Seven Tips for a Long and Healthy Life
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Seven Tips for a Long and Healthy Life

Here, seven tips for a long and healthy life are given. The question, however, is whether or not one is willing to incorporate them in their daily lifes.

Health Psychology and Prevention

Health psychology does not only concern itself with optimizing treatments for diseases, but also with preventing these diseases. The biggest problem in preventing diseases, is not that it is unknown how to do this, but rather using this knowledge to change the convictions and actions of people. Knowing that something is good or bad for you does not necessarily imply that you are going to change your behavior accordingly. People tend to be stubborn and have difficulty changing their habits.

Seven Tips

Nevertheless, there are clear indications that some behaviors have great beneficial effects. As soon as the early 70’s, it was found that there are seven key behaviors that are closely tied to the health condition and life expectancy of a person:

  • Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day.
  • Have breakfast every day.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Eat little between meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, close to the ideal weight for your body structure.
  • Limit alcohol consumption (or don’t drink alcohol at all).
  • Regular physical exercise.

From Knowledge to Action

Even today, these seven tips are still the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Someone who does his or her best to accommodate to these tips, will averagely live longer than someone who doesn’t. There seems to be, however, a gap between the knowledge people possess about health promoting factors and the actions they perform. For example, most people who smoke are aware of the fact that it is detrimental for their health, but apparently that is not enough to make them quit. This constitutes a major challenge for prevention attempts: how to motivate people to act according to the current knowledge about health risks?

It appears that this is somewhat easier in highly educated people, which is one of the reasons why highly educated people averagely live longer than people lacking formal education. Not only is there a difference in average life expectancy, but also in the amount of years that are spent in relatively good health.

Well-educated or not, the question is whether or not one is willing to change his or her lifestyle based on the knowledge about the factors that are beneficial or detrimental to one’s health. Most people are aware of the previously mentioned tips, yet very few are willing to incorporate them in their daily life. Are you?

References

  • Belloc, N.B. (1973). Relationship of health practices and mortality. Preventive Medicine. 2(1), pp. 67 – 81.
  • Cutter, D.M. & Lleras-Muney, A. (2010). Understading differences in health behaviors by education. Journal of Health Economics. 29(1), pp. 1 – 28.
  • Prochaska, J.O. (2008). Multiple Health Behavior Research represents the future of preventive medicine. Preventive Medicine. 46(3), pp. 281 – 285.

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Comments (4)

Excellent work and very important tips.thanks Vernon for sharing

Really must get more sleep!

Excellent tips here!

Good tips for a longer and healthier life to which I fully agree. Voted up.

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