Thursday, July 8, 2010

Want to Live to be 100?

I do! And, I want to do being strong and well, not tooling around in a scooter if I can avoid it. What does it take? Well, having a unique set of genetic variations that outrank disease-causing genes seems to help, according to the USA Today July 2-5, 2010. While there is no test available for this gene cluster (I wouldn’t want to take it anyway, would you?), you can get a pretty good idea by looking at the longevity in your family. Long life runs in families.

Is that all it takes? No, it’s not necessary or sufficient. Twenty-three percent of the centenarians studied did not have the gene cluster. And even for those that did, a healthy lifestyle and exercise (yes, that “E” word again!) are also required, according to health experts. This includes being at a healthy weight, not smoking, and drinking only in moderation.

So what is the average life expectancy today? It’s 80.4 years for American women and 75.3 years for men. But keep in mind, that’s for people born in 2010. A woman who is age 80 today can expect to live another 9.3 years on average and a man another 7.8 years. The women who are age 90 can expect another 4.8 years and the men another 4.1 (Wellness Letter May 2010). Are the additional years always a good thing? I’d say it depends on the individual’s health. Another four years being bed-ridden and in pain is quite different than four years of enjoying life, family and friends.

Join me in the intention to live to 100 and to do it well, in every sense of the word. Start nurturing yourself today!

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