Living a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean hours of training at the gym and surviving only on salad leaves. Well, a healthy lifestyle is all about making easy to manage healthy choices in your day-to-day life like choosing an organic product and cooking from scratch (even preparing masalas from whole spices) is a much healthier way to eat than buying a packaged or ready-meals, which contain high fat and salt but very low in nutrients. The trick to making your lifestyle healthier is to make small healthy changes in your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator; increasing your diet on fresh fruits; drinking one extra glass of water or quit smoking.
We spend most of our time sitting at our desks, in front of the television, in a meeting or on the phone. A New research has emerged that highlights the potential risk to health from all our sitting behaviour. So give yourself a break time of sitting by standing just for five minutes and reap the health benefits.
Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a massive study on the impact of health habits on life expectancy, using data from the well-known Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). This means that they had data on a huge number of people over a very long period of time. The NHS included over 78,000 women and followed them from 1980 to 2014. The HPFS included over 40,000 men and followed them from 1986 to 2014. This is over 1,20,000 participants, 34 years of data for women, and 28 years of data for men.
The researchers looked at the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study data on diet, physical activity, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption that had been collected from regularly administered, validated questionnaires.
These five tips were chosen because the prior studies have shown them to have a large impact on the risk of premature death. Here is how these healthy lifestyle habits were defined and measured:
- A healthy diet was calculated and rated based on the reported intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, and unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.
- Healthy physical activity level, which was measured, was at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.
- Healthy body weight, which defined as a normal body mass index (BMI), should be between 18.5 and 24.9.
- Well, we all know that the consumption of cigarette causes cancer and there is no healthy amount of smoking. So being healthy here meant never having smoked.
- Moderate alcohol intake was measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, one drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
Researchers also looked at the data based on age, ethnicity, and medication use, as well as comparison data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.