4 Ways to Live Longer

There are four things you can do to increase your odds of living a longer, healthier life. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven out of 10 deaths in the United States each year are caused by chronic illnesses. Fifty percent of all deaths are from heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

Some lifestyle choices can add to our risk of chronic illness and early death. A CDC study found that people who engaged in all four of the healthy lifestyle choices listed below are 66 percent less likely to die early from cancer, 65 percent less likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, and 57 percent less likely to die early from other causes compared to people who don’t.

According to the CDC, if you want to live longer, there are four specific things you can do.

1. Don’t Smoke
If you want to give yourself the most protection from early death — from all causes — don’t smoke.

  • If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
  • If you do smoke, and want to quit, call 1-800-Quit-Now, a free telephone support service that can help you to stop smoking or using tobacco.

2. Eat Right

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood.
  • Eat fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains.

3. Exercise

  • Participate in moderate intensity physical activity five or more days per week (150 minutes), such as brisk walking, or
  • Practice vigorous physical activity three or more days per week (75 minutes) such as jogging or race walking.

4. Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use
Drink alcohol in moderation (men should have no more than two drinks per day; and women no more than one drink per day).

When it comes right down to it, don’t we instinctively know this? And haven’t we been told over and over again? New study or not, it seems like common sense. Too bad so many continue to ignore something so simple. Life is so much better when you feel good!

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis.” She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and a regular contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

Image: istockphoto.com


Julia Oleynik
Julia Oleynik4 years ago

Thank you for sharing

Marcia Machado
Marcia Machado7 years ago

I already do these things.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener7 years ago


Niculescu Bogdan
Bogdan Niculescu7 years ago


Frida O.
Frida O7 years ago

All good points, not ground breaking but a good reminder. :)

Emily Drew
Emily Drew7 years ago


Sara Joaquim
Sara Priscila7 years ago

5. SMILE! :D

Darice M.
Darice M7 years ago

All common sense

Koo J.
greenplanet e7 years ago

Even if you can go for a short walk, it's better than nothing.

Also eating less is supposed to be good for longevity too -- easier said than done sometimes!

Linda O.
Linda Owen7 years ago

Very good advice, thanks!