You Can Bounce Back from a Misspent Youth

Have a bunch of bad habits, from overeating to binge drinking to drug taking? Well, aim to drop them by your late thirties and you might—might—be okay.

According to a study published in Circulation, people who drop bad habits in their late thirties and forties can reduce their risk of developing coronary artery disease—although, people who enter those decades in good health but then pick up bad habits can be screwing themselves.

Researchers looked at information gleaned from the 5,000 participant strong Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. They looked at body mass index, diet, exercise levels, and rate of drinking and smoking. For heart health, they looked at calcium build-up in arteries and thickness of artery walls. Participants were first assessed between the ages of eighteen and thirty, and then once more twenty years later.

Forty per cent picked up bad habits as they aged. However, twenty-five per cent made healthy lifestyle changes, which the researchers describe as “not that dramatic”. In other words, they made a few small changes—they didn’t need to start training for Everest. Handy, right? You can start right now.

Photo courtesy of Paul Townsend

This is a test