A heart healthy lifestyle is associated with a longer life and a lower risk of developing serious chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other illnesses. According to a recent study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, people who ate a healthy diet, exercised regularly, abstained from smoking, and limited their alcohol intake were more likely to live longer and remain free of chronic diseases.

The researchers analyzed data from over 40,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 84 over a period of 16 years. They found that those who adhered to the four components of a heart healthy lifestyle—healthy eating, regular physical activity, no smoking, and limited alcohol consumption—were more likely to live longer and remain free of type 2 diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases. The study found that for every 10 years of following a heart healthy lifestyle, the risk of dying from a chronic disease decreased by 43%.

These findings suggest that a heart healthy lifestyle is one of the most powerful tools we have to protect our health and extend our life expectancy. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, abstaining from smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption can not only help us to live longer, but also reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases