Wisdom comes with age. So do health concerns.
Turning 50 is a major milestone in a person’s health. Maybe you’ve noticed that regular activities that used to cause no side effects now leave you with stiff joints and muscles. Little aches and pains aside, most of us can live long, healthy lives if we’ll remember a few good, common-sense ideas.
My friend and former colleague Dr. Walt Larimore identifies five habits that can help those over 50 live an average of 10 years longer than those who don’t adopt them.
- Never smoke.
- Maintain a normal weight.
- Move – thirty minutes or more of movement in some type of exercise five days a week.
- No or limited alcohol.
- A good nutrition plan.
The data on these points is stunning. Dr. Larimore says that “tens of thousands of studies over the last 50 years” show that the average 50-year-old male who does these things will live almost 25 years longer than one who doesn’t. The average female who abides by these five habits will live an average of thirty-eight years longer than a woman who doesn’t. That’s a 50 to 58 percent increase in life expectancy starting at age 50.
As important as physical health, Dr. Larimore also says that overall health is a function of an intricate relationship between four things, not just one. A happy, healthy, fulfilling life requires success in four areas:
- Physical health.
- Emotional health.
- Relational health.
- Spiritual health.
Of those four, spiritual health is ultimately most important. A healthy quality of life is like the tires on your car. If any one of the four tires is low on air or out of alignment, the performance of the entire vehicle is impacted. Have you ever noticed that you’re more likely to get sick when you’re emotionally run down? Or that your mood changes based on how your relationships are doing? Studies show that people physically recover more quickly when they’re in good spirits, surrounded by family and friends, and feel connected to their faith. Balance is key.
Dr. Walt Larimore is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Healthy Living for Age 50 and Beyond” to address the question, “What does good health look like?” Get answers on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
Dr. Larimore has been practicing medicine for nearly 40 years and currently works as an occupational physician at Concentra and UCHealth in Colorado Springs. Walt was formerly a vice president at here at Focus on the Family. He’s an educator, a medical journalist, and an author of more than 30 books, including Fit Over 50: Make Simple Choices Today for a Healthier, Happier You.
I’d like to offer you a copy for a gift of any amount. When you help Focus on the Family today, your donation will be doubled for twice the impact in helping others through this ministry. Our thanks to generous donors who’ve made that possible. Visit our website for more information.
Photo from Shutterstock