Increasing Your Odds for a Longer, Healthier Life

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It’s no secret that losing weight and being more physically active contributes to a healthier life. But did you know they can also increase your odds of living a longer life?

The latest numbers released by the National Center for Health Statistics show that American life expectancy has decreased for the first time in more than two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States.

Some risk factors—such as heredity and increasing age—can’t be avoided. The good news is we each possess the power to reduce our risk for heart disease through changes in our behavior.

One of the things we can do is be sure our weight and BMI (body mass index) are within a healthy range. Achieving and maintaining a lean weight is about more than looking and feeling good. It’s about longevity. Choosing a lower calorie, lower fat diet and making exercise a daily habit can also help reduce cholesterol and avoid hypertension, known as “the silent killer.” Other strategies for improving longevity include limiting alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, and reducing stress.

Every day, we each have the opportunity to “stack the deck” in our favor by making choices—and changes—that increase our odds of a longer, healthier life.

Written by Amy Lee, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Lindora Clinic