As I was growing up, my mom always told me wealth means NOTHING without good health. Truly enjoying your financial and personal successes count for less when you are not in the best of health.
These days we all seem to be trying to be healthier. We strive to eat healthy, exercise more, and balance our lifestyle between career/work, family and independent time. This idea is everywhere in our pop culture, and Americans alone spend upwards of $40 billion on this idea every year.
So if we're all trying to achieve that healthy life that our mothers wished for us, why do we feel like something is still missing? Are we just like hamsters on the wheel, constantly running nowhere? How do we acquire that "joie de vie"? How do we create a lifestyle that promotes a healthy life and longevity?
Well, I've got news for you, and it's the news you need to know: Your wellness is NOT solely determined by eating healthy foods and exercising or moving your body daily.
Don't get me wrong, they're still a very important part of the big picture, but the new model for wellness is much bigger than you, or even your Mom, could imagine!
This model is built upon many pillars of health including:
- Environmental factors
- Emotional health
- Adaptability to stress
- Personal perceptions
These factors can impact your overall health, and not just today, but for 10, 50, even 100 years from now. The model for true health is about creating vibrant health, not just for today, but into your 100s.
There is a new generation of centenarians who are living healthy lives into their 100s! These folks are able to bypass many age-related illnesses and live darn good lives! And, no, there is no Fountain of Youth, and its not due to a miracle pill, vitamin or ancient herb.
Let me explain.
Many studies have been completed on centenarians to determine the variables that increase their opportunities to live so long. Thomas Perls, founder and director of the New England Centenarians study at Boston University, did just that.
He determined "it's NOT just good genes" that make you age defying and healthy. Perl's work (published about a year ago) cites that centenarians possessed gene "variants" that when activated can disarm the genes that can cause illness or disease.
Moreover, recent University of Georgia research correlates centenarian longevity to one's ability to adapt to everyday stressors in life.The more we can adapt, the more resilient we become.
So how will YOU adapt and become resilient?
The new wellness paradigm is pretty powerful but will require you to broaden your perspectives about how you view and practice the many disciplines of great health.
The good news is this. You don't need an expensive pill or prescription to make this happen! The only medicine you need is already inside of you... your biological "inner pharmacy". Remember, at every single moment of every single day, your body is either "growing" or "slowing", using bodily energy to keep your body functioning optimally.
When you can uncover how to help your whole self, and enhance every single beautiful gene strand and cell you were born with, you'll be able to understand the simple complexity of you body's ability to stay young and healthy. And when you have this understanding, you'll be able to attune your whole self to create great health.
So what will your choices be? How will YOU create momentum toward becoming more resilient and adaptable to life's ebb and flow? Yes, there WILL be low tides, high tides, bumps, riptides, fat waves and maybe even a few tsunamis along the way. So "open up" to the new wellness paradigm and discover a new world of ideas and disciplines to make you your healthiest you!
- See more at PassionatelyPam.com
Over the years, there's been a lot of debate related to diet and longevity. But most experts agree that a diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates is best. And some studies show that eating a traditional Mediterranean diet can add years to your life.
Just like high blood pressure, high cholesterol can also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Therefore it's a good idea to have your cholesterol checked to see whether you need to undergo certain lifestyle changes or even possibly take some kind of cholesterol-lowering medication. For more information about cholesterol and saturated fats, go here. Eating certain foods, such as beans, which are rich in fiber and antioxidants, can help lower cholesterol.
Even drinking wine with dinner and then taking prescription sleep aides can be a lethal combination. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found 5.8 percent of people age 50 to 59 used illicit drugs in 2010, up from 2.7 percent in 2002.
The number of Americans with Type 2 diabetes is expected to rise from 30 million today to 46 million by 2030, when one of every four boomers -- 14 million -- will be living with this chronic disease, according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Untreated diabetes can lead to blindness, amputations and clogged arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes. The test to determine whether you are diabetic is a simple blood test; you should remind your doctor to include it in your annual physical.
More than one out of every three boomers -- more than 21 million -- will be considered obese by 2030. Already, we are the demographic with the highest and fastest-growing rate of obesity. As we age, our metabolism slows down and we burn fewer calories -- if we don't alter our eating and exercise patterns, weight gain is inevitable. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and a host of other life-threatening ailments. Losing just 10 percent of your body weight has health benefits, so consider that as a goal.
No chest pain doesn't mean no heart attack. Women having heart attacks frequently report experiencing a feeling of indigestion and extreme fatigue, while some men say they feel a fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of the chest, which may spread to the neck, shoulder or jaw. When a diabetic has a heart attack, the pain is often displaced to other areas such as the lower back.
Try as you might, you just can't stay asleep, right? You pass out before "60 Minutes" is over, but then wake up around midnight and count sheep until the alarm goes off. If that sounds like you, you aren't alone. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that boomers report not getting enough sleep between one and 13 nights each month. Is it life-threatening? In itself, no. But as soon as you slip behind the wheel bleary-eyed, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Your reflexes are slower, you pay less attention and you could become one of the more than 100,000 Americans who fall asleep at the wheel and crash each year. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that's a conservative estimate, by the way. Driver fatigue results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
AARP says the minimum you need to stay healthy are muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week, plus 2.5 hours a week of moderate activity like walking or 75 minutes a week of a more intense activity like jogging. Exercise is also good for your memory: Just one year of walking three times a week can increase the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that's key to memory.
We're talking about stress with a capital S. Boomers are the sandwich generation, caught in the middle of caring for our parents and our children. We were deeply affected by the recession and boomers have the highest rates of depression by age demographic. Unless we unload, we are going to implode.
It isn't just our extra weight; it's where we carry it. An excess of visceral fat causes our abdomens to protrude excessively. We call it a "pot belly" or "beer belly" or if the visceral fat is on our hips and buttocks, we say we are "apple shaped." Cute names aside, scientists now say that body fat, instead of body weight, is the key to evaluating obesity. And guess what? It's all bad.
Gallup found that baby boomers between the ages of 44 and 54 reported higher levels of smoking than those immediately younger or those who are older. Hard to imagine that they haven't gotten the word yet about the risks cigarettes carry.
Follow Pamela Levin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/passionatelypam