Whatever your age, you can delay the ageing process…….but you can’t stop it. And whatever you do today will determine your health in the future.
Unfortunately, the lifestyle habits of a big proportion of people in their 50s and 60s expose them to some serious health consequences, particularly heart disease and stroke.
Sadly, many baby boomers will spend the last 10 years of their lives in ill health. Not something to look forward to but believe me, you can do something about it.
I have found that in Canada, for example, statistics are emerging to back this up; and believe me, they certainly do confirm this line of thinking.
A recent poll conducted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, revealed the vast majority of Canadian baby boomers are paying little more than lip service to managing and preserving their health. From my own observations it is pretty much the same here in Australia.
Eighty-five percent of this demographic (the survey group) report not eating the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. There is really no excuse for that figure.
Forty percent don’t get enough exercise. Why? Dr Kenneth Cooper nailed it when he said, “We do not stop exercising because we grow old; we grow old because we stop exercising.”
One in five smoke and one in 10 drink to excess.
And on top of all that nearly a third report they are often or always stressed.
It’s hard to say whether enthusiasm for life promotes a healthier lifestyle, or whether such a lifestyle promotes enthusiasm. What is certain, however, is that a body hobbled by illness and pain is a poor vehicle for any activity, and the last place you’ll find too much enthusiasm.
An unhealthy lifestyle may not literally shorten your life, but there’s strong evidence to suggest that, in terms of quality years lived, it will have a profound effect. Lack of exercise, poor diet, excessive stress, smoking and heavy drinking, especially in combination, almost guarantee that those last 10 years will be no fun at all.
It’s not a pretty picture but, for most us, it’s not chiselled in stone, either.
Remember, it’s NEVER too late to add some quality life to your advancing years – what I call active ageing.
Thirty minutes of exercise (walking, swimming, biking) on alternate days is a great start.
A fruit smoothie and green salad added to your daily diet, hopefully at the expense of processed and fat-laden dishes, is another positive step. Without becoming a fanatic, you might want to look into supplements and herbal formulas, as well.
Exercise will relieve some, if not all, of your stress.
So will counting your blessings, living in the moment, and spending time with dear hearts and gentle people. Swear off the smokes. Today’s version of tobacco is so contaminated with additives, many of them highly toxic, that the cost of smoking far outweighs the payoff, financially or otherwise.
You don’t have to swear off booze. In fact a moderate tipple can even be good for you. Many people have lived long and fruitful lives, some even clocking in at three digits, while including a glass of good red wine or a shot of scotch (or some other spirit) in their daily routine. These days it is all about quality rather than quantity.
You can do this.
You don’t have to follow the cardiologist’s diet: “If it tastes good then spit it out.”
You don’t have to uproot the whole dam tree; just turn over one new leaf at a time.
It took years to tattoo that bullseye onto your back, so it may take some time to erase it. Hang in there; you’ve got a lot invested in this.
Remember, it is a survival of the fittest. Literally.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
P.S. Help a friend enjoy better health and longevity – like and share. Thanks