A new CDC report finds that people can live longer if they practice one or more healthy lifestyle behaviors— not smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and limiting alcohol consumption. Not smoking provides the most protection from dying early from all causes.
The study, “Low Risk Lifestyle Behaviors and All-Cause Mortality: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Mortality Study,” is published online today by the American Journal of Public Health.
People who engaged in all four healthy behaviors were 66 percent less likely to die early from cancer, 65 percent less likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, and 57 percent less likely to die early from other causes compared to people who did not engage in any of the healthy behaviors.
What You Can Do to Live a Healthier and Longer Life:
Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use
Drink alcohol in moderation (men should have no more than two drinks per day; and women no more than one drink per day).
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood.
- Eat fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains.
Engage in Physical Activity
- Participate in moderate intensity physical activity 5 or more days per week (150 minutes), such as brisk walking, or
- Practice vigorous physical activity 3 or more days per week (75 minutes) such as jogging or race walking.