Healthy Habits and Longevity

January 18, 2017
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With this blog I want to share with you a couple of articles that I believe are invaluable to healthy living.  The first article that I’m sharing with you is: “Ever wonder who’s in control?”, by: Maddy Dychtwald, Co-founder of Age Wave. 

  • What is one element of growing older that has surprised me?   You may think you don’t have much, but all of us have more control than we think in terms of our own aging process. 

I always assumed I’d grow old like my parents.  In fact my dad died at age 60 from cancer, both my brother and I worried that we, too might face the same fate.  The fact is that, somewhere in that back of our minds, many of us assume that our genetics are the primary predictor of how well or poorly we will age. 

But I’ve been surprised to learn that our lifestyle and behaviors are believed to far more important to how we age that our genes. 

According to Dr. John W. Rowe, professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on an Aging Society, “Only about 30 percent of the characteristics of aging are genetically based; the rest---70 percent---is not.” 

This new 70/30 rule is a game changer of highest order.  It means we’re more in charge of our own aging and health than we ever imagined.  Not completely, of course.  There are definitely things that are out of our control and more likely to occur as we get older.  For instance, you surely wouldn’t blame yourself if you were to get cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or another disease. 

However, there is a certain sense of power that come from knowing there are some practical steps we take to control our own aging process a little more and then reap the rewards of a healthy and enjoyable longevity. 

The second article talks about habits that are making you tired; 7 habits that are making you tired, written by Nancy Sharp, in an article published on Grandparents.com. 

  • Always tired? You’re not alone.  In an article on Grandparents.com, Nancy Sharp cites a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that 58 percent of people age 55 and over sleep less than seven hours a night.  Eighty percent of them had unintentionally fallen asleep at least once during the day the previous month. 

“Energy does not necessarily diminish with age or lack of sleep,” says Julie Hammerstein, nutritionist and director of The Source for Weight Loss.  You might be tired because of little things you’re doing throughout the day. 

Not sure what could be zapping your energy?  Read on to discover seven little habits that you can change easily to up your energy: 

  1. Breakfast without carbs

A study in the Journal of American Dietetic Association found that low-carb dieters experienced greater fatigue and reluctance to exercise than dieters who ate more carbohydrates. 

Natural, unprocessed carbs (whole grains, fruits and vegetables) are your best sources, and if you don’t get them, your brain will steal energy that is stored in your muscles. 

  1. Prescription medication

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 76 percent of American 60 and older take two or more prescription drugs, and 37 percent take five of more. 

“Prescription medicine certainly has its place,” says Hammerstein, “but medication can stress the liver, which is what frees the body of toxins.”  And if the liver is fatigued, so is the body.  Talk to your doctor, make sure you’re taking only medication that is essential. 

  1. Clutter

When clutter is around, it can make your brain overwhelmed and unable to focus, according to research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, and that can make you fatigued. 

Best solution: Clean up a small area that’s cluttered and see how it changes your mood and energy level.  Then you can get going on the rest of the mess. 

  1. Vitamin-enhanced water 

“Vitamin drinks trick your body, especially those with B vitamins and taurine, another energy enhancer,” says Hammerstein.  “They can actually have the reverse effect by making you tired.”  This because the body doesn’t easily metabolize B vitamins taken in an isolated form---as in energy drinks. 

  1. Using the computer

Prolonged use of the computer can cause computer vision syndrome, according to the American Optometric Association.  Symptoms can include fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. 

Experts suggest that for every 20 minutes of computer reading you do, look away for 20 seconds and focus on an object 20 feet away.  That should reduce your eye strain.  You should also make sure your computer is at the right level for your eyes. 

  1. Not eating your veggies

Simply put, micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and plan nutrients found in fruits and vegetables) are necessary for optimal health. 

  1. Too much exercise

If you overdue, it can tax your adrenal glands by causing your body to release too much cortisol.  This can lead to fatigue, which can sap your energy for days. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, the Mayo Clinic recommends your exercise exertion should be a 6 or 7.  This is moderate exercise.  Anything less is too mild; anything close to an 8 or 9 leads to burnout. 

Closing thoughts 

With these two articles we wish to share some good thoughts and ideas that can make life more successful and enjoyable.  Successful careers, before retirement and in retirement should be ones filled with joy and fulfillment. 

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