Living a healthy life can contribute to a good life in many ways. But did you know that regular exercise can increase as many as 10 years in your life? A recent US study claims that maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly, avoiding excessive alcohol and not smoking during adulthood can add a decade to life expectancy of a person. Researchers at Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health found that people who maintained a healthy lifestyle are 82% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65% less likely to die from cancer. This in comparison to people who lived less healthy lifestyle over the course of 30 years during which the study was conducted.
Published in journal Circulation, the study is considered to be the first comprehensive analysis of how living a lifestyle of low risks affects life expectancy in the US. As part of the study, around 34 years of data was analysed from more than 78,000 women and 2 years of data from more than 44,000 men.
Researchers looked five low-risk lifestyle factors and how they impact mortality. These lifestyle factors included low body mass index, ranging from 18.5 to 24.9 kg per square metre, not smoking, at least 30 minutes of moderate level of exercise, a healthy diet and moderate intake of alcohol which is not more than 1 glass of wine per day for women and 2 glassed for men.
Among the participants, the ones who did not adopt any of the these low-risk lifestyle factors, their life expectancy at the age of 50 was estimated to be 29 and 25.5 years for women and men respectively.
The ones who did adopt low-risk lifestyle factors were found to have improved lifestyle expectancy. Life expectancy for people at the age of 50 was estimated to be 43.1 and 37.6 years for women and men respectively.
On an average, it was found that women who maintained all healthy habits gained 14 years of life and men gained 12 years of life on living a healthy lifestyle.
Apart from increasing life expectancy, living a healthy lifestyle has many more health benefits.
It helps in maintaining a healthy weight
A person who is physically active will be able to maintain his/her weight at ease. Exercising is especially important for people who are on weight loss regime. Eating a balanced and healthy diet along with moderate level of exercise of 150 minutes in a week will help you maintain weight successfully.
Reduces incidence of diseases
Living a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise and clean and healthy diet is inversely proportional to your incidence of developing diseases. People who live a healthy lifestyle are less prone to risks of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Living a healthy lifestyle helps in keeping depression, cancer and arthritis at bay.
It improves mood
A healthy lifestyle is a gateway to a healthy mind. Engaging in some kind of physical activity stimulates production of endorphins or happiness hormones. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly will improve your physical appearance and will end up boosting your confidence and self-esteem. Living a healthy lifestyle also helps in reducing stress significantly.
Gives a boost to energy
People who live a healthy lifestyle are less likely to feel tired and lethargic. Exercising regularly improves muscle strength and boosts endurance. Exercising makes your cardiovascular system more efficiently. It promotes better sleep, which in turn makes your feel energetic the entire day.