So how long do you think you’re going to live?
Oh, come on! Don’t say you’ve never thought about it. Here’s the good news. The average life expectancy of men and women were 68.7 years and 75 years, respectively. By 2010, it was 77.8 and 81.9, respectively. Boys born in 2037 are expected to have an average life expectancy of 97 and girls even longer.
The reality is that the next generation will live far longer than 100 years of age. There are numerous reasons why people live longer. These include a massive fall in heavy smoking, better hygiene and sanitation and access to healthcare.
As we live longer, it is imperative to also pay attention to our health. In the UK, our National Health Service (NHS) is on a downward spiral. The USA represents the worst healthcare system amongst developed nations. Can you honestly abdicate responsibility for your health and wellbeing to the government or external forces?
The mantra of ‘prevention is better than cure’ could not be more apt today than ever before. From the moment we are born, our cells are dying. A fully grown adult has 80-100 trillion cells in the body. We are in a constant state of birth, growth and death of cells.
Ageing takes place when the volume of cells exceed newly born cells. A cell can die in many ways – through infection, poisoning, overheating or lack of oxygen. During an uncontrolled death, the cell swells up and its contents leak away. This may damage surrounding cells. The other way cells die is through ‘apoptosis’. This is the death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development.
Earlier this week, the Lancet published the findings of a long-term study to establish the ‘healthiest hearts’ in the world. They looked at the Tsimane tribe of Bolivia and found that even the oldest members of their 16,000-strong tribe barely show any atherosclerosis in their arteries, veins and capillaries.
What are their key ingredients to long life and strong hearts?*
It is a combination of their hunter-gatherer diet and walking:
- 17% of their diet is game including wild pig, tapir and capybara (the world’s largest rodent)
- 7% is freshwater fish including piranha and catfish
- Most of the rest comes from family farms growing rice, maize, manioc root (like sweet potato) and plantains (similar to banana)
- It is topped up with foraged fruit and nuts
They are also far more physically active with the men averaging 17,000 steps a day and the women 16,000. Even the over-60s have a step count over 15,000.
Taking 10,000 daily steps means you’ve walked about five miles. Many people do not get close to reaching this goal. According to the NHS, the average person only walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day.
What are biggest fears about ageing?
That’s the question Danny Kelly of BBC Radio WM asked me during their live show. You can hear my response by clicking here. Go to the interview dated 20/03/17 and listen to the interview from 50.00 until 58:26 mins.
So what can you do to live a longer, healthier life?
Given how comprehensively designed and armed the human body is to protect itself, I estimate that we should be able to live 130-150 years. However, it is a combination of mental, emotional, physical, environmental, nutritional and spiritual stress that are the cause of all dis-ease.
The key secret is prevention. In this video, you can learn twenty-five ways to increasing longevity, vitality and happiness.
If you feel there are other ideas worth considering, send them to me by commenting on this blog post.
Love and gratitude,
Life and Health Transformational Coach & Mentor
*Source: BBC News Website