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Healthy LifeCeliac disease is a severe genetic autoimmune disorder, based on the Celiac Illness Foundation, where the ingestion of gluten results in damage within the small gut. But overall, meeting more of these qualifications was associated with having fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease—things like high cholesterol, high white blood cell counts, and high blood pressure. The researchers looked at 13 such biomarkers in total. Being active and having a healthy body-fat percentage were associated with favorable outcomes in nine and 10 of the biomarkers, respectively, while not smoking and eating well were associated with just two and one.

Pick a ‘quit date’ and stick to it. Make sure to choose a day where you’re less likely to be under pressure. Plan something nice to occupy your time. Quit Victoria suggests taking a couple of weeks to prepare. Attempt some practice runs – try not to smoke on occasions when you normally would (e.g. work break times and at the pub). Instead, go to places that have no association with smoking. Ditch your lighter and refuse any offers of cigarettes.

Data from the Global Burden of Disease ( GBD ) model are an alternative source of trends in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. It shows similar results to the data presented in this chapter, an increase in life expectancy with smaller absolute increases in healthy life expectancy since the earlier point of 1990.

Reducing salt intake is also important to keep your heart healthy, as eating too much salt could lead to high blood pressure – which in turn may lead to heart failure, stroke and other complications. Heart disease is one of the biggest killers of adults in England. Find out how to keep your heart healthy by visiting the NHS Live Well heart health website.

8 Engage in some resistance exercise Resistance exercise helps to maintain muscle mass and strengthens the body. This has particular relevance as we age, as it reduces the risk of disability and falls. Many highly useful exercises can be done at home, such as press-ups, sit-ups and squats. Invest in a Dyna-Band or dumbbells to extend your home routine to other exercises, too.