How to live long

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By Richard P. Holm, MD

A college friend of mine recently had a heart attack and I found myself in an email conversation with my buddies, talking about his condition and reflecting about our own wellness. I recently read that only 20% of our potential lifespan is determined by genetics. This then begs the question: What can each of us do to improve our longevity and protect ourselves from my friend’s fate?

Preventive medications and supplements have been widely advertised by the pharmaceutical and supplement industry, but unfortunately are at best minimally helpful in protecting people from vascular disease. Rather than taking pills, making simple lifestyle changes can be considerably more effective. This starts with realizing the huge benefits that can come from something as simple as a daily walk. Walking 12 blocks (one mile) a day can be the goal, and if this is out of your range, start slowly and build. Even a little is good.


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