EuropeActive actively encourages people to embrace healthy lifestyles that will be beneficial for their fitness and health condition, which closely relates to our vision to be the leading European voice for the fitness, exercise and physical activity sector. However, do people know what a healthy lifestyle really consists of?
According to a US research based on 111,000 people tracked for more than 20 years, participants at the age of 50 were asked if they met at least four of these five criteria to check if they were enjoying a healthy life:
- never smoking
- a healthy, balanced diet
- 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity every day
- a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9
- no more alcohol than a small glass of wine a day for women and a pint of beer for men
Women who matched this 4 out of 5 criteria lived an average of another 34 years free of cancer, cardiovascular disease (such as heart attack and stroke) and type-2 diabetes, more than 10 years longer than those who did not. In the case of men following healthy habits, it meant another 31 years of disease-free life - more than seven years extra than unhealthy men could expect.
Healthy habits therefore play a crucial role in enjoying a better, healthy life, thus reinforcing the importance of embracing a lifelong active and healthy lifestyle to gain not just more but quality years of life.