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Eight Habits to Take Up by Age 40 if You Want to Live Decades Longer

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Researchers who studied the lifestyles of 700,000 Americans found men who had adopted all eight by age 40 lived around 24 years longer than those who had none.

Women who did so lived 21 years longer, according to the findings.

The eight habits are: being physically active, being free from opioid addiction, not smoking, managing stress, having a good diet, not regularly binge drinking, having good sleep hygiene, and having positive social relationships.

While literally not one of those is likely to surprise any individual who has taken even a single cursory glance at a recommendation for how to improve their health, 24 years does encapsulate the importance of basic, well-researched habits.

“We were really surprised by just how much could be gained with the adoption of one, two, three, or all eight lifestyle factors,” said study author Dr Xuan-Mai Nguyen, of the Department of Veterans Affairs at Carle Illinois College of Medicine, emphasizing exactly that point.

“Our research findings suggest… the earlier the better, but even if you only make a small change in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, it still is beneficial.”

The team used data from medical records and questionnaires collected between 2011-2019 from 719,147 people enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program.

The analysis included data from adults aged 40-99 and included 33,375 deaths during follow-up.

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