Saturday, December 19, 2015

What's Your Lifespan? Part 2

I suspect that the food industry back then, did not have its 80,000 or more chemicals available to them at their disposal. Nor was I aware of the nature of the toxic chemicals found in so many of our household products like plastics, etc. I just don’t remember plastics as being so prominent. However, today’s youth are presented with many more challenges. The National Cancer Institute, for example, reported that virtually every pregnant woman in the America has at least 43 different chemical contaminants in their body. The negative result from these chemicals is that babies are now born “pre- polluted.” Further, The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics issued a warning that called toxic chemicals, in essence, endocrine disruptors. This means that these chemicals imitate sex hormones and often confuse the body. Troubling, is that these chemical disruptors are found in plastics, shampoos, cosmetics, cash register receipts, food can linings, flame retardants and many other products. Not only that, but these endocrine disruptors are related to the health issues of cancer, diabetes, obesity and infertility. It has also been reported that the chemical lobby spent over $121,000 per member of Congress this past year. It is clear, that simply discovering that special diet and purchasing that latest and remarkable fitness machine will not guarantee living a healthy life. For the caveman, his lifespan was shortened not by ingesting too much food, or lack of exercise, but result of the many wild and poisonous creatures dealt with and from not recovering from infections. He was fortunate in that he didn’t have to deal with the creation of all the man-made hazards. We’re not so lucky, as our biggest threat to our health is what man does to each other. Remember, a politician said “corporations are people.” And I’m just talking about the food and chemical industry. Buyer beware can be taken seriously. Our life expectancy and health span expectancy is not totally controlled by genetics. Life expectancy, on average, in the United States was estimated in 2015 at 77.32 years for males and 81.97 years for females. And a review of over two dozen centenarian studies focusing on healthy lifestyle habits revealed 16 habits that increased an individual’s odds of dramatically increasing physical, emotional and cognitive functioning. Be apprised that all 16 of these habits are under the control of the individual. Eight of these gems include: 1. Keep weight, low and steady 2. Eat fewer calories 3. Exercise regularly, be active, and stay busy after retirement 4. Don’t smoke or stop smoking, if you do 5. Drink less alcohol 6. Get regular and restful sleep 7. Challenge your mind 8. Stay socially connected with serenity and purpose in life. My friend Tony, age 64, just returned from running a 50 K trail run in Washington State. At age 76, I intend to run my two annual 50 K trail runs in 2016. Just think, next year, at this time, I shall be close to the average life expectancy for males in our country. That’s a sobering statistic. 2400 years ago Hippocrates had the correct advice “if we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” Today’s source was found in the New York Times, Sunday, November 29, 2015 and the Institute for Natural Resources, 2010.

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