Hi Everyone!
Are you living life to the full? Or would you like to be able to do more? A long and healthy life is what most of us strive for. There is little benefit to longevity if the quality of life is not there. You can take control and make life choices that will better your chances of a long, healthy and active life.
For example, maintaining healthy body weight and keeping active are two of the main contributors to good health. You can check your weight by entering your weight and height into this website: http://www.mydr.com.au/tools/bodymass. If you fit into the “healthy” range then you may need to look at your physical activity. If you are overweight then perhaps look into your diet as well as physical activity.
Research shows that increased body fatness and reduced physical activity are strong predictors of premature death. The longest lived groups are those in the “healthy” weight category rather than those at the two extremes, very underweight or very overweight. There are many serious health problems associated with carrying too much fat, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type II diabetes, gall bladder disease, some types of cancer and osteoarthritis.
Maintaining healthy weight alone will not improve healthy longevity. Studies have shown that, compared to the physically active, those who are physically inactive (less than 3.5 hours per week) account for 31% of all premature deaths.
In one study 2,600 men & women over 60 were tested on a treadmill and their fitness rated. The group was tracked for around 12 years. Those who did poorly on the treadmill test were 4 times as likely to die over the 12 years as the people who did well. Their weight was not a factor, what mattered was how well they scored on the treadmill test. The least fit 20% were twice as likely to die over the 12 year period as the next least fit group.
So, out of the many things that can be done to improve health, you can start with maintaining healthy weight and cardio vascular fitness. You can improve your cardio fitness by walking more, taking stairs instead of the lift and playing ball games with friends and children. If you have to travel less than a kilometer, walk, don’t drive. At least half an hour a day needs to be spent on this type of fitness. This, in turn, will help with weight control.
If you need to lose weight, don’t starve yourself. If you feel really hungry you will be more likely to crave foods such as chocolate. Eat smaller portions more often. Avoid alcohol, fruit juices and any sweetened drinks. Drink lots of water. Check the fat and sugar content of any packaged foods you buy. If either of these is more than 10% of the total content, then don’t buy it. You may be surprised if you check the breakfast cereal packets! Sugar has many disguises, such as sucrose, syrups, fructose etc. etc. Choose foods that are low on the GI scale (glycemic index). These will help you feel full longer. To check the GI of any foods go to http://www.glycemicindex.com/. You can type in the food of your choice and it will let you know where it is on the GI scale.
Here’s wishing you all a long and active life!
Yours in health,