The Healthy Lifestyle Course (HLTH1010) is a compulsory, one-year course for undergraduates to learn how to maintain a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle that will help them to effectively manage their life, learning and work. 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 healthspans” – 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.
Regular exercise can help control weight gain and in some people cause loss of fat. There will be times when you don’t feel like bothering, and are tempted to slip back into old, unhealthy habits. When this happens, think about why you wanted to be healthier in the ﬁrst place. Avoid crash diets that deprive you of food or of one or more food groups. Instead of radical diets, use a combination of regular physical activity and smaller portions at mealtimes if you are concerned about your weight.
Know when and how to de-stress. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Make sure that you have positive ways of dealing with stressors in your life. This might be exercising, meditating, yoga or just doing deep-breathing exercises. If stress becomes so severe that it is interfering with your sleep or ability to cope, talk to your doctor or a counselor.
We are helping civilians and professionals make the best choices by collecting data on individual levels of health and risk and turning this data into valuable information that enables us to give proactive advice. This information can contribute to structural behaviour changes and healthier lifestyles. We are convinced that lifestyle changes are the medicines of the future.
Admittedly, some benefits may come from weight-loss. Earlier trials from Calerie had included people that were obese as well as those with a healthy body mass index (BMI) of 25 or below, and slimming down would have certainly improved the welfare of the heavier participants. One thing that’s been very clear for a long time is that being overweight or obese is bad for you,” says Roberts. Diseases and disorders previously thought to be age-associated diseases are now popping up in the obese population, she adds.