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Top 6 Lifestyle Choices that Promote Health, Longevity and Prevent Death

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Created: June 21, 2007

Health-promoting lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing chronic disease and the causes of premature death. What you choose to eat, drink or otherwise ingest, how much you sleep and how active you choose to be can significantly impact both your health and longevity.

Six lifestyle behaviors have the greatest influence on your health and physiological age. They can be added as part of your daily lifestyle choices to improve your life span and potentially add years to your life.

1. Getting regular and adequate amounts of sleep.

Getting a regular amount of sleep is important to give your body a chance to restore and regenerate not only the proverbial "batteries" but to attend to all of the metabolic functions required by the body, such as regenerating old cells, getting rid of wastes and repairing cell damage.

2. Eating regular well-balanced meals, including breakfast.

A healthy balanced diet can help provide energy, lower risks for certain diseases--heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancers--while maintaining a normal weight.

Certain diseases or conditions have proven relationships with specific nutrition and/or dietary elements. These different diseases can be affected positively and negatively by what you eat.

3. Engaging in regular physical activity.

Thirty minutes a day of regular physical activity contributes to health by reducing the heart rate, decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, and reducing the amount of bone loss that is associated with age and osteoporosis.

4. Maintaining a healthy body weight.

Physical activity helps the body use calories more efficiently, thereby helping in weight loss and maintenance. Additionally, sixty minutes of regular physical activity will help in maintaining weight.

5. Not using tobacco products--smoking, chewing, snuff or others.

Chronic exposure to the nicotine in tobacco may accelerate coronary artery disease, peptic ulcer disease, reproductive disturbances, esophageal reflux, hypertension, fetal illnesses and death and lead to delayed wound healing.

6. Using alcohol in moderation or not at all.

Moderate alcohol consumption (one drink for women, two for men) is associated with a lower risk or heart disease. Higher levels of alcohol can lead to health and behavioral problems, including an increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, some cancers, accidents, violence, suicide and deaths in general.

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