By Ken Goldberg, MD, Texas Urology
Submitted by Pamela Klim, Independent Advocare Distributor
Must we get old? We may not be able to avoid it, but we sure can postpone it. Left to its own devices, the typical human body loses about 30 percent of its cells by age 75. Skin becomes less supple, the brain shrinks, heart output drops, lung capacity decreases, bones become brittle, muscles atrophy, the immune system weakens, and fertility fades.
In the end, it may be true that nothing is certain but death and taxes. But we’re discovering that, like a tax auditor, the grim reaper does offer an extension of time to file. By changing your lifestyle, you can add years to your life. At least as important, the years you add are likely to be vibrant and enjoyable. You can look and feel 10 to 20 years younger than the calendar implies.
How do you do it?
Here are a few key points:
- Protect your skin. Avoid direct exposure to the sun. Not only does ultraviolet light cause skin cancer, it’s far more important than age when it comes to wrinkling and discoloration.
- Exercise in the form of extended moderate activity, such as brisk walking, directly postpones the effects of aging. Studies have shown that men who don’t exercise may lose as much as 24 percent of their heart’s pumping capacity per decade after age 40. Men who do exercise, however, lose only about 5 percent of their circulatory capacity every 10 years. Endurance exercise also enhances the body’s immune system. One study has shown that fit elderly people have higher levels of disease-fighting substances in their blood and are less likely to get respiratory infections.
- Weight lifting has its own set of benefits. Pumping iron prevents the loss of muscle strength — about 30 percent, on average, between 20 and 70 — and helps head off osteoporosis. A study of 70-year-old men who took up weight lifting found that they could add muscle at nearly the same rate as men 50 years younger. Men who strength train also have better balance and are less prone to injury.
- Pick foods that have high levels of antioxidant vitamins. Yellow and orange vegetables — carrots and sweet potatoes, for example — and green, leafy vegetables — such as spinach and broccoli — contain vitamins E, C, and beta carotene. These vitamins appear to help neutralize substances called free radicals, which attack healthy cells and may be one of the main causes of aging.
Unlike your accountant, I can’t certify an automatic extension. But I can assure you that you’ll feel better immediately knowing that the ultimate accountant is more likely to knock on someone else’s door.
How to live longer?
Day in, day out, I tell guys that a body — like a car — is a lot easier and cheaper to maintain than to fix. But I don’t think most of them appreciate how much easier and cheaper prevention is than treatment.
The number crunchers tell me that, on average, Americans now live to be 75, 30 years more than they did in 1900. Is that because of modern medical miracles?
Not for the most part. According to the Public Health Service, only five of those years were gained from treatments. The other 25 are the result of better nutrition, sanitation, and occupational safety.
Today, roughly half of the people who die short of their normal life expectancy succumb to “personal behaviors that can be modified.” Chief among those behaviors are smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise.
Another 20 percent of the premature deaths are linked to genetic factors. We may not be entirely able to prevent these problems. But early detection, which can be enhanced by knowledge of our genetic heritage, makes treatment easier and more successful.
Environmental problems such as air and water pollution account for another 20 percent of the early deaths in our country. As individuals, we may not be able entirely to avoid pollution, but as a society, we can prevent it.
Let’s see, I think that leaves us with the last 10 percent — deaths that can be attributed to inadequate medical care.
In one sense, that last 10 percent is a compliment to the thoroughness of the medical system. Most people get the treatment they need. On the other hand, 95 percent of the trillion dollars we spend each year on health care go to treatment, so it ought to be good.
The other 90 percent make it obvious that the way to lower the tab for health care is to devote more attention to preventing disease. And men — with their resume of self-destructive behaviors — should be particularly fruitful targets. After all, you could say that, on average, a man dies seven years prematurely, since that’s how much longer the average woman lives.
Taking personal responsibility for preventing disease requires a fundamental change in male attitudes, but that watershed is coming. Death certificates may not yet say, “Cause of death: cigarettes, whiskey, French fries, and too much television,” but we’re getting the idea.
In the long run, living longer and living better is an easy sell. There’s not much worth more, and the price is right.
Pam’s passion is helping others achieve optimal health and wellness, weight loss, and/or sports performance with Advocare. Founded in 1993, they have set the industry standard for safety testing and cutting-edge science, using only the highest quality raw materials obtainable to make their supplements. Advocare’s full-spectrum line of supplements are for men, women, and athletes, and cover everything from weight loss, energy and mental focus, and sports performance to overall general health and wellness. They have been designed for anyone who wants to feel better, look better, and perform better every day. Pam also helps others share the products and pursue the Advocare income opportunity. For more information, please contact Pam at 563-940-2295, by email: email@example.com, or website: www.advocare.com/03034246.
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