Live longer, live better
There are things you can do to live healthier adding years to your life.
- Get a dog
A dog needs walking; you likely need to add more exercise to your lifestyle. A dog will have you walking twice a day…the pace and distance will be determined by the breed and you own conditioning. Some great walking breeds: basset hounds, Scottish terriers, most terriers, spaniels. A large breed should be avoided if you have never had a pet before as it needs you to carry a large plastic bag but also large dogs may walk you rather than you walking it. Talk to dog owners to learn about breeds which may be suitable for you.
The other benefits of dogs as pets are emotional and psychological. Dogs really relate to people and this means an emotional and psychological bonding that will be of tremendous benefit for you.
- Eschew meat, chew plants
Much has been written about the benefits of eating a more plant-based diet. It is a healthier diet than one where a person eats meat frequently. Try it. Eat less meat and monitor how you feel. However, it is not necessary to give up meat totally, after all, man has been eating it for eons. Only don’t eat as much of it.
The Baycrest Health Sciences Centre in Toronto claims that cutting back to just one serving of meat a day with an increase in servings of vegetables and fruit can significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Medicate with care
Ask your doctor many questions: is the medication prescribed the best one? What is the optimal dose? Can it be reduced? What medications can be stopped and when? Aim to detox your body as much as possible. Confirm your doctor is prescribing the best medications for the optimal period of time and not longer. Be sure your doctor is treating you properly, not just as an ‘old’ person, ageism.
- Be near green
The Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Utah found that of 108,000 nurses living in or near the green spaces had a 12 per cent lower risk of early death. The environment is becoming less and less conducive to good health. Try being outside more, preferably in a park with grass and trees. The air is cleaner and better for you, not to mention the Vitamin D the sun beams. Besides, medical studies suggest that the green environment lowers incidents of depression, encourages more social interaction and engages one with more stimuli thus improving one’s mental and emotional well-being.
- Elixir of youth
Fact or fiction, young blood rejuvenates the aged. In the HBO TV series, ‘Silicon Valley’ a CEO in the story engages a “transfusion associate” for regular treatment. There may be some life imitating art, but not likely….yet. Studies have shown mice after receiving transfusions of younger blood have displayed improvements to brain health and activity. Interesting studies but rather premature for us today.
- Tie into family and friends
Studies done at Brigham Young University showed older people with greater social ties, with family and close friends may live longer than those who are isolated or alone. Studies in California and Great Britain corroborate that loneliness is a significant factor in the decline of quality of life in older adults and can lead to depression, cognitive impairment, health problems such as coronary artery disease and even premature death. Swedish researchers believe social support from kids is one of the reasons older adults with children tend to live about two years longer than their childless compatriots.
- Water instead of wine
Study after study indicates that water really improves health. Blood thickness may increase with dehydration. Studies show that adults drinking less alcohol and five to six glasses of water a day reduce their risk of fatal heart attack significantly.
Also, people can increase their water intake in other ways besides glasses of water. More fruit and vegetables, especially those that are high in water content, such as watermelon and spinach, increase hydration. An added benefit of drinking water 30 minutes before eating is that it reduces hunger and helps a person feel full sooner, thus eating less.
- Prebiotics and probiotics
Research evidence indicates bad bacteria which exists in the gut can be reduced significantly by ingesting prebiotics. Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and activity of microorganisms in the gut. Prebiotics are naturally found in many foods, such as oatmeal and other whole grains, and many fruits and vegetables, including artichokes, asparagus, onions, and bananas. Studies of prebiotics are not yet conclusive. Though it may be an oversimplification, probiotics are digestible prebiotics. Eating products labelled as probiotics does more good than harm.
- Marriage is healthy
Studies indicate that unmarried middle-aged women show little or no increase of mortality risk factors including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. On the other hand, men were found to experience an initial decline in health after divorce, but finding a new long-term partner was shown to continue the protective benefits coupling has on their health.
- Pot may have benefits
Marijuana use has been legalized in Canada since October 2018. We are not advocating its use. However, marijuana has shown promise against ailments and diseases common among the older set including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and even cancer. Additionally, joint German-Israeli research has shown that THC — in a dose low enough not to intoxicate — was effective in reversing age-related cognitive decline including that of memory retention and recall. Highly beneficial without the high.
Though it would be difficult to incorporate all the above changes and advice, whichever ones and whichever number added to your life can only benefit your health.
Tara Losinski, Zoomer magazine, March, 2019