Aging can become a speedy process for some individuals, but simple changes in lifestyle can help achieve longevity. In fact, an estimated 37 million premature deaths could be avoided if people could reduce the burden of the following six risk factors, according to researchers:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Salt intake
- High blood pressure
An individual who smokes, drinks a lot, is physically inactive and has an unhealthy diet has 2.5-fold higher mortality risk in epidemiological terms than an individual who looks after his/her health. According to a University of Cambridge scientist, people may lose 30 minutes of life expectancy for every two cigarettes they smoke, for being 11 pounds overweight, and for eating an extra portion of red meat daily. The good news is that anyone can add years to their life by changing some bad habits—that is the goal of the functional medicine approach. Scientists have found changes in the following four lifestyle choices will help achieve longevity.
Drinking in moderation can affect your health positively, according to research. Studies show drinking one or two alcoholic beverages a day could help reduce the risk of dementia and lower stroke risk in older adults. Did you know that dark beer contains large amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants? The key is moderation.
Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of death. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer death and is responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity, and esophagus. What’s more alarming is that environmental tobacco smoke is responsible for thousands of cases of lung cancer in non-smokers.
Eating a healthy diet reduces the risk of aging-related chronic diseases, physical impairment and mental/cognitive issues. Healthy agers were found to follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium. Populations living along the Mediterranean Sea are known for having a low incidence of chronic diseases and high life-expectancy rates. Their diets are high in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and good fats. Red meat is eaten only sparingly.
Physical activity is at the top of the anti aging lifestyle pyramid. According to research, poor physical activity in your 50s may raise your risk for an early death. Similarly, a 20-minute walk was found to help stave off major disability and enhance the quality of life of older adults. Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood circulation. Implementing these simple lifestyle changes has proved beneficial in prolonging life by reversing heart disease and decreasing the risk of conditions such as cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. At Bellissimo, we specialize on educating patients about how these and other environmental and lifestyle factors
influence the emergence and progression of disease and how to avoid it.