By Lucy Buglass
A new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says that women and gain 10 and men seven years of life free from diseases by following a healthy lifestyle.
This new research into healthy habits is based on 111,000 people who were tracked for over 20 years to monitor their health.
Study lead author Dr Frank Hu, from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said that it had a “positive message for the public”.
He added, “They gain not just more years of life but good years through improved lifestyle choices."
When study participants were 50-years-old, they were asked if they met at least four of the five criteria. This would indicate a ‘healthy lifestyle’.
The criteria is never smoking, a healthy balanced diet, 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity every day, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9, and no more alcohol than a small glass of wine a day for women and a pint of beer for men.
This study revealed that women who said they met four out of five of the above lived an average of another 34 years free of cancer, cardiovascular disease (eg: heart attack or stroke) and type 2 diabetes.
For men, it was an average of 31 years. The difference between men and women may be linked to the fact that women typically live longer.
However, for both sexes it was revealed that a healthy lifestyle with exercise, a good diet and no smoking not only reduced the risk of diseases, it also improved survival if they were diagnosed with it.
With cancer, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes being three of the most common diseases in old age, the findings of this study could help people reduce the risk by developing healthier habits.
However, despite these findings, the study can’t conclude that these healthy habits were directly responsible for extending life.
Because the researchers had to rely on people giving them information on food intake, exercise, and height and weight, it might not have been one hundred per cent accurate.
Still worth a try...
What color suits me? How to pinpoint the most flattering shades for you
Looking through your wardrobe and asking, what color suits me? Enter our expert guide on the best color matches for your skin tone.
By Lauren Hughes •
Woman&Home's Vanity Edit: New makeup, skincare, and beauty products we love this week
We underscore the latest and greatest beauty heroes on the market, from whimsical collections to astrology-inspired eyeshadow. Here's what's currently in trend.
By Dominique McIntee •
The EXACT Mood lighting you need to maximize your chances of getting laid
How you can easily increase your likelihood of having sex, according to a study...
By Selina Maycock •
Walking vs running - which is better for you?
Walking vs running may seem like a hard choice, but doing either one regularly will keep you fit and healthy
By Ali Horsfall •
Over-80s breaking lockdown rules after first vaccine, revealing a high level of confidence in the jab
Four in 10 over-80s are supposedly breaking lockdown rules
By Emma Shacklock •
Fantasist, shy or controlling: Sex coach reveals what your favorite position says about you...
By Selina Maycock •
What is tinnitus and how can it affect your health?
Plus, treatments to alleviate tinnitus symptoms.
By Amy Hunt •
Fitness for women – 5 ways to boost motivation and enjoy exercise
Our health guru, Annie Deadman, makes fitness for women achievable, fun and simple...
By Lucy Gornall •
An expert guide to cancerous moles and the skin cancer signs that should raise your suspicions
Itchy, raised or bleeding moles? Spotting the signs that could save your life…
By Faye M Smith •
Yoga for weight loss - why it works, when to practice and the three moves you need to know about
Want to stretch and slim? Then it's time to try yoga for weight loss...
By Rose Goodman •