We all want to live more purposeful lives, be healthier and more active. And every to start to the New Year rings of resolutions made world wide. Then comes week two I to week three and the fading begins .
Why? Well, many factors- the biggest is “life happens”. So I want to share this great article that was sent to me not to preach, but to help find solutions to stumbling blocks we may encounter.
5 surprising mistakes that may
prevent you from living to 100
Make these smart lifestyle changes to help increase
your lifespan as well as your healthspan
What separates physically active, mentally sharp people in their 80s and 90s from the rest of us? While good genes certainly play a role, our lifestyle may be even more important to our health and longevity than our DNA. For many of us, just making a few simple changes to our daily routines could influence whether we’re still around to play with the great grandkids.
Top health experts now talk about the term healthspan as opposed to just their lifespan. “A person’s healthspan is the length of time that the person is healthy: the length of time they will spend on this planet in optimal health, not just alive,” explains Functional Medicine Practitioner Bryce Wylde, BSc, DHMHS.
Nutrition Mythbuster Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS, adds, “Our goal should be to postpone the age-related decline in health so we can enjoy an improved quality of life. We don’t just want to live longer, we want to be stronger, smarter, more energetic and more resistant to disease.”
Join the “live to 100” club
While most of us know we should be exercising frequently, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating more fruits and vegetables, there are some surprising ways you may be sabotaging your efforts to live a long, healthy life. The good news? There are simple fixes to each of these.
Mistake #1: Not making your happiness a priority.
“It’s easy to get sucked into the negativity of social media, the nightly news and people who view life as a series of problems,” says Wylde. “These things can shorten your lifespan and your healthspan. Our attitudes influence how fast or slow we age, and happiness is linked to achieving old age with optimal health.”
The fix: “Become more aware of the people and circumstances that are robbing you of your happiness. Dump some toxic relationships. Spend more time around happy people. If necessary, take a vacation from Facebook and Instagram a few days each week. And find something to be grateful for every single day,” Wylde advises. “At first, having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ may seem like a lot of effort. But it will soon become a habit.”
Mistake #2: You’re still eating a low-fat inflammatory diet.
“The low-fat diet craze led millions of us to get used to filling up on carbs,” says Bowden, the author of “Living Low Carb.” But now there’s overwhelming evidence that dietary fat is not the enemy to our health. Restricting fat has not helped us lose weight. In fact, obesity rates have skyrocketed since low-fat diets have become popular. A recent 12-month study out of Malaysia evaluated the diets of 577 healthy people who were non-drinkers and non-smokers. The researchers found that a high-carb diet is far more inflammatory and far more likely to increase heart disease risk factors than a higher fat diet. Fat had very little impact on risk factors,” stresses Bowden.
The fix: “Add healthy fats back into your diet,” advises Bowden. “Toss the pro-inflammatory canola, soybean and corn oils. Instead, use chia oil or extra virgin olive oil for cold applications such as salad dressings. For high heat cooking, palm oil is ideal. It’s cholesterol-neutral and rich in heart-healthy vitamin E tocotrienols. Because there have been some concerns about palm oil and the environment, always choose Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil, which is environmentally friendly.”
Mistake #3: You aren’t monitoring your health while it’s still good.
“Most people don’t want to run to the doctor for wellness tests that may or may not be covered by insurance. That’s how some illnesses can creep up on you,” says Wylde. “Pay attention to symptoms while they’re still whispers. Don’t wait until your body starts yelling at you.”
The fix: “Here’s one free test you can take every day: Ask yourself how you feel. That’s the biggest “tell” of all. How’s your energy? Are you waking up feeling tired and toxic? Does that change if you take a walk? What happens if you cut out sugar for a week? Start paying closer attention to those things,” Wylde advises.
Mistake #4: You’re not taking heart-healthy omega-3s because you don’t like fish.
“Omega-3s are probably one of the most important nutrients you can get from food,” says Wylde. “For example, ALA is the only omega-3 that is considered biologically an ‘essential’ fatty acid because the body can’t make it on its own. Historically, fish oil has been the largest source of omega-3. But, not everyone wants to take fish oil or eat fish several times a week.”
The fix: “The health community is excited about newer plant-based sources for omega-3s, specifically ALA. But be selective and choose the most nutrient-dense options,” Bowden advises. “For example, of the best-known ALA options, flax contains only antioxidants and polyphenols. Hemp and borage oils have only antioxidants. SunChia naturally has the largest range of bioactive components: antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin E tocopherols and sterols.”
Mistake #5: You’re barely getting by on poor-quality sleep.
Wylde says sleep is one of the most restorative things we can do, yet most of us still aren’t getting enough. “It’s not just clocking eight hours on the pillow that’s important. It’s getting deep, restful sleep. All kinds of essential things happen during sleep. Neurochemicals are replaced, bones and joints are repaired, waste products are washed away. Yet too many of us have trouble calming our minds so we can fall asleep more easily.”
The fix: “Avoid drinking caffeine after 3 p.m., including energy drinks,” Wylde advises. “They can interrupt your REM sleep cycle, which is the dream state and is imperative to waking up feeling refreshed. If you have trouble falling asleep, take a product 30 minutes before bedtime that contains Suntheanine, a pure form of the amino acid L-theanine. Suntheanine does not induce sleep. It’s not a tranquilizer or a sedative. But it will put you in a calm, relaxed state so that you can enter sleep more rapidly, sleep deeper and wake up without grogginess.”
Reaching old age as a healthy, active adult requires making smart choices that work with your body to help slow the aging process. Bowden and Wylde acknowledge that some of these fixes may require stepping out of your comfort zone. That may feel unsettling at first. But the more you stick with them, the stronger your new, healthier habits will become.
Biography: Bryce Wylde, BSc, DHMHS, Homeopath
Bryce Wylde BSc (hons), DHMHS is a leading health expert specializing in integrative and functional medicine, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, and supplementation. As associate medical director at P3 Health in Toronto, and director of My Health Report, he blends the latest in science and technology with traditional and ancient remedies. Wylde is the author of three national best-selling books, previous host of CTV’s Wylde on Health, and regular guest health expert and medical advisor on “The Doctor Oz” show.
Biography: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, also known as “The Nutrition Myth Buster” ™ is a nationally known board-certified nutritionist and expert on diet and weight loss. He has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS as an expert on nutrition has contributed to articles in The New York Times, Forbes, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair Online, Men’s Heath, Prevention, and dozens of other print and online publications.
Dr. Jonny is the best-selling author of 15 books including The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Living Low Carb (now in its fourth edition), and is the co-author, with cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, of the controversial best-seller, “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease and the Statin-Free Plan that Will”.