If you were given the choice of enjoying a healthy, vibrant life or suffering from chronic illness in your later years, what would you choose?
Of course it would be a healthy, vibrant life.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2012, the average life expectancy for a human in the United States is 79.8 years. Males can expect lives to 77.4 and females can expect to 82.2. This puts the United States at No. 36 on the longevity list. The leader is Japan, with a life expectancy of a ripe 84.6 years. If you’re like most people, then you are hoping that aging will be kind to you, and you’ll have a long and enjoyable life. In fact, as we age, we can greatly influence the quality of life into our later years.
First, let’s explore some hard hitting facts. Living a sedentary lifestyle or having a metabolic disease like hypertension or Type 2 diabetes can take valuable years off your life. You don’t have to succumb. If you take control of your health and become active, you can add two years back to your life. Correct your blood pressure and add back three years. Put Type 2 diabetes into remission and add 10 years to your life. Staying healthy is not only good for your body, but also good for your brain. Studies have shown that metabolic abnormality is associated with poorer cognitive function. You get the picture. If you’re in poor health, you’ll lose several to many years off your life. Taking care of your health now is the best way to ensure a better quality of life in your future years.
We all know we should eat healthy and stay active, and that’s not always easy to do. Take a look at your current routine and lifestyle. Are you happy with your current state of health or do you struggle with getting consistent exercise, sleeping well and eating healthy meals? How would you look and feel today if you had done one more exercise a week, slept one more hour per night, or eaten one more serving of veggies over the past 10 years? Even the smallest actions and habits add up over time. It would be a shame to reach your older years and think, “I wish i had exercised more.” You can take action now. You can establish healthy habits now that will greatly affect your quality of life now and in your later years. But where do you start?
The first step is to do something, anything. Just start. Many people get paralyzed and never take action because they feel the task is too daunting. You have to eat right, you have to exercise, you have to sleep well, you have to… In reality, it doesn’t take a lot to make a major difference. In fact, the less active you are now, the more benefit you get from adding even a small amount of exercise to your life.
You can choose to take a massive action or minor (and sustainable) action. One is not necessarily better than the other. The research shows that whether you lose weight quickly or slowly, it has no effect on long term maintenance. But now is the time to get started. If massive action is too daunting, then start to exercise just a little more. And you can start at any age. A Swedish study found that even at age 85 or older, a physically active and social lifestyle was associated with an extra four years of longevity.
If you wish to take massive action, we’re here to help you. Our 20/20 LifeStyles program can provide you with the support and guidance you need to make a sustainable change to create a healthy and enjoyable future. If you’re a woman wanting to lose 15 lbs, look younger and get your youthfulness back, try our My Best 10 program.
What would you do to ensure a vibrant, healthy future? Would you invest in yourself or buy that new car? Would you invest in yourself or take a trip to Vegas? Would you invest in yourself or buy a boat? The choice is yours. Take care of yourself now. Your future self will thank you.
Originally from PRO Pulse July-August 2015