Want to live forever? New research says if that’s the goal, there are three seemingly simple ways to get there: Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. And keep your BMI (body mass index) out of the obese range (AKA 30 or under).
Sounds easy enough, right? (And maybe a little obvious?) But in a time when there are so many ways to biohack your life, and so many different studies coming out every day about the keys to longevity, these three guidelines aren’t just straightforward, they’re also easily applicable. (As in no prescription meds, restrictive diets, or fancy supplements needed.)
A new observational study published in the journal Health Affairs tracked more than 14,000 people starting at age 50, and found that those who weren’t currently obese, didn’t drink heavily (meaning 14 drinks or fewer per week for men and fewer than seven drinks per week for women), and had never smoked lived seven years longer than their peers. The researchers also found that six of those seven additional years were disability-free—so they weren’t just living longer, they were living longer and with a better quality of life.
As for the not-so-good stuff: The researchers found that nearly 80 percent of Americans who reach their 50s have, at some point, smoked, been obese, or both. But it’s never too late to make healthier choices. So, dry July, anyone?