A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. Figure 2 shows that male life expectancy increased by 3.5 years between 2000 to 2002 and 2012 to 2014, and healthy life expectancy increased by 2.8 years. Although both of these measures have shown an increase, life expectancy has increased by more years than healthy life expectancy and therefore males had an increase in the number of years spent in poor health as well as good health. The same was also true for females (figure 3), however, the proportion of life spent in poor health remained at 20% for males and 23% for females.
However, these choices can be dangerous for our health and our children’s health – both now and in the long-term. That’s why it’s so important to stop, take stock and make a conscious decision to follow a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity can help you to maintain weight loss or beÂ a healthy weight. Being active doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym: you can find ways to fit more activity into your daily life. For example, try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home from work, and walking.
It sounds far-fetched, but our society has already made great strides towards that goal, thanks to advances in medicine and improvements in healthy living. In 2014, for instance, the United States Health Interview Survey reported that 16% of people aged between 50 and 64 were impaired every day with chronic illness. Three decades earlier that number was 23%. In other words, as well as benefiting from longer lifespans, we are also experiencing longer healthspansâ€ – and the latter is proving to be even more malleable. To paraphrase and update a speech from John F Kennedy given at the first White House Conference on Ageing in 1961, life can indeed be added to years, rather than just years added to life.
Life is beautiful and you don’t want to bog yourself down with unnecessary health problems. Today, your vital organs may be working well, but they may not be tomorrow. Don’t take your health for granted. Take proper care of your body. Join our thriving asthma community of primary carers and specialists working together to improve the lives of people with asthma. The Asthma Experts eNews is circulated monthly and includes all the latest news, views and research from the asthma world.
If there are things you know are going to be a problem or a challenge, talk to your support person about getting ready to deal with these. For example, if you tend to snack a lot in the afternoon, your support person could suggest rearranging the kitchen cupboard so that healthier foods such as dried fruit, pretzels, or rice crackers are at the front and the unhealthier, fatty foods are stored somewhere more difï¬cult to reach.