We’ve all heard how people today are living longer than in generations gone by. Turn on the local news and you’re bound to see another man or woman celebrating 100 years.
It’s a comforting thought that we individually might have more time with our loved ones, right? What we may be forgetting is that living longer may not be in the form of a healthy elderly adult, but instead as a sick elderly adult.
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal The Lancet reported a 45% rise in diabetes from 1990-2013, as well as a rise in cancer. This study stated that there might be a link to the fact that we are living longer.
But don’t fret just yet! The authors also reported that in the US, diabetes complications (like amputations, kidney failure, heart attacks, and strokes) are actually down, due in part to advancements in medical care and monitoring.
What this means is that the gift of longer life comes with an obligation to take care of ourselves. Make sure to take action now regarding your health and wellness, so that your future years will be long and happy.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Eat fruits and vegetables every day
- Make half your grains, whole grains
- Schedule cooking meals at home so you can control your healthy choices
- Schedule your physical activity every week for a minimum of 150 minutes
- Get annual physicals from your doctor
- Get your teeth cleaned regularly by your dentist
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night (or make-up sleep in the form of naps when you can!)
- Remove excess stressors from your life
- And, remember to laugh and seek out the things that bring you joy!
While these are general things we all have heard, they can be hard to remember to do regularly. Start with one of the items listed above and slowly make them a normal habit in your life. In no time at all, you can have a whole new group of healthy habits that will help you on your way to a healthy future!
Special thanks to dietetic intern Rebecca Dehamer for her contributions to this post.