Sunday Thoughts (It’s never too late)
I had a birthday recently and it got me thinking.
How long do I think I'll live? And if I could live longer, wouldn't I do what I can to make that happen?
I came across a stat recently that's pretty sad. As Americans, our life expectancy is actually going down, for the first time in 100 years.
In 2014, the average life expectancy was 78.9 years. But in 2017, it dropped to 78.6 years.
Doesn't seem like a lot, but when it's been trending up for a century, it's enough to take notice.
What's driving this drop? And maybe more important, what's driving the increase in years where we're alive but "unwell?"
Three big things come to mind: obesity, inactivity, and smoking.
But it's never too late to change your lifestyle, and your life.
And I want to remind you of 5 things that can help you do it.
Smoking is easy to point to, though not as easy to stop if you've started. But I think we all know it's bad, and you should stop. That's first on the list.
Second, you should learn to eat "like a Greek." More fresh fruits and veggies, more fish, more healthy fats like olive oil. And less processed foods.
You need to think of this as a lifestyle, not a "diet." Working more omega-3 rich foods like salmon, sardines and tuna into the mix is great for the heart, brain and so much more. And the more fruits & vegetables in your diet, the better.
Third, you've simply got to get moving.
Exercise fights obesity, cancer, depression, diabetes and heart disease. It's the most powerful tool in your toolbox. Even a half hour of walking can make a difference and add years to your life.
Fourth, you have to be in tune with your body. Just like your car, preventative maintenance and check-ups are essential to running on all cylinders. Stay informed, and engaged, and in control of your health.
If something seems off, or you're not feeling right, get it checked out.
And finally, you need to protect your mental health too. I know it's been hard this year to stay connected. But don't underestimate the importance of a quick phone call or video chat.
Seeing someone's face, hearing their voice – it's emotionally rewarding. And declining mental health can do real damage to your lifespan, and your enjoyment of the everyday.
No question, this has been a hard year. It may get harder before it's over. But the fact is, with so much that's out of control, there's plenty that you still do control.
And I don't know about you, but I'd like to have more years to enjoy once things return to "normal," and take full advantage of everything I've been missing.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and stay safe out there.