5 Keys to Living a Long, Healthy, Happy Life

Posted On Friday, 07 February 2014
5 Keys to Living a Long, Healthy, Happy Life
Last week the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that found American's life expectancy has yet again increased for both men and women. Individuals born in 2009 can expect to live longer than ever before - approximately 78.5 years, up from just 78.1 years one year ago.

A gain of more than a third of a year in just one year. At this rate, this might be interpreted to mean the 30 year old person (in 2010) making healthy choices who would have been estimated to live to 95 in 2010, would make it to 115+ by the time she is 90 in 2070.

Since the data were collected and analyzed, life expectancy has increased even higher to 78.7 years, according to the CDC website, in-line with this potential. But will these be healthy vibrant years. Yes, you can make them that.

Thanks to improvements in medical technology for treating heart disease and stroke, Americans are living longer lives than ever before. The downfall of these technologies is that while they are able to buy a few extra years, they are not necessarily providing quality years of health and wellbeing.

Prevention is needed to do that.

YOU do not need a new medical breakthrough to indicate how to reduce your risk of heart disease or cancer, the two leading causes of death in the US. The solution to living a healthier, fuller life (what we call one with a younger RealAge) boils down to choosing lifestyles in food choices and portion size, daily walking and weekly physical activity, avoiding all tobacco and second hand smoking too, only enjoying alcohol and marijuana in moderation, and managing your responses to stress.

If all America made these choices - only 4% do at age 65 - we'd decrease chronic disease needing medical care and disabilities by over 50%.

Another top news story we talked about this month on YOU The Owner's Manual Radio Show supports the importance of your lifestyle choices for preventing chronic disease (Cancer Prevention Research) The researchers analyzed data from 65,838 postmenopausal women to determine how closely they followed the American Cancer Society's guidelines for cancer prevention.

Following the guidelines really paid off - with . a 17% lower risk of any cancer just by coming close on these measures. The reduction in disability occurred for specific cancers as well  - women who followed the prevention guidelines most closely (not even perfectly for any of those factors) had a 22% lower risk of breast cancer and a 52% lower risk of colorectal cancer. If that were not promising enough, respective risk of dying during the study was 27% lower for women with healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Living longer is desirable when it can be done in a healthy and enjoyable manner. Just as the quality of a book is determined by the storyline and words and not by the number of pages, lifespan is not very telling of an individual's quality of life. That's why we called it RealAge—you live as if you were younger than your calendar age when you chose healthy behaviors.

So write your own destiny for a long, healthy life by adopting these five life-saving strategies:

1. Eat a plant-based diet filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and legumes, only 100% whole grains, and healthy oils.

2. Remain active all day long by walking 10,000 steps per day.

3. Build muscle by completing resistance training for 20 minutes, three times per week.

4. Drink alcohol in moderation. For women this means no more than one glass per day and for men, no more than two.

5. Avoid tobacco in any form, include avoid second smoking of cigarettes or e-cigarettes. And if you chose to use marijuana, consume it in food, not by smoking.

Thanks for reading,

Mike Roizen MD, FACP (AKA The Enforcer)

Questions? Just send 'em to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or in the comments below.

Michael Roizen, MD

Dr. Mike is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and co-founder of the well-known RealAge.com website, along with Dr. Mehmet Oz. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and health expert on Oprah.

Dr. Mike hosts the popular YOU The Owner's Manual Radio Show here on RadioMD.com, and on radio stations nationwide.

You can also visit his latest partnership with Dr. Oz at YOUBeauty.com.

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