Five words no one ever wants to hear from their doctor: “Get your affairs in…
It is no secret that a healthy lifestyle has a significant impact on your well-being and the earlier you implement a healthy lifestyle strategy, the greater the potential benefit regarding your longevity. Your lifespan can be increased by as much as 14 years for a woman and 12.2 years for a man according to the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation study. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but according to the World Health Organization, it ranks about 53rd in life expectancy from birth compared to other developed nations, according to 2015 data.
What are the five lifestyle habits that can help you live longer?
- Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke.
If you have ever been a smoker, find a way to quit. Try hypnotherapy, patches, gum – whatever it takes – but figure out a way to stop smoking. Breath is life, and without a healthy respiratory system, you are shortening your lifespan. If you do not smoke now or never have, that is great! Stay on that path and do not subject yourself to other people’s smoking.
- Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.
Exercising for 30 minutes each day is imperative for longevity. The best and easiest daily exercise is to walk. If you are currently out of shape and 30 minutes a day seems unachievable, then begin with 10 minutes. Make a plan and increase your time to 20 minutes as you become more physically able to do so. By the time you are ready for 30 minutes of daily exercising, be sure that your pace is moderate to vigorous. Walk every day in the morning at a set time and make it your routine. Walking will help you lose weight, gain muscle, and reduce your body mass index.
- Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Body mass index is a significant indicator of overall health. Guidelines recommend that all adults maintain a BMI between 18 and 25. BMI over 25 indicates overweight, while a BMI over 30 indicates obesity. However, a few extra pounds may not be as harmful to those over the age of 65 as they are for younger people and being underweight is of greater concern for older individuals.
- Eat healthy.
Healthier foods are generally found on the outskirts of your supermarket and include fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and eggs, as well as lean meats. The inside aisles of a supermarket are packed with food products, not real food. Much of this food is so over processed and chemical-laden that it is not healthy to eat.
- Consume only moderate amounts of alcohol.
Consuming moderate levels of alcohol is defined as one drink a day for women and two for men. Adopting a new healthier lifestyle can include days where you choose not to have an alcoholic beverage. If you have fallen into excessive drinking patterns, make changes today. The liver is a restorative organ and can heal itself if excessive damage has not been done.
While longevity can only be estimated and everyone will have their own life expectancy experience, increased awareness of healthy lifestyle choices are changing the way seniors are approaching aging. Your longer lifespan will require adequate funding which can be achieved by frugal spending habits, possibly delaying your retirement, and thinking differently about conventional investment strategies in senior years. Getting sound and trusted advice about longevity and your financial aging strategy can bring you peace of mind as well as financial security. Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you with your planning.