Which habits are harmful to health

Health: Five habits that will add ten years to your life

It really comes as no surprise that a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and avoiding drugs are healthy. But the clear figures that the researchers led by the epidemiologist Frank Hu from Harvard University are now presenting in the journal "Circulation" will certainly make some people think again who so far preferred to give in to all temptations in the here and now rather than disciplined for a long life working towards the future.

The team analyzed data from more than 78,000 subjects and 44,000 subjects in the United States over a period of 34 and 27 years, respectively. Result: women with an unhealthy lifestyle still had an average of 29 years of life at the age of 50, whereas women who were completely healthy still had 43 years. 50-year-old men remained correspondingly for another 25.5 or 37.6 years. So 12 years more for men and 14 more for women, provided that they did their body good in five ways. That means eating healthily, exercising moderately for at least 30 minutes every day, not smoking and drinking "moderate" alcohol. Women no more than around 140 milliliters of wine a day, men no more than 280 milliliters. After all, the fifth rule should then be adhered to by itself: keep your normal weight.

The cardiovascular system in particular should benefit from these five golden rules - cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, as it is here in this country. Those who followed a healthy lifestyle had an 82 percent lower risk of succumbing to cardiovascular disease within the next 30 years. The risk of dying from cancer was around 65 percent lower than those with all-around unhealthy habits. In Germany, women smokers lose around ten years of their lives as a result of cancer, the Federal Statistical Office reported in 2016.

How exactly, for example, regular exercise promotes heart health was recently demonstrated in an experiment with middle-aged subjects: with four to five training sessions per week, they were able to prevent the "aging of the heart caused by sitting" that otherwise occurs with only light training. was the conclusion of the study director and cardiologist Benjamin Levine. But even if numerous other experiments also speak in favor of a cause-and-effect relationship: the different life expectancy is likely to be partly due to previous illnesses and other physical dispositions that limit both life expectancy and sporting activities.