Life expectancy for Americans has risen dramatically in the last century. Now we can expect to live 77 years, which is 30 years longer than formerly. By taking care of our bodies we could easily live a long, healthy life.
People are Living Longer
There are more people in the United States over 100 years old than ever before, approximately 50,000. There are three times as many centenarians as there were 20 years ago. Since all of these people are not related, they do not have the same genes. Some have thought that was a big factor in longevity, but it only plays a small part. Other factors that play a big part in our life are environment, jobs, exercise, family relationships, social contacts and emotional health. Of course, living longer does not always mean a healthy, happy life.
Make Some Positive Life Changes
There are no pills to make us live longer, or guaranteed treatments. For many people, the way their body ages is up to them. There are practical steps you can take to make yourself feel better as well as live longer. People who age gracefully are not just lucky – they work at staying healthy! You must have the motivation to take these steps and be consistent.
Many times people wait until they are past middle age and in a health crisis before taking steps to insure a healthier life. For some, this is too late. Others can benefit from a drastic change and give themselves a chance to enjoy the golden years. Alternative medicines are also available to help combat many common illnesses.
Practical Steps for Everyone
Doctors have told us for years to exercise. As a whole we do not get enough exercise because of higher technology and improvements in all aspects of work. For better health, it is recommended to have 30 minutes of exercise a day. This helps with many health issues such as keeping weight down and strengthening the heart and other areas of the body. If you don’t like to exercise alone, get a friend to walk or go to the gym with you.
Eating the right foods, high fiber, low fat with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables has been a big factor in civilizations where people have a longer life span. Don’t smoke, or stop smoking if you do to prevent diseases caused by tobacco. Drink plenty of water and less soft drinks or alcohol.
Mental and emotional health contributes to general health too. People with large extended families or many social contacts don’t have much time to feel alone or hopeless. Others volunteer their time or service somewhere to feel useful and productive. Someone who is always looking for new things to learn will be active and more likely to stay involved in life. People with a sense of fulfillment and purpose are generally healthier and happier.
Be Healthy Now
Watch for signs of health problems. If you are having a problem, go to the doctor and have it checked. If you let something go you will have less chance of a cure. Have regular checkups so issues can be dealt with early. Start changing your habits now – don’t wait. If you are overweight, change your diet. If you do not get any exercise, make yourself start exercising.
If you have a health issue, see a doctor and get treatment. If you are lonely find a way to meet or help people. If you have bad habits, start changing them today. Someday you might be able to join the other centenarians as they enjoy a long, healthy, fulfilled life!