The American Heart Association provides a list of 8 preventative practices that can delay aging

Recent research has revealed that adhering to a set of eight key health measures outlined by the American Heart Association (AHA) can significantly slow down biological aging. Known as “Life’s Essential 8,” this checklist focuses on optimizing cardiovascular health and can potentially reduce biological age by up to six years.

Understanding Life’s Essential 8

“Life’s Essential 8” is a comprehensive set of health and lifestyle measures devised by the AHA. These measures are:

  1. Healthy Diet: Emphasizing a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and minimal saturated fats.
  2. Regular Physical Activity: Encouraging consistent exercise in line with AHA’s recommendations.
  3. Healthy Body Weight: Maintaining a body weight appropriate for one’s height and body type.
  4. Control of Cholesterol: Keeping cholesterol levels in check through diet, exercise, and medication if necessary.
  5. Blood Sugar Management: Regular monitoring and managing blood sugar levels, particularly important for preventing or managing diabetes.
  6. Blood Pressure Management: Maintaining blood pressure within a healthy range to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  7. Not Smoking: Avoiding tobacco products, which are detrimental to cardiovascular health.
  8. Healthy Sleep: Ensuring sufficient and quality sleep as it is vital for overall health.

The Research Behind the Measures

A study involving more than 6,500 adults, with an average age of 47 years, revealed the impact of these eight metrics on biological aging. The study found that higher adherence to these measures is associated with a younger biological age compared to chronological age. Specifically, those with high cardiovascular health had an average biological age that was six years younger than their actual age.

Implications of the Findings

Healthier, Longer Lives

The adherence to these eight measures is linked not just to slower biological aging but also to a lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, and importantly, to longer life and lower risk of death.

Connection Between Chronological and Biological Age

The research helps in understanding the link between how old we are and how old our bodies behave or feel, emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Conclusion

“Life’s Essential 8” provides a practical guide to living a healthier, longer life. By focusing on these eight critical areas, individuals can take proactive steps to not only slow down their biological aging but also improve their overall quality of life. This approach highlights the significance of preventive healthcare and the role lifestyle choices play in determining our health and longevity​

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