How to live longer: Four habits to lower cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis risk

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Living a long and healthy life will always be attributed to your daily habits. What you do today could impact your health years from now. With this in mind, what are the daily habits you could start adopting to help reduce cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and even the risk of some cancers?

Author of The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old, Andrew Steele advises in his book that people have more control over their ageing process than they realise.

The London-based computational biologist appeared on the Today show to promote his research and explained how certain habits implemented into your daily life can help slow down the ageing process and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Steele advises adopting these four healthy habits to help boost longevity.

Incorporate some form of exercise daily

Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity in a day will help to ensure a healthier life by keeping the bones, muscles and joints healthy.

Exercising also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer and osteoporosis.

“If you literally don’t do any exercise at all, even going for a 10-minute walk every day is going to dramatically improve your health,” said Steele.

Get enough sleep

A study of nearly 40,000 people showed that for people younger than 65, getting an average of five hours or less of sleep per night over the weekend increased the odds of death by 52 percent, compared with getting at least seven hours of sleep.

Steele stresses in his research the importance of getting seven or eight hours of sleep per night which is the right target with recommended guidelines.

Various processes are at work when a person gets their adequate amount of sleep per night which helps to keep the cardiovascular system to the brain function at its best.

More vegetables and less meat

Plant-based diets are rich in essential nutrients which are believed to safeguard against obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease boosting one’s longevity.

Adopting this type of diet in your life is also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Just generally, it looks as though eating a plant-based diet is likely to be healthier, likely to make you live a bit longer, so that’s something I’ve tried to do,” Steele added.

Practice good oral health

The mouth is effectively a gateway into the body for a large number of micro-organisms, which can cause infection in organs throughout the body.

These microbes are usually linked with gum disease, tooth decay and abscesses in the mouth.

When such dental conditions are left untreated, the microbes can spread throughout the body either via the digestive tract or through the bloodstream.

At its worst, the inflammation associated with periodontal disease may, in turn, increase inflammation throughout the body, leading to diseases such as osteoporosis, which is linked to periodontal bone loss; or rheumatoid arthritis, being the destruction of connective tissue similar to the tissue degeneration found in gum disease, said Smile Solutions.

The site continued: “It has long been known that gum disease can increase the risk of poor glycaemic control, thereby increasing the severity of diabetes.

“Similarly, the chronic inflammation found in gum disease had been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels and stroke.”
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