THE KEY TO LONGEVITY
“Health is Wealth” What good is all the money in the world without good health? You may be thinking “I could make it work with $”. I have news for you. Many of my clients over the past 30 years were some of the wealthiest people in their community, some even in the world.
Evidence of their poor lifestyles took a toll on their health, mobility, and freedom. By then there was little they could do about it. Other clients realized this and put their health above everything else. It is a choice.
That said why live longer if we haven’t made up our minds to take better care of our health? But if you have made that commitment let’s look at a combination of information educating us on our choices as we age to ensure we make the right choices based on accurate information.
We have choices but if we don’t make the right ones, we don’t get the health we want. As in my Lifestyle article titled “50’s is the new 30’s” the fact is we are living longer so let’s make it a great quality of life!
You may not like this statement but here goes – you have the right to make decisions in your medical care. Blind faith in the medical system is taking uneducated chances. Blind faith means trusting in something without evidence. Some doctors make an educated decision for your care based on their knowledge and training and not always from knowledge about you, your lifestyle, medical and family history and organic resources. Many do not make the time to have personal dialogues with you that includes research about you. It is your life – do you really want to take that chance? You must educate yourself. Information is at your fingertips. There are many new methodologies to health care. The one critical aspect to life is regrets; you never want to look back and say “I should have taken the time to…”We are talking about your life and we are all of age to understand how valuable life is.
A good example of what I am saying is about kidney failure. It is oftentimes a result of overloading the system with impurities that can come from prescription medicine, steroids, and toxins. My father was placed on high blood pressure meds that eventually had him on dialysis 2-3 times a week for years. Often treatment alternatives to HBP can be addressed naturally and managed effectively before it gets to that seriousness.
Years ago I read a sci-fi series about Lazarus Long, a wealthy man who lived hundreds of years in a society coveting long life. Written by Robert Heinlein it was fascinating during the 1970’s when longevity was futuristic.
The Time article says that an American born today has a 20-year life extension over someone born in 1925. I think we all know that. And by 2035 adults 65 and older will outnumber children under 18!
Healthcare is simplified with the Pillars of Health:
NUTRITION EXERCISE HAPPINESS SLEEP
Many of us lean towards laziness by looking for a pill to fix things or an easy solution when problems occur. When often times it could have been easier at the onset by doing the right things. However those problems may advance resulting in complicated and more difficult solutions being needed. This information is actually the “easier” road unless you are one of those who desperately seek instant gratification?
Nutrition: healthy, smaller meals limiting animal proteins, preservatives and chemicals, and including lots of vegetables and fruits throughout the day. Limit whites: sugar, flour, salt. Avoid additives: things you can’t pronounce, high fructose corn syrup, chemically created substances and GMO products. Balance is critical and do include variety. A poor diet can undermine all of the other pillars. Preservatives introduced to help food last longer has now become a dangerous enemy. Hydration is important especially since our bodies average 50-60% water. Our nutrition is dictated by the FDA and the FDA approves things that other first world country’s reject. Europeans and Asians live longer, healthier lives, due to better nutrition. The US is third in longevity primarily because we are the number one country in exercise. So imagine if we combined better nutrition with exercise – the benefits are endless!
Our cells rejuvenate anywhere from a few days to complete rejuvenation every 7 years. This constantly gives us the opportunity to improve our health every day by feeding those cells with healthy nutrition and hydration.
Exercise: our bodies are made to move. Think of a river, a constantly moving living organism. Our bodies are like the river constantly moving, blood flowing to organs, oxygenated blood to muscles, etc. Whether you run, walk, bike, dance, swim… you need to move every day in some activity. Yoga and meditation are forms of exercise as they improve blood flow and breathing as well as being a form of mind-body integration.
Happiness: The science of happiness is now widely promoted because we are not enjoying our lives as we should. Worry, anxiety, and fear are dominating our society, increasing mental health issues and overall complications to daily functioning. Refer to my last article titled “Happiness” for more clarity.
Take a minute and reflect on what makes you happy. Are you doing those things at least 4-5 times a week? It could be looking at the ocean; laughing with your children; playing with your pets; a walk with a loved one, a project you love doing. What are a couple of hours when we work 50-60 hours a week? Happiness boosts our immune system, provides balance emotionally and mentally in a stressful world. Often we create our own stress by always seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full. It starts with you and how you are viewing things.
Sleep: The sleep aid industry generates $69 billion annually in revenue worldwide. That should make it very clear how many people are challenged with getting enough, and, quality, sleep. Sleep is when your body repairs itself. Sleep is when your mind processes information and resolves problems. Sleep is where your body recovers from each and every day that we push ourselves to our limits. Without sleep we burn out, we age ourselves, we break down our physical strength and our ability to recover and maintain our immune system. By engaging each of the other pillars we sleep peacefully, waking up refreshed and ready to face each new day. If you are not sleeping well examine which pillar you are neglecting and you will solve your problem. Sleep aides do not solve whatever the problem really is. It only masks it.
The fact is many of us look forward to living a long life but we may also have anxiety and fears about the quality of our lives as we age. “Will I get a disease and suffer thereby losing my quality of life? Will I spend my old age in a home because I will lack the ability to take care of myself or my partner? Will I have a bad fall and lose mobility and have to be in a wheelchair or use a walker?” These are just some of the questions we may ask ourselves.
Each of those fears can be addressed by embracing the pillars of health. Proper and age specific movement will address our loss of strength that results in balance issues. Keep your major muscles strong by doing simple daily exercises and movement and you will reduce your risk of falls. Strength and balance loss are aging facts but you can do something about it. My brother is 70 and still doing construction. Out of curiosity I asked about his balance. He said when I begin to see some issues I will come to you for help! He stays strong because he is always moving and working physically.
Emotional and mental issues can be avoided with a strong mind. Keep your mind strong by engaging in life, with family, with people, in activities. Loss of mental clarity begins when we disengage from life. Stay involved with family. Don’t let little things destroy the joys of being with family and doing activities in your community. I have several clients 15 to 20 years older who are amazing! Harriet and Susan are so active in life! They take care of their health in a training program with me, are involved in the community providing support, socially engaging with friends and completely involved in their families! These ladies are healthy and strong in their 70’s and 80’s.
Lastly, I propose you exercise your faith – faith is believing in something you can’t see. That is reserved for a spiritual experience. It is up to you to explore what you believe in.
It is your life – the only life you will have. And you have choices to make it as wonderful as you would like it to be. Or the opposite. For me I like to wake up in wonder of what this day will bring along with the many plans I have to make the most of the day and by doing so I am living it to its fullest.
Live long and be happy or as Spock would say “live long and prosper”.
Acclaimed Author, Trainer, Life Coach