As I continue to spend time with my mother at her assisted-care facility, I’m reflecting more and more about a big concern for us Baby Boomers–the aging process. Why are some folks hunched over in wheelchairs while others walk confidently up the stairs?
There’s still no magic elixir to guarantee longevity–sliding gracefully into our senior years–but scientists now have strong evidence to guide us. Here are five tips.
Genes do play a role, but not as much as you might think. While there’s no denying your genetic makeup, it actually contributes to less than a third of your chance to reaching age 85, according to the National Institutes of Health. So remember, for many Baby Boomers and older adults, lifestyle choices determine the direction your health ultimately takes.
Many scientists tout exercise as the single most important factor associated with living a healthy long life. Exercise’s list of benefits is long; suffice to say it helps mitigate heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, and is believed by many brain researchers to be the biggest modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
Cardio–Researchers at Cambridge University concluded recently that a 20-minute daily walk reduces the risk of early death by up to 30%.
Resistance training–Lifting weights helps counter sarcopenia, the natural loss of muscles after age 30. By strengthening muscles, this training helps us continue to live independently, doing our regular daily tasks. And muscles burn more calories than fat tissue, helping us maintain our weight even when we’re sitting!
3) Body weight
Obesity influences chronic inflammation and increases mortality rates for heart disease and cancer. Being obese at middle age appears to increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and at a younger age.
4) Mental attitude
From researchers at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, federal government and many others, staying positive is associated with better resistance to illness, lower risk of heart disease, decreased depression and increased life span. So look for opportunity amid disappointment, say nice things to yourself (often) and enjoy a sunrise and sunset on the same day! As I’ve always told my kids, keep your chin up!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking results in more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States. It causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
But the good news is that within three weeks of smoke cessation, blood circulation, as well as lung and heart function, begin to improve, and it’s easier to exercise (see #2 above)!
NOTE: Exercise will help you live a longer, healthier life. Let me help you increase your physical and mental wellbeing with fitness training. If you want to speak with me in an unbiased format, take advantage of my FREE CALL. I promise to give you a few tips and things to look at immediately, plus we can discuss if any of my programs or classes are a good fit.
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