Wisdom comes with age. Health concerns too.
The 50th year of life is an important milestone for human health. You may have noticed that regular activities that used to have no side effects now leave stiff joints and muscles. Aside from minor pain, most of us can live long, healthy lives if we remember a few good, sensible ideas.
My friend and former colleague Dr. Walt Larimore identifies five habits that can help over 50s live an average of 10 years longer than those who don’t adopt them.
- Never smoke.
- Maintain a normal weight.
- Exercise – 30 minutes or more of exercise in one exercise five days a week.
- No or limited alcohol.
- A good eating plan.
The data on these points is breathtaking. Dr. Larimore says “Tens of thousands of studies over the past 50 years” show that the average 50-year-old man who does these things will live almost 25 years longer than someone who doesn’t. The average woman who follows these five habits will live an average of thirty-eight years longer than a woman who does not. This is a 50 to 58 percent increase in life expectancy from the age of 50.
Dr. Larimore is as important as physical health, and says that overall health is a function of a complicated relationship between four things, not just one. A happy, healthy and fulfilling life requires success in four areas:
- Physical health.
- Emotional health.
- Relationship health.
- Spiritual health.
Ultimately, mental health is the most important of these four. A healthy quality of life is like the tires of your car. If one of the four tires has insufficient air or is not properly aligned, the performance of the entire vehicle will be impaired. Have you ever noticed that you are more likely to get sick when you are emotionally run down? Or that your mood changes depending on how your relationships develop? Studies show that people recover physically faster when they are in a good mood, surrounded by family and friends and feel connected to their beliefs. Balance is the key.
Dr. Walt Larimore accompanies us in our focus on the family program “Healthy life from 50 years” to answer the question:What does good health look like? “Get answers to your questions local radio station, on-line, on Apple podcasts, Google podcastsor on our free phone app.
Dr. Larimore has been practicing medicine for almost 40 years and is currently working as an occupational physician at Concentra and UCHealth in Colorado Springs. Walt was formerly Vice President of Focus on the Family. He is an educator, medical journalist and author of over 30 books, including Fit over 50: Make simple decisions today for a healthier and happier you.
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