The state of our retirement-health is to a great extent our personal responsibility. The key is to avoid those factors that have a damaging impact on our health and embrace those lifestyle habits that can promote good health. This is not as easy to do as it is to say and will take some personal faith and effort.
The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the United States 24th in disability-adjusted life expectancy at birth. On average an American enjoys 70.0 independent robust years followed by six years of disability.
The number that is the most troubling is the six years of dependent living. Most of us would like to live longer but may not want to extend our life with the addition of six more years of painful dependent life. While there are no guarantees in life, the goal should be longevity with great retirement-health for our entire life span.
Many disorders associated with aging can be avoided, or at least significantly reduced, by following simple nutritional guidelines, engaging in a physical fitness program and avoiding behaviors that increase our risk. The earlier such programs are begun, the more effective they are. A program of good retirement-health will reduce disease and complications of disease at any age. Dr. William Sears’ book, “Prime-Time Health” is a great handbook for retirement-health. It is referenced on our resource page.
Knowledge is power, when it comes to your health and preventing or dealing with chronic diseases. I have read that some seventy percent of all chronic health conditions are stress and diet related. Additionally we are all exposed to too many toxins that enter our bodies in the air that we breathe, the food that we eat and the medications that we take.
Recall the last pharmacy ad that you saw on television and the large number of side effects recited at the end of the ad. Serious negative side effects make both prescription and over the counter medications toxic substances that may have a negative impact on our retirement-health. Yet twenty-five percent of persons over age 65 are on five or more medicines on a regular basis. Seventy-five percent of persons over 65 take medication for a chronic illness. For the most part, these medications only mask or suppress symptoms and do not affect a cure of the disease. Over-medication of the elderly continues to be a serious and sometimes deadly issue.
Other toxic substances that our bodies are subjected to are in the food that we eat, in the water that we drink and the air that we breathe. Most all fruits and vegetables have been genetically altered to become more resistant to disease and have a longer shelf life. Don’t you just love it when you buy a beautiful apple only to discover that it tastes like wood when you eat it?
We eat meat full of growth hormones and antibiotics. We drink tap water laced with chlorine and fluoride. We breathe air in our homes that contains a variety of household chemicals, hair spray and air-fresheners.
The health and financial reality in your life will be different than mine. How much each of us can do to change the course of our individual lives will depend on our own personal circumstance. With God’s help we can all do something to improve and maintain our health. The following are some suggestions for you to consider:
References and suggested reading:
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