Skip to Content

These five healthy habits may add more than a decade to your life

Share This Story
These five healthy habits may add more than a decade to your life

We found the secret to gaining more life. Really! New research shows you could live up to 14 years longer by doing just five things.


The study, published in the American Heart Association’s Journal Circulation, found that following these five healthy habits increased longevity for American men and women:

  1. Quitting smoking
  2. Keeping a healthy body weight
  3. Eating a healthy diet
  4. Regularly exercising
  5. Drinking in moderation

Americans have a shorter life expectancy compared with residents of other high-income countries including Japan, Canada and Norway. Following these five habits found American women and men in this study to be 82 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65 percent less likely to die from cancer.

Not only do these behaviors help you feel better, they help you gain life – living a healthy lifestyle during adulthood may extend longevity by 14 years for women and 12 years for men. We could all use more time for that bucket list, couldn’t we?

Five Healthy Habits

Here are some tools to help you live longer and stronger:

Healthy Habit #1: Quitting smoking

  • Remember all the risks of smoking and why you should quit.
  • Plan for the urges to smoke and identify triggers.
  • Take this assessment and see how confident you can resist the urge to smoke in situations presented as you move forward.

Healthy Habit #2: Keeping a healthy body weight

  • Recognize common roadblocks in your weight loss journey.
  • Once you’ve lost weight, here are tips on how you can work to keep it off.
  • Join the movement to be Healthy For Good™ and get the tips and tricks you need on your journey – we’re with you every step of the way!

Healthy Habit #3: Eating healthy

  • Check out these simple cooking tips and healthy recipe ideas.
  • Learn how to eat clean by emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Make healthy eating easier for you, your family and your community by taking action and writing to fast food giants.

Healthy Habit #4: Exercise regularly

  • Set an example to your children and others by Moving More.
  • A good starting goal is at least 150 minutes a week, but if you don’t want to keep tabs on time, just get moving! Find forms of exercise you like and build more opportunities to be active into your daily routine.
  • Check out ways you can get fit in July, when we celebrate fresh air fitness month. This month, head outdoors and get active! Show us how you are enjoying the outdoors on social media with #HealthyForGood.

Healthy Habit #5 Drink alcohol in moderation

  • Know how limiting alcohol can boost your health and lower your blood pressure.
  • “Moderation” means an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.)

According to the research, any of the individual behaviors can help extend your life, and following all five gives you the best chance of being Healthy For Good.

So there you have it. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. What would you do with another decade to live?