Practicing healthy habits may help people live disease-free longer

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Sticking to certain healthy lifestyle habits at midlife could add disease-free years to your life, according to a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Study authors found that 50-year-old women who maintained five healthy habits — exercising at least 30 minutes a day, following a healthy diet, maintaining a body mass index in the normal range, having no more than one serving of alcohol a day, and not smoking — lived on average 10.7 more years free of diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, compared with initially healthy women who practiced none of those habits at age 50. Their findings, published online January 8 by BMJ, were based on 34 years of data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which involved more than 73,000 women and some 38,000 men.

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