Exercise, eat lots of fruits and veggies, don't drink or eat too much and don't smoke.
If there's a simple formula for basic health, that's it. Study after study reinforces this relatively simple prescription for health -- but fewer and fewer Americans are taking the advice, according to a new study by the Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston, published in the American Journal of Medicine.
The researchers looked at National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 1988-1994, and compared it to the 2001-2006 period:
"The potential public health benefits from promoting a healthier lifestyle at all ages, and especially ages 40-74 years, are substantial," writes Dr. Dana E. King, a lead author of the study. "Regular physical activity and a prudent diet can reduce the risk of premature death and disability from a variety of conditions including coronary heart disease, and are strongly related to the incidence of obesity. In the U.S., medical costs due to physical inactivity and its consequences are estimated at $76 billion in 2000 dollars. Research indicates that individuals are capable of adopting healthy habits in middle age, and making an impact on cardiovascular risk."
The Daily Green recommends a commonsense approach to health:
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