Seven steps to prolong your lifeBe active, control your weight
If living as long as possible is your aim then a Canadian cardiologist has drawn up his checklist of seven things that will optimise your chance of living to 90 or 100.
Dr Clyde Yancy, a lecturer at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, says people should:
- get active
- know and control their cholesterol levels
- follow a healthy diet
- know and control their blood pressure
- maintain a healthy weight
- manage diabetes and stop smoking
His argument is that any country’s health prevention focus should be on these areas and that if they were followed in Canada it would save billions of dollars in healthcare costs by reducing the incidence of heart disease and strokes.
In the UK, Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Dr Yancy’s simple suggestions aren’t rocket science but he’s right to say they could make a huge and immediate difference to the heart health of many, many people.
“Here in the UK, heart and circulatory disease costs the economy £30bn every year. Each of us can help lessen the national burden of heart disease by choosing a healthier lifestyle, but our governments must also do all they can to help individuals make those choices which will save lives and money,” she said.
Dr Yancy is a past president of the American Hearth Association (AHA) and he believes if people follow these suggestions they have an extremely good chance of reaching the age of 90 — even if they are middle aged now.
Adopting these steps not only increases your chances of living a long time, it will also reduce the time when you experience ill health. Some say that by embracing a health lifestyle, life-threatening diseases can be compressed into the final stages of life so that your quality of life is maintained for as long as possible.
There is much work to be done; at present only about 10% of the population of North America achieves such a healthy lifestyle. In the UK two-thirds of British adults are overweight or obese.
This article was published on Fri 21 October 2011
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