Living to 100? New Study Ties 4 Lifestyle Habits to Longevity

“If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

That’s what actor and comedian George Burns, a notorious cigar smoker who lived to be 100, used to say.

But if you make good choices about healthy eating and physical activity, will that actually help you to live longer? A new study indicates that it will — and possibly a lot longer.

Since 1986, researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands have been tracking 120,000 men and women age 55 to 69. The question was whether smoking, physical activity, body weight and healthy dietary habits would actually affect longevity.

The results showed that men who did not smoke, exercised at least 30 minutes a day, avoided obesity and stuck to the Mediterranean Diet lived about 8½ years longer than other men. And the effect was even greater among women in the study, adding an average of 15 years to the lifespan of women who met all four of those healthy-living criteria.

“I was surprised that the effect was so big,” study author Piet van den Brandt, professor of epidemiology at the university, told CBS News. “I was also surprised at the big difference between men and women.”

Note to men: Please get serious about diet and exercise, so we women will have someone to dance with at our own 100th birthday parties!

Would you like to live to 100? Add a comment below and tell me what you have planned for your 100th birthday celebration.

Photo credit: funadium

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