Healthy Living Boosts Life Span

Exercise, non-smoking and the heart healthy Mediterranean diet

Healthy living really does lead to a longer life. At least that is what researchers from the Maastricht University have determined.

Researchers had followed 120,000 men and women aged 55 to 69 years old. All of them had been given a score in 1986 which had been based on their dedication to four vital factors which have been demonstrated to affect mortality. The factors were smoking, physical activity, body weight and dietary habits.

The end result had shown that men, who did not smoke, exercised at a minimum of thirty minutes daily, avoided obesity and followed the heart healthy Mediterranean diet had an 8.5 years longer life span on average in comparison to men who did not of those things.

For women the impact was even greater. On an average those women who followed all four factors had a 15 year longer life span in comparison to women who did none of those things.

Both those numbers for men and women is remarkably when you take into consideration that the life expectancy in the United States where healthy living is not done by regular practice now is at 79.9 years.

Piet van den Brandt, author of study, Professor of Epidemiology at the university and member of the Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, remarked he was surprised the effect was that large and also surprised by the big difference between men and women. He does note that he does not know why women who have healthy living live so much longer than men. One possibility he believes is hormonal differences.

The Mediterranean diet is an eating plan that places emphasis on fruits, vegetables, low fat diary products, fish, nuts, whole grain cereal, legumes, loads of olives and olive oil and most importantly moderate alcohol consumption during meals.

Just in March of this year the diet was established to be a barrier to heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

A key component to the Mediterranean diet is practicing a healthy lifestyle. Such as daily activity like aerobics and walking the family dog.

A brochure of the Mediterranean diet can be downloaded at About Oldways. For great assortment of Mediterranean dishes check out Mediterranean Food Recipes.

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