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View Full Version : What are some of the easiest, cheapest ways to improve health & life expectancy


Wesley Clark
11-25-2005, 10:53 AM
Engaging in radical lifestyle changes (never eating over 2400mg sodium, becoming vegan, cutting calories to 70% of maintenance, working out at 80% of your maximum heartrate 5 hours a week) usually don't work in the long run even if they are clinically proven to improve health. What are some easier to do things a person can do to ward off things like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and increase life expectancy?

For example, something as easy as eating peanuts 4-5x a week can cut the risk of CVD by 25-50%

http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/heartdisease/a/peanutsheart.htm

Simple exercise like walking for 2-3 hours a week is also beneficial. Eating more fish or any source of omega-3 fatty acids also helps with dementia (I think) and CVD as well as improve mood.

Switching from white bread to heart healthy bread (the kind with 4-5g fiber per slice) will also make major differences in CVD and some kinds of cancer.

I am looking for info on things which are easy to do and affordable (meaning that many people can easily stick with them and they are either cheap or free to do).

Annie-Xmas
11-25-2005, 11:05 AM
Stop Smoking. Ciggies are an expensive way to die.

Walk instead of driving. Gas is too expensive.

FlyingRamenMonster
11-25-2005, 11:38 AM
Darn, I HATE peanuts.

KlondikeGeoff
11-25-2005, 11:50 AM
Pick your parents and ancestors carefully. :)

My guess is that longevity is programmed into your genes, so as you suggest, avoiding health and physical hazards is the key to live your allotted time.

Besides what you and others have suggested, cut down as much as possible on eating fats and other unhealthy foods, exercise as much as you can without overdoing it (which I do), don't smoke and don't drink excessivly, give up base diving and race car driving, try not to worry (hah!), have a pet, enjoy sex and expand or cultivate a sense of humor about everything.

Don't sweat the little things!

I give all this advice as I have violated most of the rules, yet am now 78 and still climb mountains, hike, backpack and try to obey what I suggested now, if it's not too late. And I did pick my family carefully, as most of them lived well into their 80s.

SandyHook
11-25-2005, 11:53 AM
Wear your seat belt.

Sattua
11-25-2005, 11:53 AM
Floss daily.

Shagnasty
11-25-2005, 12:49 PM
Floss daily.

Damn you to heck. That is what I came in here to post. Flossing is a huge one and is massively underestimated in its impact on overall health. Some people say it is the top three or so most imprortant health habits. It helps your gums and teeth obviously but it also prevents heart disease and other benefits are expected to be shown.

Wesley Clark
11-25-2005, 12:51 PM
Pick your parents and ancestors carefully. :)

My guess is that longevity is programmed into your genes, so as you suggest, avoiding health and physical hazards is the key to live your allotted time.

Besides what you and others have suggested, cut down as much as possible on eating fats and other unhealthy foods, exercise as much as you can without overdoing it (which I do), don't smoke and don't drink excessivly, give up base diving and race car driving, try not to worry (hah!), have a pet, enjoy sex and expand or cultivate a sense of humor about everything.

Don't sweat the little things!

I give all this advice as I have violated most of the rules, yet am now 78 and still climb mountains, hike, backpack and try to obey what I suggested now, if it's not too late. And I did pick my family carefully, as most of them lived well into their 80s.

Thats all true. Lowering stress and having pets can help. The problem I've seen with alot of health promotion info is that it is almost impossible to follow. Things like 'lose weight until your BMI is under 25, eat under 2400mg of sodium a day, cut calories to 70% of maintenance, exercise intensely' all may sound good but the vast majority of people cannot maintain them for very long. On the other hand eating a peanut butter sandwich on high fiber bread and washing it down with some garlic tablets and fish oil tablets is far easier to do for the rest of your life.

Ethilrist
11-25-2005, 12:55 PM
Cook your own food. It's cheaper and healthier at the expense of being more difficult and time-consuming.

When you make something from a recipe, cut the fat in half. If it still works as a recipe, the next time you make it, cut the fat in half again. Repeat until you make, say, a chocolate brick rather than a chocolate cake, and go back to the last amount that worked.

Don't drink.

Wesley Clark
11-25-2005, 12:59 PM
Damn you to heck. That is what I came in here to post. Flossing is a huge one and is massively underestimated in its impact on overall health. Some people say it is the top three or so most imprortant health habits. It helps your gums and teeth obviously but it also prevents heart disease and other benefits are expected to be shown.

Periodontal disease can also make diabetes worse. Diabetes, cancer, heart disease and dementia are probably the main 4 illnesses to look out for as you age. Flossing helps with at least two of them.

http://www.buffalo.edu/reporter/vol33/vol33n21/n6.html

It may also be linked to alzheimers.

http://www.dailytrojan.com/media/paper679/news/2005/06/29/News/Oral-Health.Linked.To.Alzheimers.Risk-959845.shtml?norewrite&sourcedomain=www.dailytrojan.com

Wesley Clark
11-25-2005, 01:01 PM
Don't drink.

Mild drinking is healthy. Drinking 1-2 glasses a day of alcohol (especially red wine) can help with CVD, diabetes and probably several other disorders.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol/SC00024

ballet_boy
11-25-2005, 03:13 PM
do something that scares you every day

dance wherever and when ever it feels right

run and walk bare foot on sand every so often

alice_in_wonderland
11-25-2005, 04:57 PM
Mild drinking is healthy. Drinking 1-2 glasses a day of alcohol (especially red wine) can help with CVD, diabetes and probably several other disorders.

Every Dr. I've ever consulted about this has said that if you don't drink already, don't start in the hopes of improving your health. While there may be some benefits, there's probably not more than not drinking at all. If only because most people don't need the extra calories.

dangermom
11-25-2005, 06:10 PM
Don't drink soda pop. That stuff is poison.

(I like Dr. Pepper, but try not to drink much.)

Unintentionally Blank
11-25-2005, 08:17 PM
Stretch.

Plop down, stick one leg out, and reach for that foot. Go to where it hurts a little, then back off.

Do this for 30 seconds for one foot, then do the other, repeat twice.

Stand up, roll your head from side to side to loosen up your neck, shrug you shoulders in a clockwies rotation three times, then reverse.

Just gaining a little flexibility goes a LONG way to feeling better and reducing the chance of injury.

AskNott
11-26-2005, 01:25 PM
It's called "opportunistic exercise." If you don't have time to exercise, or you can't be bothered, try these things. Park further away when you shop or go to work (this will also cut down on parking-lot dings on your car.) If you're going to someplace on the 2nd or 3rd floor, take the stairs. Instead of wasting gas in the drive-up lane, get out of your car and go inside (it's faster, too.) Unless you have a huge lawn, get rid of the riding lawn mower.

Since I got a dog, I now have to walk with her twice a day. That's 2-3 miles a day. It helps to keep both of us in shape.

jimmmy
11-26-2005, 04:37 PM
Get regular Medical care -- go to the Doctor regularly as you age, get all kinds of tests done - make sure to the extent you can that you have selected a good Physician, Specialist, Geriatric Physician
-- and then do what he tells you to do.

It is amazing to me the number of +40/50 folks who "havenít seen a Doctor in years" because they donít feel sick - and yet seem to fully understand the concept of wellness and the importance of prenatal care. Thye just donít see why it is an important thing for them :eek: