If you want to live longer, these five steps are key.

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Keep a healthy weight
  3. Get regular physical activity
  4. Consume a healthy diet
  5. Drink alcohol moderately, if at all

That might not be an earth-shaking list. But the study also put numbers on the extra life expectancy these lifestyle habits can bring.

The findings, published in the journal Circulation, suggest these five behaviors could extend a woman’s life at age 50 by 14 years, and a man’s by 12.

“Regular physical activity” means 30 minutes a day in this study.

All five factors are tied to the top killers in this country – cardiovascular disease and cancer. Taking these steps can make a big difference in your quality of life, as well as your longevity.

In an earlier book called “The Big Five,”a Harvard doctor lists these steps to living longer:

  1. Drink coffee
  2. Exercise
  3. Get Vitamin D
  4. Eat nuts
  5. Meditate

What’s the one suggestion on both lists?

And physical fitness is a key component to the whole big picture. Maintaining or regaining strength, stamina and flexibility is so important, especially after age 50.

Good decisions build on each other. If you’re exercising right, then you’re more likely to build on that by eating well. And those two steps generally lead to a healthy weight.