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How Diet, Exercise, and Weight Management Can Add a Decade to Your Life

According to , researchers say healthy lifestyle habits can add as much as a decade to your life span.The researchers identified five lifestyle factors as important, including diet, exercise, and maintaining a moderate body weight.Experts say the two most important things to avoid are smoking and developing overweight or obesity.

Researchers examined data from roughly 73,000 registered female nurses in the United States from the Nurses’ Health Study and from almost 40,000 male health professionals in the United States from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

The study participants didn’t have cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes when they were enrolled.

Study participants were routinely assessed for new diagnoses and deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes for more than 20 years. Researchers adjusted for age, ethnic background, family medical history, and other considerations.

The low-risk lifestyle factors used to calculate a healthy lifestyle score included:

never smoking at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity moderate alcohol intake maintaining a moderate weight (defined as a BMI less than 25)a good quality diet

Adding these five factors together gave a final low-risk lifestyle score ranging from 0 to 5. A higher score indicated a healthier lifestyle.

“Your healthcare provider can help with risk scores that can estimate your risk for death for certain conditions, and evidence-based lifestyle modifications and treatments that can improve conditions,” said Dr. Katrina Miller Parrish, the chief quality and information executive at L.A. Care Health Plan.

“Keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle with low impact, tolerable physical exercise; a good, well-balanced, colorful diet; hydration; and an appropriate amount of sleep can do wonders to help maintain a positive mental outlook and physical state,” Parrish told Healthline.

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