Monday, March 12, 2012

Looking Forward to a Long Retirement

I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, the age of fifty marked not only my retirement but also what I expect to be the half-way point in my life. I intend to follow in the footsteps of my grandmother and live a long full life, so I'm doing every reasonable thing in my power to make that happen.

But I look around at so many of my friends and it seems like they don't even care.  They certainly aren't doing much to push the odds in their favor. Generally, it all comes down to a few things that can make such a big difference, not only in how long you live but also in how healthy you are during those years.

Eat More Vegetables

Three or more servings per day can lower you chances of dying from heart disease by 30%. If you eat the recommended 4-5 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruit daily, you just won't have that much room left in your stomach for the unhealthy stuff. And eating a mostly plant-based diet helps prevent cancer.

Eat Less Fat

According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, over 90% of people with Type 2 Diabetes eat more than the recommended fat calories per day. Eat the veggies from above and see how much room you have left for the fat. It is so much easier to not eat all those calories in the first place than it is to burn them off afterwards. But don't forget your omega-3s - they can lower your risk of heart disease by up to 64%.

Get More Exercise

Seven hours a week of moderate activity can lower your risk of early death by about 25%.  This isn't marathon training - think walking, gardening, yoga, and tai chi. And exercising gives you more energy, improves your mood, helps keep blood glucose stable, helps prevent cancer, and helps control your weight.

Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

Amazingly, your risk of heart disease rises by 70% if you don't!

To get an idea of where you stand right now, go to and take their test to find out how many years you've put on your body.  Is it better or worse than your real age? I've seen other tests online that are the same idea. Try for a Life Expectancy Calculator. Let me know how you do.

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