According to new research from Japan, taking on a better way of life can add many years to your life, even if you’re well into your 80s.
Researchers say that decreasing drinking, not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, and expanding your sleep pattern produce significant gains. These factors can extend your lifespan by six years in a healthy 40-year-old. However, the advantages were much more prominent in those twice the age.
The study from Osaka University shows it is never too late to give up bad habits and shed pounds, from middle age onwards. The study was on just about 50,000 individuals in Japan who were tracked for upwards of 20 years.
The gains also apply to life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
“This is a particularly important finding given the prevalence of chronic disease has increased globally,” said senior author Professor Hiroyasu Iso.
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The group says taking responsibility for your health is crucial to elongating your life and having a pleasurable retirement.
“Idioms and proverbs about the importance of maintaining good health span the ages. Many emphasize how closely health is tied to happiness and the opportunity to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life.”
The review, published in Age of Aging, found that healthy behaviors picked up and applied over time have particularly marked an effect on the length of lifespan.
Adopting a healthier #lifestyle can add years to your life—even in your 80s, according to new #research from Japan. Reducing drinking, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and increasing sleep produce the biggest gains, say scientists. https://t.co/2nsGtePqWU pic.twitter.com/VmXIXL4zNS
— Contemplative Resource Center (@crc_resource) May 17, 2022
The scientist found that taking on at least five or more healthy lifestyle changes increased life expectancy even for individuals over 80 years. So you don’t need a fountain of youth potion to live longer but only make healthier decisions. Significantly, these changes will also impact people with chronic conditions. They got results that were dependent on socioeconomic status, policies such as assisted access to healthcare, and way of life factors.
30 years ago, members of the Japan Collaborate Cohort (JACC) Study filled in surveys that included inquiries about diet and exercise, smoking status, rest length, liquor consumption, and BMI (body mass index). They were also asked about any illnesses.
The point was to increment information about what variables contribute to death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Points were awarded for every healthy way adopted, and the impact of modifying them on projected life expectancy was surveyed. The venture went on until December 2009, when almost 9,000 people had passed on.
It is possibly the first review to measure the impact of improvements to health and well-being among older individuals in a country with a national life expectancy rate of achieving right around 85 years of age.
“The finding that lifestyle improvements have a positive impact on health despite chronic health conditions and older age is an empowering one, especially given the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and longer life,” said lead author Dr. Ryoto Sakaniwa.
A study found that ladies can acquire ten years of life without cancer, heart issues, and type-2 diabetes from a healthy lifestyle. Men can receive seven. That exploration was based on 111,000 Americans tracked for over 20 years. In Boston, lead author Dr. Frank Hu of Harvard School of Public Health depicted the findings as “a positive message for the public.”
“They gain not just more years of life but good years through improved lifestyle choices.”