We all want to live a long, healthy and happy life, but is there a secret recipe to achieve that?

In the long-gone ’80s, one would say “Work hard, play hard” to lead a happy life. In the ’90s, the health trend for a long, healthy life was low-fat and fat-free food such as fat-free chips that contained Olestra, which caused terrible side effects. Then came the “no fat, high carb diet,” which after some years became the “high fat, no carbs diet.”

two women having fun on the beach - vintage picture

Some products went from being the great villains to the heroes for a long healthy life, and vice-versa. For example; eggs, butter/margarine, coconut oil, and so on. Yoga and Pilates are a must today as were Aerobics and running in the late ’80s and ’90s. But regardless of all these changing health trends, there are a few basic rules people agree on, that will ensure you a life that’s healthy, long and happy. No smoking, drinking a lot of water, and alcohol, only in moderation. Additionally, not being overweight, have yearly check-ups, and have several servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. And of course, exercising regularly and having a successful career, right?

Well, sorry to disappoint you but that’s not it!

All these good habits may help, of course, but they won’t ensure you a long, happy and healthy life.

vintage photo showing a old couple in the car, looking at the camera and smiling, showing how they are happy together

The Harvard Study of Adult Development has tracked the lives of 724 men and their families. The life-long study began when they were all teenagers, some happy and healthy, others not so. Half of them were students at Harvard University. The other half came from the poorest and most troubled areas of Boston.

Every two years, they were interviewed and given medical exams, blood tests, brain scans, etc. The study followed them without knowing how their lives would turn out.

About 60 of the original 724 men are still healthy and alive, and still participating in the long study that is now beginning to study the life of more than 2.000 children of these men.

So far, there are three big lessons that we can learn from this study. Click on the video to know how to live a long, healthy and happy life.

Photos via Shutterstock