Since humankind has existed, we’ve tried to unravel the secrets to long life.
We created the legend of the fountain of youth. And we’ve spun countless stories about Methuselah who some say lived into his 900s… with two zeroes.
Well, I hope you’re sitting down because it looks like a new study published in the journal Circulation has finally cracked the aging code.
The Harvard researchers narrowed down five concrete things we all can do to add more than a decade to our lifespan.
And the best part of all? NONE of these live longer techniques involves risky surgery, dangerous chemicals, or outrageous lifestyle changes.
Live longer secret REVEALED
The researchers carefully sifted through data gathered from studies over the course of 40 years. And they crunched the numbers from over 123,000 folks to reveal the secret.
The concluded the following five things can add YEARS to your life…
- eating a healthy diet
- getting enough exercise
- drinking in moderation
- maintaining a BMI of 18.5-24.9
- never having smoked
Now nothing on that list probably surprises you too much. But the exciting part is how powerful those items are when they work together.
Men, when you check off all five, it can extend your life by at least 12 years. And ladies you can expect to live at least 14 years longer.
Imagine living long enough to watch your grandkids grow up, or graduate… even get married. Or voting in a few more presidential elections so you can leave this world a better place for your loved ones.
5 key steps to extend life by over a decade
So how can you make this revelation help you live longer? Let’s take a closer look at each one.
1. Eat a healthy diet:
Since you’re reading this, I’m betting you’ve already been working on your diet. And experts say our food habits typically get better as we age too.
But according to the study, unless you’re already eating a perfect diet there are things you can do to help the process along. The Harvard researcher’s advice will sound familiar to regular Healthier Talk readers.
- refined flours
- junk sodium
- processed foods
And eat more…
- whole grains
- healthy fats
In other words, things you’re probably ALREADY working on.
2. Exercise regularly:
Don’t worry, no one expects you to live at the gym or take up marathon running. To reap the rewards seen in the study you only need to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes a day, at least six days a week.
Establishing an exercise routine can be hard. The easiest way to stick to it is to add it to your calendar as you would for any other appointment, meeting, or event.
If you’re tech-savvy, you can set it up on your smartphone, so you get a reminder that pops up. Or if you have a home assistant such as Alexa or Google Home ask the unit to remind you when it’s time to strap your walking shoes on.
3. Drink in moderation:
With all the conflicting information out there about alcohol, it’s easy to get confused. Here’s the bottom line. There can be some moderate health benefits from drinking wine.
But when you exceed the limits, all bets are off. The potential benefits go right down the drain.
So how much is enough? Easy. Ladies think, “power of one.” And gentlemen remember, “two and done.” In other words for women, it’s a single glass daily. And for men it’s no more than two.
4. Maintain a healthy BMI:
According to the researchers, maintaining a specific BMI or body mass index range could help add years to your life. But let’s face it. If you’re like most folks of a certain age, it’s been a while since you’ve seen the numbers in the study. And with each passing year, it gets a bit harder to lose weight.
Don’t give up. You may not be able to hit the exact range the researchers say is optimal. But you can certainly shave off a few pounds. And other research shows losing even just five pounds has a bunch of benefits which could help us live longer too such as improving sleep, reducing inflammation, and improving blood sugar.
Lose a bit more, five percent of your body fat, and you can boost your heart health and reduce your risk of cancer too. Small losses mean significant gains, even if your BMI never reaches an ideal number.
5. Never smoke:
If you smoke, or are already an ex-smoker, don’t think this ship has sailed and just give up. Quitting smoking has already guaranteed that you’re healthier. And it has sent your chances of living longer skyrocketing.
Five years after your last puff, your arteries are healing and expanding again That means increased blood flow and decreased risk of heart problems. And after 10 years, you’ve slashed your chance of developing lung cancer in half.
Once 15 years have gone by, the odds of developing coronary heart disease or pancreatic cancer are the same as a non-smoker. And after 20 years, your risk of dying from ANY smoking-related cause has dropped to the same level as someone who never has smoked.
And if you’re still smoking now? It only takes one day without lighting up for the risk of a heart attack to start to drop. After just one month, your chance of developing lung cancer will have begun to go down too.
So there’s no doubt about it. Quitting smoking can add years to your life too.
Modern research has FINALLY cracked the aging code. We CAN live longer. Stick as closely as you can to these five key factors, and you too can add a dozen or more years to your lifespan.