Your eating habits, exercise routine and alcohol consumption now will have a huge impact on your senior health later in life – according to a new study out of England this week.
The study followed 5,100 men and women aged 42 to 63 for approximately 16 years. All participants were deemed healthy (free of cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke) when the study started.
Each individual was initially asked about their behavior in these four areas:
- Never Smoking.
- Physical activity (at least 2.5 hours a week of moderate intensity physical activity or one hour or more of vigorous physical activity a week.).
- Eating fruits and vegetables daily.
- Moderate alcohol consumption of one to 14 units per week for women and one to 21 units per week for men.
Participants who followed all four healthy habits were deemed 3.3 times more likely to age successfully. Successful aging, defined by researchers is “enjoying not only good physical and mental health, but also being free of disability from chronic disease such as heart disease and cancer.”
The authors noted that, while following one of the healthy behaviors can have an impact, substantial results are achieved when all four are maintained.
Here is the breakdown of participants in the study and their behaviors:
- 4.9 per cent engaged in no healthy behaviours.
- 18.3 per cent engaged in one.
- 33.8 engaged in two.
- 31.3 per cent engaged in three.
- 11.8 per cent engaged in four.
The study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation and the U.S. National Institute on Aging.