Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! Hope you are enjoying the festivities, an extra day off, or perhaps you are relaxing at one of my favorite haunts – the Jersey shore!
Whatever you are doing, I want you to pay attention right now. Because this is important, really important.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) just came out with a report that the life expectancy for Americans has dropped yet again. This started during the COVID pandemic in 2020, with average life expectancy dropping from 79 years in 2019 to 77 years in 2020. That is two full years!
And it occurred again in 2021 to 76.1 years. And it is happening again. It is happening most significantly among Native Americans and Alaskans, with both groups losing 6.6 years of life expectancy in the last two years. However, Hispanics, and African Americans, both lost 4 and 3 years respectively since 2020, with white Americans are currently trending upward by one full year. None of us are immune.
I think of the line “You’re going the wrong way!” from the classic buddy movie “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” when I read this type of news. And it appears that it is continuing to decline, spurred on by lack of vaccinations, but also other factors such as heart disease, cirrhosis, suicide, and accidental death due to drug overdose, which increased in the pandemic.
Whatever the reasons, it is not good to have a downward trend at any point, and it appears we have been losing ground now for the last fifty years, according to the National Institute on Ageing. While less affluent countries are gaining ground, we are losing it, with heart disease still the number one killer in the United States.
September is Healthy Aging Month so I would like you to consider how your health is right now. Are you doing everything you can to make sure you are staying as healthy and fit as you can?
1. Eating whole foods most of the time, preferably prepared at home?
2. Getting enough exercise and movement throughout your day?
3. Getting enough sleep and feeling well-rested when you arise?
4. Getting enough self-care in each week, by making sure you do what you can to soothe and protect yourself?
5. Connecting regularly with people you love and care about?
6. Enjoying small delights each day?
7. Maintaining your equilibrium when feeling stressed in the workplace or at home?
I truly hope so. Because it is these small habits that we follow that help us stay healthy as we age, keep up our immune system, and help us maintain our mental and physical health.
How did you do? If you answered NO to 5 out of 7 questions, I am going to ask you to seriously consider making a change right now, this month. If not now, when?
It may be time to get that physical, colonoscopy, GYN exam, mammogram, DEXA scan, eye or dental exam. Whatever you have been putting off. It is always good to have a starting point before you set some health goals. If you find your blood sugar is high, maybe it is time for a dietary change and a little more daily activity. Did you know that a 5% decrease in your weight reduces your risk of adult-onset diabetes by 60%?
Did you also know that weight-bearing exercise will increase your muscle and bone density. Do you remember a few months back I shared my latest DEXA scan (which measures bone density) that revealed an increase in spinal and hip bone density, due to my weight bearing exercises in combination with taking Vitamin D3 & K complex? I was delighted to see this improvement as I don’t want to get frail and stooped as I age, and run the risk of breaking a bone.
If you are scared reading this, good. I wanted you to be. Not because I want to scare you, but because I know from my own experience and the clients I have worked with that the smallest of habits can pay some large dividends in the long run.
It excites me when I get messages from people I helped and they share their wins with me. Wins like reduced blood sugar, reduced weight, or reduced cholesterol readings when they go for their checkups. Or just to call me to let me know they cooked something healthy and the family loved it. I love to hear about these incremental changes because I know they add up over time.
And that is what it is all about. Staying in the game as long and as healthily as we can.
To that end, I am running a new online program, and testing this beta this month – the month of Healthy Aging – and I am inviting you to join me.
Starting September 12 for a five- day, I will facilitate a highly interactive online group limited to 25, to go through the new Mindful Cleanse. Some of you are on the waitlist and I will be reaching out directly.
If you are ready to take the first step toward making some lasting changes, I encourage you to check it out. I am only working with 25 in this private coaching group, so don’t delay. Register through September 10 and get an early bird discount. You won’t be disappointed, by the program or the results.
And thank you for your continued commitment to your own health!