Today we will be looking at a study from the CDC and discussing five tips to potentially prolong your life. The Centers for Disease Control has discussed if an adherence to certain behaviors could lead to a decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease. To measure this they used participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey containing 44,959 participants. The study examined them from 1988-1994, 1999-2004 and 2005-2010.
Researchers used specific cardiovascular health survey metrics such as smoking status, physical activity level, body mass index, healthy diet intake, total serum cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose. Participants were scored on these compared to the optimal status in each metric. Incidentally, of the 44,959 participants, only 2% achieved optimal status in every metric.
The results clearly showed that those with two or more optimal metric scores had a 27 percent lower adjusted risk of dying of cardiovascular disease compared to having only one or none. Meeting six or more showed a decline of 76 percent. Taking it even further, those meeting six or more metrics had a 51 percent lower risk of dying of any cause. Researchers concluded, ”Our findings indicate that the presence of a greater number of cardiovascular health metrics was associated with a graded and significantly lower risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality.”
Applying what we know from this study, there are steps you can take to improve your health and potentially prolong your life. Our top five ways to do this are:
- Quit or Don’t Start Smoking — with what we know about the dangers of smoking, no one should still be smoking.
- Achieve an Optimal Waist-to-Height Ratio — divide your waist size measurement taken at the belly button by your height. Both should be in inches. A desirable ratio for men is 43 — 53 percent and for women, 42 — 49 percent.
- 30 Minutes of Moderate Intensity Physical Activity Daily — it is recommended that you do this at least five days a week.
- Mediterranean Style Eating — get a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low in saturated fat. Also, have moderate consumption of unsaturated fat such as olive oil, walnuts, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish.
- Relax — use meditation or other ways to relax. Everyone is different, so find what brings you relaxation and incorporate it into your life.
Interested in reading more? Check out our Top Five Benefits of Meditation