The life expectancy for a man has increased dramatically in the past 50 years. But in India it is still lower as compared to many countries in the world. How long we live is important; however, the quality of life is equally important. The ability to enjoy life to its fullest requires investing time and effort into health maintenance and disease prevention. Our body requires fuel components (food, water, and air) to grow, function, and repair itself. The body also requires routine maintenance to make it last a long time and to function well throughout our life expectancy. Using the body as it was intended and minimizing abuse also increases its ability to perform. Taking care of our body also includes screening examinations to detect illnesses at an early stage, which increases the potential for cure and a return to health. Learning to listen to the body’s warning signs and symptoms is the same as paying attention to the check engine light in your car, neither should not be ignored. A healthy lifestyle is not just an absence of disease, but an opportunity to enjoy the years of life available to each person. Most of the common diseases that affect men are potentially preventable and the presence of some diseases increases the likelihood that another will occur. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and dementia all share the same risk factors:
- high blood pressure,
- high cholesterol, and
- family history
Here is a checklist to promote a healthier lifestyle and living a longer, healthier life.
- Stop smoking (In just 20 minutes after you quit smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal)
- Maintain a healthy weight (Check your BMI annually)
- Engage in some type of physical activity every day (atleast 30-45 minutes on most days of the week)
- Eat a heart healthy diet
- Maintain good control of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes (Check your cholesterol and sugar levels annually from age 35 onwards)
- Get routine medical care and physical examinations
- Get recommended screenings for prostate and colon cancer
- Keep mentally active
- Maintain close relationships with a circle of friends
- Seek help if you have symptoms of depression
The ability to recognize that living healthy is a life-long commitment, is an important key to longevity.