In this article, we’re going to talk about one study that was conducted at Harvard University in 2018. The researchers analyzed an impressive 34 years of data from more than 78,000 women and huge 27 years of data from more than 44,000 men.
Perhaps the results of this study won’t surprise anyone or anything. You might say that your great-grandparents didn’t do any of these things, didn’t take care of their health, drank, smoked, and lived to be 90-100 years old. However, these are only exceptions to the rule. For most people, this way of life and behavior unfortunately does not lead to a long life. Besides, genes are just “one piece of the puzzle”. Many scientists estimate that longevity is only 20% based on genetics and 80% depends on lifestyle and environment.
So, let’s already consider which five habits can extend a person’s life by 10 years or more:
1. Healthy eating
This is definitely a popular trend today. However, for some older people, dieting and food choices are quite difficult. Many are not ready to give up their favorite but unhealthy foods (such as fried steak). Others are used to eating fast food and cannot imagine their day without it.
Meanwhile, it is a key factor in longevity. A study published in the British journal “The Lancet” proved that improper diet is responsible for the death of one in five people on Earth. It can also lead to problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
According to the researchers, a good diet should include minimally processed whole foods and grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and any natural sources of protein (such as fish and beans).
2. Daily exercises
Even a small amount of daily exercise can increase life expectancy by years. Therefore, it should not be neglected.
Of course, this does not mean that you have to exhaust yourself at the gym. The key idea is to avoid inactivity, such as taking 30 minutes each day to exercise or take a walk.
Physical activity helps maintain a healthy body weight, healthy bones, muscles, and joints, promotes psychological well-being, and reduces the risk of certain diseases, including some cancers.
3. Healthy weight
We are talking about the normal weight, which was established by nature for each person before he or she began to lead an unhealthy lifestyle.
A healthy weight is different for everyone, but simplistically, a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9 can be considered normal. BMI is weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared. An even easier (and more crude) method to calculate a healthy weight is to take your height (e.g. 180 kg) and take one unit away from it – you get 80 kg.
If you already have the right body weight, it doesn’t mean you can go to all that trouble. Studies show that people who do not regularly monitor their weight are more prone to obesity. Conversely, regular self-weighing is associated with weight loss and maintenance in adults.
4. Avoiding of alcohol or drinking it in moderation
Alcohol often comes into our lives on holidays, at events, at parties… And some people have a party every day. Alcohol sometimes acts as a kind of stimulant in a social environment.
Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as one drink for women every day and two for men. But completely avoiding alcohol gives even more benefits.
5. Smoking cessation
The health risks associated with smoking are obvious to all people. But for most people, getting rid of the habit is not easy.
It’s interesting to know
The humanity is aging rapidly. And so it is possible that we will have to work more and longer in old age. According to the United Nations, as of 2021, people under the age of 15 account for 26% of the world’s population, and people 65 and older account for 10%. The total demographic burden on the working-age population worldwide is 56 children (under 15) and older people (65 and over) per 100 people 15-64, including 41 children and 16 older people.
An aging society is a serious economic problem. According to UN forecasts, by 2050, 22% of the world’s population will be pensioners, and there will be one pensioner for every working citizen in the countries of the world.
Because of the low birth rate, the populations of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and other developed countries will remain nearly unchanged over the coming years, slowly increasing from 1.2 billion in 2010 to 1.3 billion in 2031, a level that will remain stable until the end of the 21st century.
As for life expectancy, the statistics are even more interesting. Thus, according to the UN:
- in 2000, there were approximately 151,000 people over 100 years old living on the planet,
- in 2019, it will be 533,000,
- and in 2021, 574,000.
What is also interesting: it was mostly women (80%).
Experts and scients also predict that 50% of those born now will live to be 100 years old. Thus, by the middle of the twenty-first century, a large number of long-livers 100+ among us will be commonplace.