As my birthday looms (at an age I can't fathom, it's looming) on the
horizon I find myself more interested in making choices that can assure a
healthy vs. a lengthy life. Despite advertisements to the contrary there is
no known substance that can extend life. However, research is proving that
we have a greater chance of staying healthy and living a long time if we
make wise choices no matter what our age. They include:
- 1. Eat a balanced and varied, calorie sufficient diet that focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
- 2. Exercise regularly in a balanced program that includes cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, coordination, flexibility and balance.
- 3. Get baseline assessments for physical health including blood pressure, a cholesterol and blood glucose blood profile, breast exam(for women), prostate exam (for men), skin and colo-rectal cancer screening, abdominal assessment (< 35 for women; < 40 for men) and bone density scan. Visit your dentist, eye doctor and hearing specialist. Schedule annual checkups that get repeat values on these (and others your doctor may recommend) to learn if your health is stable.
- 4. Do not smoke (it's never too late to quit).
- 5. Practice safety habits at home to prevent falls and fractures. Always wear your seat belt in a car.
- 6. Cultivate friendships. Stay active through work, play, and community and in contact with family and friends..
- 7. Avoid overexposure to the sun or the cold.
- 8. If you drink, moderation is the key. When you drink, let someone else drive. 9. Keep personal and financial records in order to simplify budgeting and investing. Plan long-term housing and money needs.
- 10. Keep a positive attitude toward life. Do things that make you happy.
I believe that because I practice all of these I'm doing my share to set
the stage to continue to enjoy my personal and professional life and meet
the challenges life will inevitably bring. I'll leave it up to a higher
power than me to do the rest.