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Essential 8 may hold secret to eternal youth

Essential 8 may hold secret to eternal youth (WKRC/File)
Essential 8 may hold secret to eternal youth (WKRC/File)
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CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Researchers have discovered eight steps that may hold the secret to eternal youth. They appear to add years to a person’s life.

Researchers in the journal 'Circulation' found people who have higher scores for heart health live on average up to nine years longer than those who don’t score well in these areas.

Tania Moore starts each day by working out.

“I exercise mostly for the energy,” she said. Moore works out at the TriHealth Fitness and Health Pavilion in Montgomery.

That’s a smart decision because being physically active tops the list of the eight essentials.

“Not everybody can become an athlete, but everybody can improve their health by moving,” said Karen Sims, who specializes in medical exercise at the TriHealth Fitness and Health Pavilion.

Not smoking or using other tobacco products is a second life extender. Eating a healthy diet is a third one. More brightly colored plant foods, many of which are tasty during this time of year, is a good place to start.

"Lots and lots of greens, Bibb lettuce, different types are coming in. Strawberries, we've been getting strawberries from a farmer that grows it in a tunnel, so it's protected, kept warm. They come in sooner, so they extend their season,” said Laura Riley, co-owner of Madison’s at Findlay Market.

Lots of snoozing is a fourth life extender. Maintaining a healthy weight is a fifth one. Mark Apseloff said daily workouts he started after a heart event helped him lose weight.

“I dropped 50 pounds,” said Apseloff, who also works out at the TriHealth Fitness and Health Pavilion.

Controlling blood pressure, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and keeping cholesterol levels in check round out the essential eight.

When researchers followed those who were ages 20 to 79, those who had high scores for all eight of the habits, compared to those who had low scores, had a life expectancy of almost 8.9 years longer than those with low scores.

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The factors that had the biggest impact on the so-called fountain of youth – tobacco use, exercise, blood sugar levels and sleep.

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