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July 18, 2022

Follow these tips for a longer and healthier life

Imagine being told that by making just four small lifestyle changes, you could potentially slash your risk of developing a chronic disease by up to 93 percent. That’s exactly what the findings of a large European study suggested more than a decade ago. The paper, entitled “Healthy Living Is the Best Revenge,” found that following a healthy lifestyle could have a dramatic impact on disease prevention.

Compared to those who didn’t follow any healthy lifestyle factors, those who adhered to four simple habits were at far lower risk for developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. In fact, their risks were reduced by 81 percent, 50 percent, 93 percent, and 36 percent respectively. While the study was conducted in Europe, its findings are just as relevant here in the United States.

 Regimen to extend human life expectancy

Every year, there are nearly half a million heart attacks, strokes, and cases of diabetes diagnosed in this country – not to mention a million new cancer diagnoses. So adopting a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for your health.

We all know that leading a healthy lifestyle is important for our overall wellbeing. But did you know that adopting just a few healthy behaviors can have a major impact on our health?

According to recent research, never smoking, not being obese, averaging about a half hour of exercise a day, and adhering to healthy dietary principles can reduce our risk of major chronic diseases by up to 80 percent!

 So if you're looking to improve your health, following these four simple rules is a great place to start. And who knows - by making some small changes in your lifestyle, you may be able to enjoy a longer, healthier life.

The U.S. population has a shorter life expectancy compared with residents of nearly all other high-income countries. This is due in part to unhealthy lifestyle choices that Americans make. A recent study looked at the impact of four healthy lifestyle behaviors on life expectancies in the U.S.

The study found that the four healthy lifestyle behaviors combined predicted a four-fold difference in total mortality, with an estimated impact equivalent to 14 years in chronological age. In other words, individuals who made healthy lifestyle choices were dying at such a reduced rate that it was as if they were 14 years younger.

The study highlights the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices in order to improve life expectancy.

Adopting a healthier lifestyle in middle age

A large-scale study recently concluded that living a healthy lifestyle could have major impacts on prolonging an individual's life. The study, which followed over 100,000 adults for over three decades, found that individuals who adhered to a "low-risk" lifestyle saw substantial increases in their life expectancy.

On average, women saw their life expectancy extended by 14 years, while men saw theirs extended by 12.2 years. This means that, on average, a 50-year-old woman who lives a healthy lifestyle can expect to live until 93, while a 50-year-old man can expect to live until 87.5. These findings underscore the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and offer motivation for making changes in one's behavior.

It's never too late to live a healthier lifestyle. Making small changes, like eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, walking for 20 minutes a day, and maintaining a healthy weight, can have a big impact on your health. In fact, research has shown that making these changes can reduce your risk of dying in the next four years by 40%.

So if you're looking for a way to improve your health, making some lifestyle changes is a great place to start. And there's no need to wait until you're older to make these changes - middle age is the perfect time to start living a healthier life.

When I read that the study was based on data from health professionals, I got excited about all the potential knock-on effects. If health professionals start getting healthier, they can become role models for more healthful living and potentially save more lives than just their own. But that may have just been wishful thinking. Practicing what you preach can sometimes backfire.

Evidently, “displays of excellence can paradoxically turn off the very people they are trying to inspire.”Still, I can’t help but think that if we could get more health professionals to practice what they preach, it could have a positive ripple effect on the overall health of our society.

There's a lot of truth to the saying "practice what you preach." After all, it's hard to take someone seriously as a dance instructor if they can't dance, or as a health professional if they're not healthy. When we see that someone is living up to their own advice, it inspires confidence and trust.

However, there's also a downside to being a walking example of everything you believe in. For one thing, it can make you a target for hostility and ridicule. This is especially true for people who are seen as morally superior, like vegetarians. When others perceive that we're looking down on them, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy. In some cases, it might be better to keep our own beliefs to ourselves.

It's interesting how we react to people who defy authority, especially when that authority is asking them to do something morally reprehensible. A recent study showed that when people refused to obey an order to do something racist, they were cheered by observers but disparaged by those who had gone through with it.

The rebel's stance was an implied indictment of their own spinelessness, and it was not well received. It's a fascinating phenomenon, and one that says a lot about our social interactions and moral compass.

It's no secret that many people view doctors as being "holier-than-thou." And while it's true that doctors should be held to a higher standard when it comes to their own health, it's important to remember that they're human too. Just like the rest of us, doctors are faced with the same struggles and temptations when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The difference is that, as physicians, they are in a unique position to help their patients overcome these challenges. So, while it may be tempting for doctors to portray themselves as "the picture of health," it's important to remember that this can unintentionally alienate patients and turn them off from seeking the help they need.

 After all, we all want healthy practitioners - but we also want them to be relatable and understanding.

When it comes to making patients comfortable, there are a few things we can do as fitness-focused physicians. For one, we can emphasize that our role is to help people meet their own personal health goals - whatever those may be. Studies show that this approach increases the appeal of fitness-focused physicians to overweight patients.

So, while we're displaying exemplary behavior, we're also not inadvertently alienating the very people who would benefit most from our guidance. In short, we can lead by example while still being supportive and understanding of each individual's unique situation. By taking this approach, we can make a real difference in the lives of our patients.


  • https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-increase-your-life-expectancy-12-to-14-years/
  • Ford ES, Bergmann MM, Kröger J, Schienkiewitz A, Weikert C, Boeing H. Healthy living is the best revenge: findings from the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(15):1355-62.
  • Khaw K-T, Wareham N, Bingham S, Welch A, Luben R, Day N. Combined impact of health behaviours and mortality in men and women: the EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study. PLoS Med. 2008;5(1):e12.
  • Larrick JW, Mendelsohn AR. Finally, a regimen to extend human life expectancy. Rejuvenation Res. 2018;21(3):278-82.
  • Li Y, Pan A, Wang DD, et al. Impact of healthy lifestyle factors on life expectancies in the us population. Circulation. 2018;138(4):345-55.
  • King DE, Mainous AG, Geesey ME. Turning back the clock: adopting a healthy lifestyle in middle age. Am J Med. 2007;120(7):598-603.
  • Howe LC, Monin B. Healthier than thou? “Practicing what you preach” backfires by increasing anticipated devaluation. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2017;112(5):718-35.
  • O’Connor K, Monin B. When principled deviance becomes moral threat: Testing alternative mechanisms for the rejection of moral rebels. Group Process Intergroup Relat. 2016;19(5):676-93.
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