habits to keep you young

Are Your Habits Making You Older or Keeping You Young?

Why is it that some people age gracefully while others don’t? Genetics and family history are an undeniable contributing factor, but I believe that our overall lifestyle plays a major role as well.

I have always been fascinated by the subject of longevity, which is what lead me to study Exercise Science & Health Promotion. During college I became an avid reader of anything I could find on the subject of health & one of my favorite books was 52 Brilliant Ideas to Live Longer by Sally Brown. Below I have included the quiz from the beginning of the book that helps you determine how your lifestyle habits may be impacting your health. Start with your chronological age, and then add or subtract accordingly

What’s your body’s real age?

  1. Do you get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like walking) on most days of the week? (yes- subtract 1 year)
  2. Do you exercise really intensely on a regular basis? (yes- add 3 years)
  3. Do your rarely if ever do any physical activity? (yes- add 2 years)
  4. Are you more than 10% over the recommended weight for your height? (yes- add 3 years)
  5. Are you the correct weight for your height? (yes- subtract 1 year)
  6. Are you under stress or pressure on a regular basis? (yes- add 4 years)
  7. Do you actively practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation or yoga? (yes- subtract 3 years)
  8. Have you experienced 3 or more stressful life events in the last year? (ex: divorce, bereavement, job loss, moving)- (yes- add 3 years)
  9. Do you smoke? (yes- add 6 years)
  10. Do you have cholesterol 300mg/dL or higher without medications? (yes- add 2 years)
  11. Do you have blood pressure that’s over 135/95 without medications? (yes- add 3 years)
  12. Do you eat more than 5 servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits daily? (yes- subtract 5 years)
  13. Do you regularly eat processed, packaged or fast foods? (yes- add 4 years)
  14. Are you a vegetarian? (yes- subtract 2 years)
  15. Do you eat oily fish 3 times per week? (yes- subtract 2 years)
  16. Do you drink 2-3 small glasses of red wine up to 5 days per week? (yes- subtract 3 years)
  17. Do you drink more than 15 servings of alcohol a week? (yes- add 5 years)
  18. Do you have an active social life and positive network of friends and family? (yes- subtract 2 years)
  19. Do you have an active sex life? (yes- subtract 2 years)
  20. Are you happily married? (yes- subtract 1.5 years)

So how did you do? Are you “older” or “younger” than your chronological age? If you don’t like the number you got, what habits can you begin to change in order to age more gracefully? Be proactive & take control of your health!

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” ~Mike Murdock

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