When you visit an integrative medicine clinic, you may be prescribed lifestyle changes in addition to medications to treat various ailments. These recommendations are rooted in clinical science, just like any prescription medication would be. The difference, however, is that lifestyle modifications can impact a wide range of health factors, while medications only address specific symptoms of a single condition.
In this video, I discuss 5 essential longevity behaviors discussed in the article “Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population” published in April 2018 by the American Heart Association. This article isolates 5 key behaviors for improving life expectancy and reducing common health complications, such as heart disease.
Which behaviors matter most?
The study included 5 lifestyle-related factors: diet, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and BMI, or body mass index. Research indicated that very few people score positively for all 5 behaviors. In fact, fewer than 10% of individuals fit into this category.
How much of a difference can these changes make?
On average, women who did take part in all five positive lifestyle behaviors lived on average 14 years longer than women who did not. Furthermore, men who scored well in all 5 lifestyle factors lived 12.2 years longer than those who did not. This indicates a very strong correlation between lifestyle and longevity.