Who Else Wants to Live to Be 100 Years Old?

6 Jul

There is an old saying that goes something like this: Youth is wasted on the young. For many people, this is true.  Whether this is true or not for you is unimportant, but here is something that is important. No matter how old you are now or how long you are going to live, life is short and it goes by in the blink of an eye. Whatever age you are right now, don’t you want to live as many healthy years into the future as you can? Sadly, many people think there is nothing they can do to make themselves healthier and live longer.  It is common to believe…

It’s All In Your Genes.

Sure.  Genes do play some role regarding the circumstances of your life. For example, not everyone is going to be 7 feet tall (>2m) and play basketball for an NBA team. Not everyone is going to be exceptionally healthy and live to be 100 years old even if they eat junk food and smoke like a chimney.  But there is something you can control and that’s living up to your genetic potential.  Listen, it makes no difference to you if someone else’s genetic potential is better or worse than yours.     The only thing that matters is YOUR genetic potential and how you maximize it. Here is something else you should know:  Most people think that because they did unhealthy things when they were younger — like eat a lot of junk food or smoke — that it is too late for them now.  The damage is done, so to speak. While in some instances this may be true, in many cases, the body has an amazing ability to recover and become healthy even after decades of abuse. We’ll talk about this more in a moment, but first, let’s see if living to age 100 is all in the genes. Over the past 50 years, the University Gothenburg has hosted one of the world’s first prospective study on aging. The participants included 855 Gothenburg men born who were all born in 1913. The first surveys were conducted in 1963 and continued on until the final survey was conducted with the ten surviving participants in 2013.  A total of 27% (232) of the original group lived to the age of 80 and 13% (111) live to 90.  All in all, 1.1% of the subjects made it to their 100th birthday. According to the study, 42% of deaths after the age of 80 were due to cardiovascular disease, 20% to infectious diseases, 8% to stroke, 8% to cancer, 6% to pneumonia, and 16% to other causes.A total of 23% of the over-80 group were diagnosed with some type of dementia.

The study showed that it helped the longevity of the participants if they paid high rent or owned a house by age 50, had a high aerobic capacity on a biking test at age 54, and had a mother who lived a long time. According to lead researcher Dr. Lars Wilhelmsen, while their mother’s longevity appears to indicate that genetic factors played a strong role in helping these men live longer lives, other factors that are indicative of a healthy lifestyle may be more important for living a long time. For example, among the longest lived men in the study, none were smokers and all of them were slim and had good posture. The fact they were non-smokers isn’t surprising but…

What About Being Slim and Having Good Posture?

Sure, the health benefits of being slim are also pretty obvious.  Numerous studies have focused on weight control and calorie-restricted diets and their benefits.  But what does good posture have to do with it? Chiropractors have known the benefits of having good posture for well over 100 years.  Even in the early 1900s, doctors of chiropractic believed that spinal structure is directly related to overall health – not just back pain.  Now, the results of this study do not say… or prove… chiropractic care can make you live longer,  but it does raise some very interesting questions. If good posture is an important factor for good health and living longer, and chiropractic helps you achieve good posture, does chiropractic care improve overall health and help you live longer? For now, you will have to make your own decision about that.  Hopefully more studies will be performed to give us more definitive answers about all of this.

Now for Some Great News About Quitting Smoking…

The chances of a smoker dying form cardiovascular disease are double that of someone who has never smoked.  However, if a smoker kicks their habit, their risk for a heart attack or stroke will decrease over time and while it may never be as low as a never-smoker’s risk, it can get close if given enough years.  Even those who quit smoking after age 60 will still experience a drop in cardiovascular risk over time. In a recent study, researchers attempted to calculate the number of years by which smoking accelerates death from heart disease.  They found that the age of smokers who die from cardiovascular disease is, on average, five and a half years younger than people who have never smoked in their lives.  By contrast, the age of former smokers drops to just over two years younger than life-long non-smokers.

Lead researcher Dr. Hermann Brenner writes, “Therefore, it is never too late to stop smoking.  Even people in the highest age group still gain considerable health benefits from it… Many heart attacks and strokes, with all of their serious consequences, could be prevented this way.” Clearly, your body has incredible recovery and recuperative powers.  It’s amazing how many people have lived long, healthy lives after years of poor diet, smoking, and even drug abuse.  There is an old saying that goes something like this:  The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is today.

The same applies for your health.  Start today.

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