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Which bad habits accelerate the aging process fastest?

Medical researchers indicate that certain lifestyle choices may accelerate the aging process by up to twelve years. A British study collected health information on 5000 adults, which were tracked for 20 years and patient health status was carefully recorded.

The results of the study were analyzed by researchers in Norway; thereby, helped to confirm the results of this study. The conclusion is that cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and drinking too much alcohol, when combined may shorten the lifespan by about 12 years.

Studies in the US generally focus on one unhealthy habit at a time, but this study evaluated persons with all of these habits and the results indicated that when combined, the health risk is about four times higher than the healthiest participants. Those who engaged in these four behaviors looked and acted older and died about 12 years sooner, thus accelerating the aging process

How much is too much?

Smoking is a serious risk factor factor and even one cigarette per day is considered risky and should be reduced to zero! The finding for alcohol consumption is also quite enlightening. The maximum recommended  consumption for men is two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. For social drinkers, this will require a substantial decrease in consumption. Teen drinkers are at the highest risk of developing health problems.

What is proper nutrition?

Lack of sufficient fruits and vegetables in the daily habit also accelerated the aging process. The study considered daily consumption of three portions of fruit and vegetables to be the minimum adequate amount for participants. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be essential to any nutritional plan to help improve long term health. 

How much exercise is enough?

Physical inactivity is also considered to be a serious contributer to poor health and advanced aging. The current estimate is to obtain about one hour of exercise per pay to maintain proper long-term health and improve immunity.

By recognizing and avoiding these unhealthy habits, accelerated aging may be avoided and result in an improved quality of life. 

Local Scene

Nashville's Nutrition Expert offers advice of developing a long-term nutrition plan. Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, is a frequent guest on News Channel 5, offering a wide variety of nutritional tips for busy families and individuals. Her blog is also available online.

Fine tunning your health for increased longevity and improved quality of life can be achieved by a check up with Nashville's Body Logic MD, Bonita Swartout, DO, who can help evaluate health status and help develop a health plan for life. 

What you should not hide from your doctor

   

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