in theory, to chunk out 60 minutes to go outside and grill up some food.
Note I said theory. We are creatures of habit - and with that comes with minimizing change. The idea of some Yellowfin Tuna and corn cooked on the grill sounds awesome, right?
I bet your mouth is watering.
Anyways, how long do you think about doing something? Do you toss around different ideas in your head but never really seem to follow through with any of them?
The key is planning.
Next time you have a "wild hair up your butt," don't dismiss your ambition... just do it. The more I've purposely made time to cook, I've never been happier.
How Do You Change Your Eating Habits?
Changing how you eat doesn't have to happen overnight. In fact, that's probably the worst you can do.
Take it from me - slow changes, almost like testing the waters, make a huge difference. It doesn't matter how small of a change it is, it will add up.
Practicing these slow habit changes allows you to mentally accept the change. You will no longer yearn for a piece of chocolate cake and a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Ugh... Okay, you won't always yearn for it.
5 Things You Can Do Today to Get Healthier
1.) Park Further Away
Parking further away from the building everywhere you go adds steps to your day. While it may not seem like much, an additional 1000 steps can accrue over the course of a day.
Walking 10,000 steps burns about 400 to 500 calories depending on your fitness level.
2.) Add Something Fresh to Each Meal
Aiming to have at least a serving of fresh fruit or vegetables in every meal.
Cutting up and eating some raw celery in ranch or peanut butter is a great appetizer for a healthy meal. Bring a piece of fruit and eat it with your lunch.
3.) Bring Your Own Lunch
Bringing your own lunch is cost-effective, you don't have to stress over what you are going to eat, and it's healthy. Well, it's only healthy if you choose to bring healthy foods... But we'll get to that later.
Anyways, take the time to prepare your lunches ahead of time if you want to get healthier and save a few dollars.
4.) Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep balances your hormones; making weight loss easier.
You can also enjoy improved cognitive performance, enhanced athletic ability, and you will have a better mood.
5.) Try Lifting Some Weights
There's plenty of research that shows how lifting weights improves your quality of life, builds muscle, and helps you burn fat.
You know you should lift if you want to live a long and healthy life... So just do it.
Check out our workouts section and quit making excuses.
Wrapping It Up
Stepping up and taking personal responsibility is something we have to do as a society. We need to make it easier for people to do this.
We all get stuck in a rut and after years of being entrenched with the thought that we can't change our ways kills us... Literally.
Making small and steady healthy choices in your lifestyle rewards you with years, if not decades, on your life.