A new study suggests eight healthy habits could add up to 24 years to your life. The study looked at US veterans and found that starting these habits at age 40 could lead to an additional 24 years of life. Even starting at 50 or 60 could add up to 21 or nearly 18 years, respectively.

Lead author Xuan-Mai Nguyen from the Million Veteran Program at VA Boston Healthcare System said these changes can help even if you have chronic diseases like diabetes or high cholesterol.

So, what are these magical habits? They’re things like exercising, eating healthy, reducing stress, sleeping well, and having positive social relationships. On the flip side, avoid smoking, drinking too much, and opioid addiction.

The study, presented at Nutrition 2023, followed nearly 720,000 veterans. Adding one healthy behavior at age 40 added 4.5 years to men’s lives and 3.5 years to women’s lives. Adopting all eight habits extended men’s lives by nearly 25 years and women’s by 22.6 years.

Here’s a breakdown of the habits and their benefits:

1. Exercise: Adding exercise reduced the risk of death by 46%.
2. Avoiding Opioids: Not getting addicted reduced the risk by 38%.
3. No Smoking: This reduced the risk by 29%.
4. Manage Stress: This reduced the risk by 22%.
5. Plant-Based Diet: Eating plant-based raised the chances by 21%.
6. Avoid Binge Drinking: This reduced the risk by 19%.
7. Good Sleep: 7-9 hours of sleep reduced the risk by 18%.
8. Positive Social Relationships: This helped by 5%.

Dr. Walter Willett from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health emphasized the study’s diversity and importance. Remember, while the study shows an association, it doesn’t prove cause and effect. But it’s a good reminder that small changes can make a big difference in your health and lifespan.

Leave a Reply