3 Simple Ways to Live Longer

old-couple-longlifeAlthough life expectancy has dramatically increasedin the last century, averaging 74-83 years in countries around the world, the World Health Organizationalso shows a dramatic increase in chronic disease. More than 60% of deaths each year are attributed to chronic disease. So we live longer, but is the quality of our lives better? It can be and we can do things to help make it better.

“After experiencing the death of my otherwise healthy and active (and absolutely fabulous) sister-in-law to cancer earlier this year,  I know that sometimes we are dealt a bad hand, I also know that with chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes there are things that we can proactively do to live longer and get healthier.”

I am going to avoid the “eat well and exercise” advice. You know it’s important deep down inside and your doctor gives this advice every time you come into the office. Instead, I am going to focus on things I have recently learned as theVP of Customer Success and Marketing at Glooko-the world’s leading Diabetes Management platform-that people avoid and that can have a huge impact on health and longevity.

Adhere to your care plan

50% of peopledo not take their medications as prescribed. According to a study published in 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine – this poor adherence to medication leads to increased morbidity and death and is estimated to incur costs of approximately $100 billion per year. For people with diabetes, there have been almost 100 studies and articles written on the topic and discussing the lack of adherence and impact of not following a care plan. So all you have to do is remember to take your meds? That’s easy, right? Well, not really. We are busy, we are distracted and we just plain old forget. That’s why Glooko created a complete reminders system. Just enter your medication, blood glucose testing and other things to remember in your care plan and Glooko will simply remind you to do it at the right time/day of the week, right on your mobile phone. We also then put it in your logbook so you can correlate it with your glucose data. If you don’t use Glooko, set-up notifications in your calendar on your smartphone, do things to remember to adhere, it could elongate your life.

Don’t sit at your desk all day

At work, we sit at our desks and stare at the computer screen most of the day, my kids do the same thing at school. Many of us also sit in our cars and drive them near and far, all day long. Then, after a long day we get home and continue our sitting regiment at our computer or on the couch to watch television. It’s a tough cycle to break because school and most jobs essentially require us to sit for long periods of time. This article really spells out the detrimental impact of too much sitting. Ways to solve this one: walk and talk meetings, scheduled walk-around-the-block breaks, standing desks (I have even seen treadmill desks) and walking to and from anywhere you can (work, places of worship, friends’ homes, restaurants, etc.)

Keep Learning

Yes, #3 is keep learning. Studies have shown that your level of education and an active mind has a direct correlation to health. One of the obvious reasons is that if you stay engaged in learning, you are more likely to learn how to take better care of your health. So read books! Ask your friends to meet each week to discuss a current event. Try something new at work that you’ve never done before. Do what you can to keep your brain active and learn!

As we get closer to a new year and new starts, can you start to adopt these 3 ways to live longer? I know I am going to try!

Robin Beadle