(双语)专家认为,过上更长寿、更健康生活的 7 个关键

健康人生 双语 编辑精选

Ignore the hyperbaric chambers and infrared light: these are the evidence-backed secrets to aging well.

Humans have searched for the secret to immortality for thousands of years. For some people today, that quest includes things like sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber, experimenting with cryotherapy or blasting oneself with infrared light.

Most aging experts are sceptical that these actions will meaningfully extend the upper limits of the human life span. What they do believe is that by practising a few simple behaviours, many people can live healthier for longer, reaching 80, 90 and even 100 in good physical and mental shape.

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“People are looking for the magic pill,” said Dr Luigi Ferrucci, the scientific director of the National Institute on Aging, “and the magic pill is already here.”

Below are seven tips from geriatricians on how to add more good years to your life.

1. Move more 多运动

The number one thing experts recommended was to keep your body active. That’s because study after study has shown that exercise reduces the risk of premature death.

Physical activity keeps the heart and circulatory system healthy and provides protection against numerous chronic diseases that affect the body and mind. It also strengthens muscles, which can reduce older people’s risk of falls.

“If we spend some of our adult years building up our muscle mass, our strength, our balance, our cardiovascular endurance, then as the body ages, you’re starting from a stronger place for whatever is to come,” said Dr Anna Chang, a professor of medicine specialising in geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.
“如果我们在成年后花一些时间来增强我们的肌肉质量,我们的力量,我们的平衡,我们的心血管耐力,那么随着身体的衰老,你就会从一个更强壮的地方开始,迎接即将到来的任何事情,”加州大学旧金山分校专门研究老年病学的医学教授Anna Chang博士说。

The best exercise is any activity you enjoy doing and will stick with. You don’t have to do a lot, either — the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, meaning just walking a little more than 20 minutes a day is beneficial.
最好的运动是你喜欢做的任何活动,并且会坚持下去。你也不必做很多事情——美国心脏协会建议每周进行 150 分钟的中等强度运动,这意味着每天步行 20 分钟多一点是有益的。

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables 吃水果和蔬菜

The experts didn’t recommend one specific diet over another, but they generally advised eating in moderation and aiming for more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. The Mediterranean diet — which prioritises fresh produce in addition to whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish and olive oil — is a good model for healthy eating, and it’s been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia.
专家们不建议一种特定的饮食而不是另一种饮食,但他们通常建议适量饮食,以更多的水果和蔬菜为目标,减少加工食品。地中海饮食 – 除了全谷物,豆类,坚果,鱼和橄榄油外,还优先考虑新鲜农产品 – 是健康饮食的良好模式,它已被证明可以降低患心脏病,癌症,糖尿病和痴呆的风险。

Some experts say that maintaining a healthy weight is important for longevity, but to Dr John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University, that’s less of a concern, especially as people enter old age. “I was always more worried about my patients who lost weight than my patients who gained weight,” Rowe said.

3. Get enough sleep 保证充足的睡眠

Sleep is sometimes overlooked, but it plays a major role in healthy aging. Research has found that the amount of sleep a person averages each night is correlated with their risk of death from any cause, and that consistently getting good quality sleep can add several years to a person’s life. Sleep appears to be especially important for brain health: a 2021 study found that people who slept less than five hours a night had double the risk of developing dementia.
睡眠有时会被忽视,但它在健康老龄化中起着重要作用。研究发现,一个人每晚的平均睡眠量与他们因任何原因死亡的风险相关,持续获得高质量的睡眠可以延长一个人的寿命数年。睡眠似乎对大脑健康尤为重要:2021 年的一项研究发现,每晚睡眠时间少于 5 小时的人患痴呆的风险增加了一倍。

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“As people get older, they need more sleep rather than less,” said Dr Alison Moore, a professor of medicine and the chief of geriatrics, gerontology and palliative care at the University of California, San Diego. Seven to nine hours is generally recommended, she added.

4. Don’t smoke, and don’t drink too much either

This goes without saying, but smoking cigarettes raises your risk for all kinds of deadly diseases. “There is no dose of cigarette smoke that is good for you,” Rowe said.

We’re starting to understand how bad excessive alcohol use is, too. More than one drink per day for women and two for men — and possibly even less than that — raises the risk for heart disease and atrial fibrillation, liver disease, and seven types of cancer.

5. Manage your chronic conditions

Nearly half of American adults have hypertension, 40 per cent have high cholesterol and more than one-third have pre-diabetes. All the healthy behaviours mentioned above will help manage these conditions and prevent them from developing into even more serious diseases, but sometimes lifestyle interventions aren’t enough. That’s why experts say it’s critical to follow your doctor’s advice to keep things under control.

“It’s not fun to take the medications; it’s not fun to check your blood pressure and check your blood sugar,” Chang said. “But when we optimise all those things in a whole package, they also help us live longer, healthier, better lives.”


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6. Prioritise your relationships

Psychological health often takes a back seat to physical health, but Chang said it’s just as important. “Isolation and loneliness is as big a detriment to our health as smoking,” she said, adding that it puts us “at a higher risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke”.

Relationships are key to not only living healthier, but also happier. According to the Harvard Study of Adult Development, strong relationships are the biggest predictor of well-being.

Rowe tells the medical students he teaches that one of the best indicators of how well an elderly patient will be faring in six months is to ask him “how many friends or family he’s seen in the last week”.


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7. Cultivate a positive mindset

Even thinking positively can help you live longer. Several studies have found that optimism is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and people who score highly on tests of optimism live 5 to 15 per cent longer than people who are more pessimistic. That may be because optimists tend to have healthier habits and lower rates of some chronic diseases, but even when accounting for those factors, the research shows that people who think positively still live longer.

If you had to pick one healthy practice for longevity, “do some version of physical activity”, Moore said. “If you can’t do that, then focus on being positive.”

Written by: Dana G. Smith
Illustration by: Cristina Spanò


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