Aging Successfully by Adrienne N. Lowery, MA, LPC/A
As we continue to age, most people find it Important to live long and healthy lives. There are many factors that contribute to our longevity; some are in our control, some are not. However, if we are aware of the things that are not in our control, such as family history of cardiovascular disease, we can do things that will lessen the chances of developing certain ailments and diseases. Blood pressure is key to living longer, and keeping it under control by maintaining a medical routine, lowering stress levels, and eating foods rich in nutrients can help. Learning how to handle stress can also increase our chances of living longer. In a study by Patnode, Evan, Senger, Redmond and Lin (2017), it was found that behavioral counseling yielded benefits that lowered blood pressure and cholesterol. Mental health is just as important as physical health in living longer.
We all know that exercise can help us maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it too promotes longer life spans. Walking a minimum of 30 minutes four days a week can greatly increase chances of living longer. Healthy eating which includes 5 or more portions of fruits and vegetables daily can also improve longevity of life. Even safe driving can increase our changes of living longer, especially if we do not drink and drive. The Association for Safe International Road Travel reports that nearly 1.25 million people die each year in automobile accidents, and an additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. In addition, 400,000 deaths per year are due to the effects of smoking. Even quitting now can increase your life span.
Some cultural factors may also play a role in aging and in life span. Some particular races are more prone to eating and cooking foods high in fat content, so they may be more likely to develop a disease with a metabolic basis (Whitbourne & Whitbourne, 2017). In addition, those who even live in certain geographic regions are also known to live longer based on their environments. Those people living in countries where there is a focus on family and spirituality and where diet is mostly consisting of plant-based foods are more likely to live longer.
Annual global roadside statistics. ( n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/
Patnode ,C. D., Evans ,C. V., Senger, C. A., Redmond, N., & Lin, J. S. (2017). Behavioral counseling to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults without known cardiovascular disease risk factors: Updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA, 318(2), 175–193. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.3303
Whitbourne, S. K., & Whitbourne, S. B. (2017). Adult development and aging: biopsychosocial perspectives (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.