Being Active and Healthy in Middle Age

Adopting a healthy lifestyle even in middle age can lower the risk for heart disease and even premature death.  According to a research in South Carolina, middle-aged adults who began eating five or more fruits and vegetables everyday, exercising for at least 2 ½ hours a week, keeping weight down, and not smoking decreased their risk of heart disease by as much as 35 percent and risk of death by up to 40 percent in the four years after they have started.

However, that does not mean that you have to wait until 40 or 50 to start getting into shape, as it is best to adopt healthy lifestyle habit as early as you can in order to gain almost immediate benefits. 

The research began in the late 1980s when they tracked nearly 16,000 Americans between the ages 45 and 64, with only 8.5 percent following all four habits they were studying.  Six years after the study began, 8.4 of the other adults started practicing all four habits. 

Those converts were most likely to pick up the healthy diet at that late stage, as losing weight to fall within the healthy rage (which researchers count as one of the healthy habits) was the least popular change.

The researchers found out that the test subjects enjoyed a sharp decline in heart disease risk an in any cause of death once they had picked up all four habits.  Still, these benefits are on a continuum.  The more of the healthy habits one can adapt, the better changes in their internal health.

However, several health experts are concerned about the small number of Americans practicing the healthy habits, as they state that men, African-Americans, people with less education and lower incomes, as well as with high blood pressure or diabetes were less likely to follow the health guidelines from the beginning or adopt them later in life.