This is a kind of follow-up blogpost to The Longevity Quiz (what can I say. I just recently turned fifty and have been thinking about this subject)
Today I ran across an article from Health magazine.
Apparently those born after the year 2000 are more likely than ever to live to 100, according to research from Denmark. Good news for the kids, but what about us grown-ups?
Genetics do play a big factor in how long you live (thank you grandparents), but only somewhere between 20% and 50%, depending on the experts you ask. That still leaves over 50% up to YOU!
Walter Bortz II, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford, suggests how you can improve your odds of a long and happy life.
We can call this The Walter Bortz II, MD, Secrets to a Long Life:
Bulk up on fruits and veggies, +5 years (plant based whole foods diets reduce disease)
Exercise five days a week, +2 to +4 years (move and elevate your heart rate for a half-hour a day, minimum)
Reduce stress, up to +6 years (from meditation to music to movement to art therapy. Find something that work for you.
Get a hobby, +2 years (provides a sense of accomplishment.)
Floss, +6.4 years (removing harmful bacteria reduces stroke and heart attack risks.)
Vacation, +1 to +2 years (leisure is a great stress reliever!)
Sleep seven to eight hours nightly, +2 years (sleep assists cell repair.)
Have sex, +3 to +5 years (releases feel good hormones and burns about 200 calories, too!)
Thought you would like to know!
Over the years I have engaged in conversations with friends, neighbors and relatives about the issue of how your family genes plays a role in your own weight. The general assumption has been that we are basically a slave to one’s own genetic make up. Over the past few years more and more studies have come out underscore a different point of view.
According to many recent studies, we can influence our weight and personal health by taking an active role in our own lifestyle. Even people with a strong genetic predisposition to obesity can offset their risk of being over weight by being physically active, according to a study published Tuesday August 31st in the Journal PLoS Medicine.
British researchers examined the effects of 12 genetic variants associated with a higher risk of obesity among 20,430 people in Britain. Researchers calculated a genetic predisposition score for each volunteer that ranged from 0 to 24, representing the number of obesity-related variants they had inherited. (Most of the scores were between 10 and 13.) The volunteers also reported their levels of physical activity.
Armed with that information, the researchers determined that each DNA variant carried a 16% increased risk of obesity among those who were sedentary. But for people who got at least one hour of physical activity per day, the increased risk per variant was only 10% — a reduction of 40%.
In terms of weight gain, each obesity-related gene variant in inactive volunteers was associated with an additional 1.3 pounds in body mass for someone about 5 1/2 feet tall. In people who exercised, the extra body mass was 0.8 pounds, according to the report.
Previous studies have shown that physical activity can offset the effect of genetics, but most have focused on a single gene known as FTO, also known as fat mass and obesity. But many more DNA variants have been linked to obesity in the last three years, said Ruth Loos, program leader at Cambridge University’s Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit and the study’s senior author.
“The more variants you carry, the more likely you are to be obese,” she said. Gil Atzmon, a geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., said the findings underscore that DNA doesn’t necessarily mean destiny.
“The message from this is, if you have a genetic predisposition for some things, you can change your lifestyle and contribute to better health,” he said. Loos said she didn’t advocate genetic testing for obesity at this point because not enough is known about how these and other variants affect weight.
“Knowing if your parents were obese is a better predictor than knowing your genome, since you not only share genes with your family, but lifestyle as well,” she said. But in the future, being aware of one’s genetic makeup may help tailor obesity treatments, she added.
Those born after the year 2000 have more opportunity than ever to live to 100, according to new research from Denmark. Good news for kids, but what about us grown ups?
Genetics play a big factor, somewhere between 20% and 50%, depending on the experts you ask. That still leave over 50% up to you! Walter Bortz, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford University, suggests how you can improve your odds of a long and happy life:
• Bulk up on fruits and veggies, adds 5 years (plant-based whole foods diets reduce disease)
• Exercise five days a week, adds 2 to 4 years (move and elevate your heart rate for a half-hour a day, minimum)
• Reduce stress, up to 6 years (From meditation to music to movement to some sort of art therapy. Find what works for you)
• Get a hobby, adds 2 years (Provides a sense of accomplishment.)
• Floss, adds 6.4 years (Removing harmful bacteria reduces stroke and heart attack risks.)
• Vacation, adds 1 to 2 years (Leisure is a great stress reliever)
• Sleep seven to eight hours nightly, adds 2 years (Sleep assists cell repair.)
• Have Sex, adds 3 to 5 years (Releases feel-good hormones and burns about 200 calories, too!)