The secret to living a long life has apparently been discovered…in a village in south Wales.
According to a report in the Telegraph, 2,500 men, back in 1979, were asked by researchers to follow five simple lifestyle rules: to eat well, to work out, to drink less, to keep their weight down and never to smoke.
Out of the 2,500 volunteers, only 25 of those men, now pensioners, have managed to stick all five rules. But now the results are in and the conclusion is clear: the successful men are fitter and healthier than those who quit early.
The successful volunteers, all from the same hilly town, Caerphilly, situated in a valley in south Wales, have cut their risk of the 5 top killers in the UK: heart disease, cancer, stroke, dementia and diabetes, proving that living a healthy and active life is the key to longevity.
He said, “I have followed the healthy steps for many years now and feel pretty fit. Cycling keeps my body fit while scrabble keep the mind fit. I do have a beer or wine most nights but I drink in moderation.”
Over the years the volunteers and their families were regularly asked for reports of their physical activity, alcohol intake, and diet.
Every five years the men were re-questioned and re-examined for signs of diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
The researchers discovered that those volunteers who didn’t smoke, kept their weight in check according to the BMI, ensured their ate a nutritious, balanced diet and took regular physical activity, along side not smoking and moderately drinking all showed dramatic reductions in the development of chronic disease .
Professor Peter Elwood, of Cardiff University, the lead researcher said: “As a nation, we must wake up to the preventive power of living a healthy life. Thirty years ago, only 25 men in our study followed all five of our recommended healthy steps. Following these steps did not give them complete protection against disease but the men who developed a disease, did so at a much older age than the men neglectful of their lifestyle.
The results concluded that heart disease was delayed by an average of 12 years and dementia staved off for an extra six.
Clare Walton from Alzheimer’s Society commented: “The landmark Caerphilly study, part funded by Alzheimer’s Society, showed that healthy living can reduce the chances of dementia by up to 60 per cent.”