- A healthy lifestyle consisting of routine exercise and a plant-rich diet can significantly prolong the life of women over the age of 70.
- Physical activities like walking, coupled with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, can lead to drastic enhancements in health-related outcomes.
- The study found a correlation between active daily living, high fruit and vegetable consumption, and lifespan. The most active women with the highest fruit and vegetable intake exhibited the highest survival rates.
- Women who were both highly active and had a high intake of fruits and vegetables were eight times more likely to survive the five-year study period than those who ranked lowest in both categories.
- While the findings are not entirely surprising, they serve as a timely reminder that maintaining an active lifestyle and nutritious diet is beneficial at any age.
Adherence to a healthy lifestyle consisting of routine exercise and a plant-rich diet can significantly prolong the life of women in their seventies, a recent research study suggests.
Healthy Living Extends Life Span
Simple yet effective advice we often give to our younger generations: exercise regularly and eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. The truth behind this advice highlights the enormous potential of a balanced diet and regular activity in relation to lifespan, especially during post-retirement years.
As stated by the head researcher of the study, Emily Nicklett, “It’s important to underline the basics to realize that diet and exercise can pose a substantial influence on elderly’s mortality rates. Advocating a healthy dietary habit enriched in fruits and vegetables, coupled with physical activities like walking, can lead to drastic enhancements in health-related outcomes.”
Exploring the Correlation Between Diet, Exercise, and Longevity
In this study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Nicklett and her team concentrated on over 700 independently living women aged between 70 and 79.
To quantify their daily activities, the women were questioned regarding their engagement in structured exercises — such as walking or strength training, household chores, outdoor tasks, or hobbies like dancing and bowling.
Additionally, the nutritional intake, primarily the fruit and vegetable consumption of the women, was captured by examining the blood samples for the entire carotenoid levels. These plant-derived elements are believed to provide an accurate measure of an individual’s fruit and vegetable intake.
Weaving Diet and Movement into Longevity
Upon conducting a five-year follow-up on the participants, the research team discovered that women who led the most active lifestyle and consumed significant quantities of fruits and vegetables exhibited the highest survival rates.
Specifically, the most active women in the study had a 71% lower death rate within a five-year period compared to their less active counterparts. Emily Nicklett emphasized that one does not have to engage in strenuous physical activity to reap the benefits. Regular walks around the neighborhood are enough to make a difference.
Interestingly, participants with the highest carotenoid concentrations displayed 46% lower mortality risk during these five years relative to women with minimal fruit-and-vegetable intake.
Furthermore, the study found that those women who were both highly active and had a high intake of fruits and vegetables were eight times more likely to survive the five-year study period than those who ranked lowest in both categories.
Going Back to Basics for Health
These findings evoke important public health queries regarding the promotion of a healthy lifestyle that amplifies longevity. This could involve providing safe places for these women to engage in physical activity or ensuring their access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lona Sandon, a dietetics expert, reiterates that although these findings aren’t particularly surprising, they “are a timely reminder that maintaining an active lifestyle and nutritious diet is beneficial at any age.”
However, Sandon also urged a note of caution, explaining that further research is needed to determine precisely how physical activity and consuming fruits and vegetables contribute to a longer lifespan in elderly women.
For more resources on healthy aging, visit the U.S National Institute on Aging.