In February, we look at five basic ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

According to a study conducted by the Harvard T.H. School of Public Health, people who met the criteria for all five habits identified as contributing to a healthy lifestyle (see below) lived significantly longer lives than those who did not. For example, if they had maintained a healthy lifestyle up to the age of 50, women lived 14 years longer than those who had not while men enjoyed a longer innings of 12 years. 

Using a massive sample over an extended period of time, the researchers conducted a study into the impact of health habits on life expectancy. They examined data on diet, physical activity, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption. 

Five areas were chosen as studies based on their impact on the risk of premature death: Healthy diet, based on intake of healthy food such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids against unhealthy foods like red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat and sodium. – Healthy physical activity, measured as being at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous daily activity. – Healthy body weight, being a normal body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. – Smoking, there is no healthy smoking! – Moderate alcohol intake, always in moderation and never abusing alcohol. 

How can your Link pharmacist or GP help you? – Take some time out to have your BMI (Body Mass Index), cholesterol, sugar levels and blood pressure checked. You will get a sense of whether your healthy lifestyle measures are working or if you still have some work to do. – If you are still struggling with that new year resolution to quit smoking, talk to your GP or pharmacist as they can help you to stop. – Before starting on a vigorous exercise regime, consider having a medical check up to be safe and also give you some confidence. – Your GP or pharmacist can also refer you to a dietician. – If it is a struggle to reduce your alcohol intake, your GP can also point you in the right direction to get some help. 

A healthy lifestyle however is not just about living longer but also has so many “today” benefits. 

According to the Department of Health: “When people are physically and mentally healthy, they produce more; they incur less healthcare related costs and families and individuals thrive”. 

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While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose.