If I Had Known I Was Going To Live This Long Then I Would Have Taken Better Care Of Myself

knee replacement

Worldwide, the number of people who are living over 100 is growing. There are predictions that within our lives people will be living to over 130.

Our life spans are increasing as our knowledge of health and how to take care of the body increases. Technological advances such as MRIs and CT scans have helped medicine advance into the 21st century.

Unfortunately modern medicine has advanced to the point that some of the population feels that they don’t have to take care of themselves. Some feel they can rely on medical doctors and other health care practitioners for every health ailment. Unfortunately this mindset leads to letting health issues linger until they get so bad that they have to get them taken care of.

I hear all of the time from patients that if they knew that they were going to live this long, then they would have taken better care of themselves. Don’t wait to take care of yourself; if you wait, then it is too late.

For those who do take care of themselves, they can expect a longer and healthier life than what their parents did in the previous generation.

You are determining your health in 20 years, right now. You are determining how you will feel later on in life, right now. Your present choices will have a direct effect on how you feel 20 years from now.

Life is made up of minor little micro traumas. Recently researchers are looking at our lives as a series of micro lives. This theory makes a lot of sense.

Our lives are made up of millions of micro-lives. Each micro-life lasts 15 minutes. Every cigarette that you smoke shortens your life by 1 micro-life. Each time you eat fast food you shorten your life by 1 micro-life.

I see this theory played out in muscles and other areas of the body. Most injuries are not from big, dramatic, traumatic events like running down a purse snatcher or going through a car windshield. Most pain and injury comes from what we do on a daily basis, from 9-5. This is when we do our most repetitive motions. Our repetitive motions build up to become cumulative trauma in our bodies. These repetitive motions cause micro traumas, that slowly build up to create large traumas, injury and pain.

The argument can be made that many traumatic events are made worse from cumulative trauma. A study came out recently concluding that the primary way that those over age 65 sustain a traumatic spinal injury is from falling.  It used to be from car accidents. The leading cause of falling in those over age 65 is from a lack of hip mobility. A lack of hip mobility is something that comes on slowly and insidiously over time.

This is just one way that a slow build up of irritation over time (many micro traumas/cumulative trauma) eventually causes a big trauma. This information is backed up by what we are seeing in the research field as well.

A new study, authored by Dr. Catherine Evans, found that those who live over the age of 100 are more likely to have old age listed as their cause of death, rather than chronic disease. The study was released in PLOS Medicine. It concludes that most centenarians are more likely to die from pneumonia or general frailty, rather than cancer or heart disease. Chronic diseases like these are more likely to kill people in their 70’s/ 80’s/ and 90’s.

To get this information, Evans examined death certificates for those between 100 and 115 who died between 2001 and 2010, in England. Evans said that she was surprised at how large the group of centenarians was. Data showed that the population of those who live past 100 has doubled every decade since the 1950’s. Globally, the population of centenarians is projected to reach 18 million by the end of this century.

With modern medicine expanding our life spans, it is realistic to believe that most of us will live well into our 80’s or even 90’s. I only want to live that long if I am going to feel good and be able to do the activities that make me happy. Once I have the time to do the activities that make me happy, I want to be able to enjoy them. I want to be able to run around after my grandkids.

I am making the decision now as to how I will feel in 20, 30, 40 years. We are all determining our overall health in the future, right now. How we take care of ourselves will directly relate to how we feel in the future. Take care of yourself now, don’t wait until it is too late.

Once arthritis and joint pain comes on, you can never get rid of it fully. Once arthritis comes on, it will be with you for the rest of your life. Take care of yourself now to prevent arthritis. You can prevent arthritis from forming in your body. You can slow down the progression of arthritis in your body. You can take control of your health.

Exercising and eating right will slow down the progression of arthritis;, it will allow you to age gracefully. Exercise and healthy eating is the best way to slow down aging. It is the best way to feel good as you age.

The trick is to do it in the right way. Especially as we age, the focus of exercise should shift away from intensity towards low impact and low intensity exercise. As we age, we accumulate more wear and tear. We also do not recover from injuries as well as we did when we were younger. This all means that we get injured easier and take longer to heal then we did when we were younger.

If you try to exercise the way that you did when you were in your 20’s, you will injure yourself and have to stop exercising. Studies show that of those who participate in extreme exercise systems (Crossfit, P90x, Insanity, marathon training, Olympic weight lifting, power lifting, iron man triathlon training), 73.5% will suffer an injury that is bad enough to make them stop exercising.

You will get much more out of exercising if you stay within your limits and don’t go crazy. You are not going to be a professional athlete, so there is no reason to train like one.

Pain Free Lifestyle does all of this for you. It takes you from not exercising at all to getting into shape. It does it with easy on your body exercises and small, subtle changes to your lifestyle that are easy to stick with. Make getting into shape as easy on yourself as possible. The older we get, the less necessary it becomes to go hard with exercising. The older we get, the more those heavy and intense exercises will beat our bodies down.

Exercise smarter, not harder. Don’t fight the aging process, age naturally and gracefully through exercise and healthy eating. This is the Pain Free Way.

Here are a few other articles that I wrote on the topic of exercise and aging:

Anti-aging Through Exercise and Healthy Living


Exercise To Age Well



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