Increasing Lifespan - Stronger Body, Longer Life
Written by Thin Thin
Little things add up to make a big difference. Ten years ago, Betsy and Elvira were merely two svelte cars on a showroom floor. Enter Driver Dan who decides to purchase both Betsy and Elvira - who were both the same make and model. The only difference was that Betsy was silver and Elvira, red.
Dan wasted no time in driving Betsy day-in and day-out. Rarely did Betsy get a day off, much less a well-needed oil change.
Betsy never saw the inside of a garage (in more ways than one) and her exterior exhibited premature damage, compliments of the elements. She had hail damage, sun damage and a cracked windshield - a reminder from the winter storm which had swept through her area two years ago.
With 184, 666 miles on her odometer, Old Betsy looked and drove well beyond her years - coughing, sputtering, and jerking along the way. Without a total overhaul, Betsy's future appeared bleak. Her only hope appeared to be Driver Dan's son who was showing signs of being a car buff in his late teen years. Could she depend upon him, she frequently fretted.
On the other hand, shortly after Elvira was purchased, she was placed in a cozy, clean garage. Driver Dan took great care in assuring that Elvira was regularly serviced. Her time on the road was spent at safe speeds and Driver Dan used only the best grade of fuel and fluids for the lady in red's refills. Other than the 30,000 miles on her odometer, Elvira looked much like she had on the showroom floor. As she grew older, she had high hopes that she would charm Driver Dan's son away from Old Betsy, who was nothing more than a heap ready for the heap.
The Human Element
Much like the story of Betsy and Elvira, by altering the following hot pockets you can look and feel years younger. And it's important to keep in mind that TODAY, all might be well in regards to your health. But as time passes, the results of your daily diet and activity progression is added to your life's pattern. Over the space of several years, these little changes may mean the difference in being in a wheelchair OR being totally independent. They may mean the difference in the necessity of taking a plethora of prescriptions in order to live OR enjoying life to its fullest without a drop of medication. On that note, here are the hot pockets that spell the difference in your health as time goes by:
Poor Nutrition - The daily diet is your best defense against the ageing process. Climb the stairs of the Official Food Pyramid each and every day to reach a higher level of health. Forget over the counter vitamins and get vitamins and minerals naturally from the foods you eat.
Obesity - The body's skeleton is designed to support your recommended weight and nothing more. Any excess weight applies pressure and undue stress to the joints and muscles, thus wearing them out before their time. The unfavorable consequences can include extreme pain - particularly in the back and legs; the need for a cane, a walker or a wheelchair; mental fog, and the surrendering of your independence.
Over the Counter (OTC) Medications - Many started out as prescription drugs with significant health risks, yet most individuals don't think twice before pill-popping. Got a headache? Take a tablet. But taking an OTC can trigger life-long effects such as liver damage, kidney damage or heart damage. Example: Health studies indicate that individuals are at a higher risk for heart attack when an OTC pain reliever is placed into the equation.
At the time of our discomfort, it's far too easy to reach for a temporary cure in a bottle. The sad fact is that the temporary cure often comes with unwanted side-effects and lasting health effects. Therefore, weigh the risks before downing that cure which you may regret later in life.
Alcohol - Overworked kidneys and a pickled liver. What more could the Grim Reaper wish for? Needless to say, you'll live longer and remain healthier without habit-forming spirits.
Smoking - Comes with four times the risks associated with the severely obese. Wow - what a wake-up call. Smoking not only comes with dangerous risks for the internal self, but also the external - creating premature lines and wrinkles which accentuate the ageing process. If you smoke - stop. If you don't, then ask a smoker their take before you pick up the habit. The odds are overwhelming that they'll assure you that you don't need an unwanted loose smoker's cough, respiratory issues, the breath of T-Rex associated with tobacco, the steep cancer risks, the unwanted wrinkles around the mouth, the stained teeth and so forth.
Lack of Sleep - The inability to sleep is accompanied with miserable consequences. Amid the late hour, it might be fun to sit up and play but one pays the Sandman Fiddler the following day. The sleepless driver is equal to the drunk driver - and that's quite scary in itself. Lack of sleep also put stress on the brain, as well as the body - making it susceptible to illness.
Lack of Activity - Increasing activity is a cool key in curing 'lack of sleep'. Due to our non-physical days in the modern world (for a good many of us) our bodies don't receive the activity it requires in order to keep strong and fit. When coupled with a poor diet, the result over a period of years, equals a poor state of health. The individual chances loosing vibrancy, muscle mass, bone mass, balance and agility. Keeping active also keeps the metabolism burning at a higher rate, the digestive system running smoothly, and the ability to empty waste without issue.
Amid my nephew's recent marriage, I longed for my father's presence amid the happy event. He passed on before his time and has missed so many things that would have given him extreme joy - like the birth of his first great grandchild. But Daddy couldn't keep a lid on his appetite. For 75% of his life, he lived to eat rather than ate to live. And these joyous family events would have given him eons more pleasure than the food that he immensely enjoyed.
His Type 2 diabetes developed in his early forties, then accelerated to an insulin dependent stage in his late fifties. Pity too, as his diabetes could have been easily controlled via a healthy daily diet - according to his doctors at the time. But daddy chose to count on medications to control his health issues rather than altering his daily diet - much like many overweight individuals who do the same in regards to personal health issues - such as high blood pressures, high levels of bad cholesterol and so forth. But sadly, the poor state of his body reached a point to where medications could no longer support his poor dietary habits.
In his younger years, he didn't give a thought as to how his daily habits were impacting his future. He lived for the day. I say this to emphasize that the little things that you do NOW can add up to a big difference in the way that you look and most importantly, in the way that you feel as time goes by.
In conclusion - one is never to late to increase their lifespan. The things that we do today really do matter. As we age, we are faced with increasing health risks. Doing all that we can NOW in preparation for our senior years can and will make a difference!