Aging is more than just accumulating years; aging is the progressive cycle between birth and death. Some wits have remarked, "If I had known I was going to live this long; I would have taken better care of myself." That's advice we could all heed.
(Take a look at the "Anti-Aging Diet Plate" video at the bottom of the page for some suggestions on staying healthy.)
Viviana Perez, Ph.D, a principal investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University says, "Thanks to the advance in research (medicine, aging, and nutrition), we have increased the healthspan in humans, therefore it's normal to observe these days that chronic diseases begin later than 50." The sum of our years is our lifespan; a healthy lifespan is our healthspan.
Many geneticists suggest that humans could live a natural span of 125 years. But how long we live depends on the genes we inherit, our environment and its stresses, accidents, natural disasters, and the consequences of choices we make within our own lifestyle. With the aid of science, perhaps we will push the threshold of healthspan and lifespan out hundreds of years, but even living hundreds of years in excellent health could present problems.
Author Susan Ertz once said, "Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon." Living longer seems to call for something worthwhile to do and the good health to enjoy it. Dr Perez says, "Healthspan is the period of your lifespan when you are productive and without chronic diseases and conditions that limit your daily living." The sum of our years is our total lifespan; which is quite different than a healthy lifespan when our activities are not limited by health problems.
Anthropologist and humanist Ashley Montagu said, "The idea is to die young as late as possible." That sounds like good advice. We need to be active and have good relationships and physical and mental challenges. As long as all your body parts are working, age is a state of mind. Of course, some people feel fine and look forward to every single minute and then one day the weather changes and they find that virtually every joint in their body aches.
Inflammation can cause those joint aches, and inflammation can be affected by diet. Lack of proper nutrients can hinder the body's natural utility department in charge of DNA maintenance. A steady decline in our cell and organ functions may go un-noticed until our body is unable to defend itself. If we damage the genes themselves, we've not only shot ourselves in the foot, we loaded and aimed the gun as well.
Decisions determine the outcome of our lives. What foods are we eating and what consequences do our choices bring? Are we eating too many processed foods? Not enough whole grains and whole foods? What habits are actually killing us? And what vitamins are not contained in the daily menu of the tasty treats we eat? In other words, we need to be aware of what our body is doing and what we are doing to our body.
We can't prevent aging. The clock is always ticking. But it's never too late to make some adjustments. We can help ourselves to age better but we're still going to age. Now, don't you wish you had taken better care of your body?
c. 2013 - Live2AgeWell.com
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The following video might help you understand what you can do to improve your health as you age: