I have been looking for articles regarding thankfulness, which led me to an article by Leslie Barker in the Dallas Morning News. 10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Live Longer includes being grateful. Plus, it has a lot of other good ideas.
So, I am posting this, despite the fact that it probably is a bit of a stretch for a legal blog. But, I am grateful that you understand me by now. (see what I did there!!!) This article includes quotes and support from a few doctors. A good reminder of the benefit of being thankful… and some other stuff:
Floss: Flossing removes plaque, the bacterial film that forms along your gum line. Lessen your chances of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer. (Dr. Larry Korenman).
Years added? More than six if you floss daily (which only 5 percent to 10 percent of Americans do), writes Dr. Michael Roizen in RealAge.
Get a colonoscopy: “It’s a great test,” says Radhika Vayani, an internal medicine doctor of osteopathy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. That could save you from having colon cancer in five years.” Years added? Lots. Nine out of 10 people whose colon cancer is discovered early will still be alive in 10 years, according to the American Cancer Society. Many will live a normal lifespan.
Stop eating before you are full: Most Americans eat and eat “till we’re so full we’re about to be sick,” says Vayani. “But it takes the body 15 to 20 minutes to say, ‘You’re full.’”
Years added? Being 100 pounds overweight can subtract a decade from your life, according to an Oxford University study. So it stands to reason that maintaining a healthy weight and thus reducing your risk for diabetes, heart disease and various other unpleasantries would add at least some precious time to your life.
Use sunscreen: In a Centers for Disease Control study, only 32 percent of adults reported usually applying sunscreen. Yet this year in the U.S., 3.5 million people will get skin cancer and 76,000 more will develop melanoma, says the American Cancer Society. Every hour, someone will die from that deadliest form.
Years added? Possibly 20. The CDC study reported that someone who died of melanoma between 2000 and 2006 died two decades prematurely. Although the sun doesn’t cause all melanomas, it does cause most.
Stop smoking: Years added? “If you quit at age 30, you can increase your life by 10 years,” she says. Quit at 40? Add nine years. 50? Six years. 60? Three.
Sleep: Not getting enough has been linked to memory problems, hearing problems, anger, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, vehicle accidents and obesity. A decades-long international study of 1.3 million people found “unequivocal evidence of the direct link” between lack of sleep and premature death, according to sleepbetter.org.
Move: “Exercise has been demonstrated over and over to be useful,” Johnson says. “Truth is, any level is of value.” Walking, he says “gets you outside, and some outside is good as long as you don’t overdo it. Years added? At least three years. That’s the number from a study reported in The Lancet for people who exercised even 15 minutes a day. Put another way, a story on WBUR-FM, Boston’s public radio station, reported that every minute you exercise adds seven minutes to your life.
Eat produce: Benefits abound. Among them: Eating five or more servings per day — instead of a piddly three or less — reduces your risk of stroke by 26 percent, according to a study reported in Men’s Health. Years added? three to seven years.
Cultivate healthy relationships: Spending time with family and friends is “psychologically helpful,” Johnson says, adding that it “isn’t a cure-all; it won’t counteract a McDonald’s cheeseburger.”
Vayani tells patients, “If you have people in your life who are negative, who are pulling you down, you have to get rid of that relationship. It affects you more than you realize.” Years added? Nothing specific, but “studies have shown that people with more friends and people in healthy relationships live longer,” she says.
Be grateful: “We experience great things all day long that we fail to acknowledge,” Johnson says. “I don’t want to sound new wave-y, but our health is more than just physical health. I see dozens of people who have illnesses that would lay you or me low, but they seem totally happy. How in the Sam Hill can that be? They’ve chosen to look at the good instead of the challenges.”
Years added? Maybe some, maybe none. “Even if I don’t live a long time,” Johnson says, “I’m happy with what I experience.
And for pic o’ day, I am posting a picture that I have now posted for three straight years. This Thanksgiving pic never gets old!