Which Is More Important – Life Span, or Health Span? (Spoiler Alert: It’s Both!)

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    Will your road to longevity be a pleasant trip, or a bumpy journey?

    There are two things in life that are guaranteed: death, and taxes. All joking aside, none of us are going to live forever. So what’s more important, living the longest life possible? Preserving as many quality years as you can? Age will catch up to all of us eventually. But if you put effort towards expanding your health span as well as your life span, it will significantly improve the overall quality of your life.

    Improving Your Life Span

    Your life span is literally just a number. It’s the number of years you live on this Earth before your body succumbs to old age and you pass over into the great beyond. Lots of people want to be able to live as long as possible. Some even wish they could live forever!

    Immortality isn’t scientifically possible (yet), but that hasn’t stopped some people from trying. There’s a Longevity Institute of some kind in almost every single first-world country. People are pouring millions and millions of dollars into research to figure out how to live longer. But is living longer the only thing we should be caring about? Or should we also be focusing on our overall health and quality of life as we age?

    Improving Your Healthspan

    Being alive is more than just existing; it’s about living and thriving. It’s about waking up in the morning and looking forward to the rest of your day. It’s about making memories with the people you love. It’s about leaving a legacy for yourself and those who come after you. Spending more years alive on this Earth won’t matter much if you aren’t thriving while you do it.

    That’s why it’s so important to focus on improving your healthspan as well as the number of years you stay alive. The higher your quality of life, the more years you will spend independently getting around on your own two feet, enjoying a healthy emotional well-being, and staying in control of your life. Nobody wants to become that old, decrepit person in the nursing home who can’t take care of themselves or hardly remembers their own name. We want to stay healthy, youthful, and present in the moment for as long as possible. Which begs the next question: how do we accomplish that?

    Exercise

    Everybody hates it, but it’s one of those things in life that if you tolerate a little bit of suffering now, you’ll get a lot more happiness in your future. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore – it should be fun! If you’re not a traditional gym-goer, try and nature hike, or a bike ride, or even something adventurous like mixed martial arts. The more fun you’re having while you’re exercising, the less difficult it is to do it.

    Eat Healthy

    There’s so many different diets out there today that it’s hard to know what’s healthy, and what’s not. In general, the healthiest diets incorporate lots of whole foods which are nutrients which are dense and calorically adequate. Some people do well on low-carb, some people do well on high-fat, some people thrive on high protein, and others enjoy a healthy mix of all three. Here are some signs that the meal plan you’re following is a healthy one:

    • You wake up feeling alert and energized in the morning
    • You feel satiated at the end of a meal
    • You don’t have trouble sleeping
    • You don’t feel the need to snack between meals
    • You don’t feel dizzy or lightheaded if you skip a meal once in awhile
    • You don’t feel stressed all the time

    Go ahead and play a true/false game with the list above. If you have more “false” than “true” answers, then it’s time to change your diet and find something that works better for your body!

    Nurture Your Bonds With Your Loved Ones

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    Spending Time With Your Loved Ones Isn’T Just Great – It’S Also Great For Your Health!

    We know this may sound “Chicken Soup for the Soul” levels of cheesy, but we’re bringing this up for more than just sentimental reasons. There’s a ton of scientific evidence that has come out on the subject of loneliness and human longevity. As it turns out, people who report experiencing severe loneliness die earlier and experience a lower quality of life than if they were a smoker, a drinker, never exercised, and ate a bad diet their whole life. So pick up the phone and give someone a call – if for no other reason than your health!

    Either Get Or Get Busy Dying

    Within the last 15 years, no less than half a dozen studies have been published which all say the same thing: early retirement shortens your lifespan. The more active you are, the more engaged you are with the people you love, in the more passionately you seek out purpose in life, the longer you live – and the better your years will be.