Revealed: simple health tips for a longer life

Regular exercise, a healthy weight, eating a Mediterranean diet, not smoking... few would be surprised to hear that these four simple health tips make for a healthier lifestyle.

health tips for a longer life

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But for the first time, scientists have calculated exactly how much longer you could live by following this four-step plan - 15 years.

In a 25-year study, researchers monitored the lifestyle choices and death rates of 12,000 people between the ages of 55 and 69, and found that the aforementioned health tips "substantially reduced" the risk of an early death.

Unsurprisingly, those who maintained a normal, healthy weight, ate sensibly, avoided cigarettes and took regular exercise enjoyed a healthier old age.

A diet high in vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish (with limited meat and alcohol consumption) "had the biggest impact on lower mortality rates".

Women were found to benefit more from the lifestyle - the risk of death for middle-aged ladies who did not live well was the same as for a healthy woman 15 years older.

For men, however, a healthy lifestyle added 8.5 years to life expectancy.

The study revealed that by following this healthy lifestyle from day one, women could expect to push their life expectancy to the mid-90s, while the average man could live into their mid-80s.

Professor Piet van den Brandt, who led the research by Maastricht University, said: "This is the first time a study has looked at lifestyle and overall dietary intake on life-span.

"Previous studies have looked at specific nutrients and their effects but not diet and lifestyle as a whole. It is also the first to draw a distinction between men and women in the effects of a lifestyle on mortality.

"It means lifestyle really can have a large impact on whether you die early or not and that seems to be more significant for women than men."

Do you follow the four-step plan? Leave a comment below...