2002-02-16 10:57:48 --
The New Longevity
by Robert M. Oliva, CSW
We are facing a revolution in aging. But natural living is still the best way to assure that you live your intended life span. With some simple easy steps you can experience a long and vital life.
The age of the American population is changing astonishingly. People over the age of 100 are the fastest growing group in the nation. The second fastest growing group is people over 85. More of us are now able to live into old age than ever before. It's estimated that in a decade or more the average American will live until the age of 83. And that's just the average. We are truly undergoing a revolution in aging.
I'm sure you are interested in living longer. Most of us are. A question you might be asking is how can you better your chances of living as long as you can. You are probably also wondering how you can remain healthy during those many years. These are serious questions. Let's take a look at what enables people to live longer and what you can do to help yourself and loved ones live not only longer but better.
At the turn of the century, people died early of infectious diseases. The death rate at childbirth was staggering. Very few of us could have expected to live into old age. The population was like a triangle. A lot of people were being born at the bottom and only a few ever reaching the top. Gerontologists tell us that we are now experiencing a new phenomenon. More and more people are surviving past childhood and living to old age. This is happening to the point were the top of the triangle is nearly as large as the bottom. This has never happened in history. By the year 2010 there will be as many "senior citizens" as those under 20.
Our industrial society has provided tremendous rewards in terms of longevity. Improved sanitation, drugs, new medical technologies, nutritional knowledge, etc. have been a boon to our life spans. In years past, simple infections could be fatal. Food and water contaminations were widespread and could result in premature death. We now stand on the verge of seeing a new society. With current advances in nutrition and a new generation of medical diagnostic technologies a great deal can be done to keep all of us healthy. But the basic approaches needed to stay healthy for life are as old as our civilization. Living a simple and natural life style is still the best way to maintain health.
Why don't you take the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator
How did you do?
Let's look at some of the non-genetic factors involved in longevity.
Things To Do
Here are some natural ways to increase your chances of living long and well.
· Psychological Health. Many researchers have found that those of us who live long have a strong tendency to shed stress. This could take the form of having an optimistic attitude, being able to relax or just letting go of those things that normally cause us pain and sorrow. Many long-lived people are able to cope well with loss and disappointment. As we age, there are many losses that we face. If we allow these losses to incapacitate or lower our vitality our health suffers and we shorten our life span. Developing a hopeful outlook that sees the future in a positive manner is an integral part of living a long healthy life.
· Exercise. Research has shown that those of us who exercise regularly are both physically and mentally healthier. Strenuous exercise reduces cholesterol, raises HDLs, strengthens the heart and respiratory systems, increases bone mass, aids digestion, perks up our attitudes, lowers blood pressure and may stave off certain forms of cancer. A regular, strenuous exercise program is a must for all of us looking to stay healthy for a long time.
· Diet. It has been shown that eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables cuts in half the likelihood of some cancers and drastically lowers the odds of developing heart disease, gastrointestinal problems and diabetes. You don’t have to stop eating meat but make sure that you get up to five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables contain important phytochemicals that protect us from cancers and other diseases.
The Health Benefits of Sex
by Susie Michelle Cortright
We all know that sex can feel good. But sex can be healthy too. Find out how your sex life can make you feel better and live longer.