According to the Agingreasearch.org, my calculated health span is 92.8 years. Oh yeah, well shit. This doesn’t make me want to change the way I live at all. I don’t know how true this is because they haven’t figured in what living in LA does to your life span. I figure that riding on a roller coaster can cost you like a year or more depending on the speed. I, personally, have no interest in living until I’m almost 100. I’m sure that someday there will be a reason for me to want to live that long. Right now I’m just not seeing it. Here’s what else they had to say:
Your calculated health span is 92.8 years. Below, please find the reasoning behind the questions, which you answered that made your score less than it should be:
Healthspan Calculator: Feedback and Reasoning
1. What is your gender:
Being female gives you a head start in the longevity marathon.
Facts: Women have a head start in the longevity marathon. Many scientists speculate that estrogen plays a role. After menopause (average age 51 years), this advantage seems to diminish.
3. What is your marital status:
New England Centenarian Study experience suggests that an unusual proportion of the female centenarians never married (about 15%). Perhaps personality features that lead to perseverance, independence, and assertiveness provide a survival advantage. Such women may also be particularly good at managing stress.
4. Close distance to family members:
Do what you can to foster meaningful relationships with family and/or friends who live near enough to you that they can spontaneously drop by. Having such people in your lives is conducive to a longer, healthier life and probably helps you manage stress better and enjoy life more.
5 (a and b). Stress Level/ Coping with stress
Keep up the good work. Doing your best to better manage your stress will positively impact many different aspects of your emotional and physical health. Try to learn methods (Tai Chi, breathing techniques, meditation) or activities (physical exercise, prayer) that help with shedding stress instead of internalizing it.
B. Lifestyle Habits/ Environment
One to two cups of coffee are certainly better than drinking more than that. You are doing a good job keeping your coffee consumption down to a minimum. If you can now take those 1-2 cups of coffee and convert them to tea, even better! (Because Tea doesn’t have kick your ass caffeine like a grande non-fat no whip mocha!)
Facts: Excessive coffee can be a sign of increased stress. Stress can lead to a hormonal
6. Alcohol consumption per week/day
A moderate amount of alcohol consumption as you have indicated is healthy for you and probably reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Facts: Excessive alcohol is a toxin, which damages the liver and the mitochondria within most cells of the body. This leads to acceleration of aging and increased susceptibility to many diseases associated with aging. Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with decreased heart disease risk.
8. Sun exposure & Sunscreen
You are doing an ok job of protecting yourself from the sun and therefore from accelerated aging of your skin as well as from deadly skin cancers such as melanoma. But you could do better. The payoff could be big! Especially when you are not as diligent as you should be in protecting your skin, you should have a regular skin (dermatology) check up and perform a monthly self-examination of your skin.
9. Sexuality & Drugs
You are exercising good judgment. (Only because I haven’t had sex in Los Angeles!)
You need to floss your teeth. There are benefits that go far beyond better breath, but don’t underestimate the benefits of good breath! Diligent and regular flossing means keeping your teeth and very possibly reducing your risk of heart attack.
C. Nutrition & Exercise
1. Preserved meats & fast food
Facts: Fast food, generally fried foods and hamburgers, are high in calories and saturated fats. These will make you gain weight and they increase your risk for heart disease, stroke and perhaps cancer. Some studies suggest that 90% of all human cancers are environmentally induced, 30-40% of these by diet. Preserved and cured meats (bacon, sausage, lunch meats, etc.) are the largest source of nitrites in our diet. Nitrites lead to the formation in our bodies of nitrosamines, which are important environmental oxidants and probable carcinogens. For instance, there is a suggestive association between nitrosamines and stomach cancer.
2. Fish, poultry, Meat preparation
Good, you are being careful with your grilling and barbecuing by not exposing your food to extremely high temperatures. Such high temperatures can alter proteins to produce carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines. On the other hand, be careful to cook foods, such as poultry and hamburger, enough so that harmful bacteria such as E coli and Salmonella are killed.
Facts: Nutrition experts vary on the benefits of snacking. Some say that 6 small meals a day is better than three big meals. Others indicate the opposite. You should choose a dietary habit that works best for you with the goal of not being overweight. Certainly if you do snack, be sure they are healthy snacks. Most sweets have little if any nutritional value and in the end, because they are so calorie rich from fats, they will certainly predispose you to being overweight or even heavier. Switch from those unhealthy snacks to healthy ones. Then, consider if the snacks are helping you maintain a lean body mass or not.
Good for you. A diet that minimizes meat is healthier. Less meat in the diet is conducive to less heart disease and risk for heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, there are nutritional sources of antioxidants in foods that replace meat in a person’s diet especially the polyphenols present in certain vegetables and fruits and the omega-3 fatty acids in fish that help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
7. Carbohydrate consumption
Facts: Not only is the number of calories you eat important, but the type of calories are important as well. Grains, pastas, fruits, and starchy vegetables like potatoes are the most common carbohydrate foods. Simple carbohydrates like white bread, potatoes (especially French fries), pasta, white rice and sugar as well, cause the body to produce insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in the blood. The insulin in turn induces the storage, instead of burning, of fat. Other foods like fats, protein, and more complex carbohydrates like whole grain foods and fiber are less prone to turn on the production of insulin.
The glycemic index of food is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels and thus the production of insulin. Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes causing blood sugar and insulin to rise fast and high. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes. The lower the glycemic index, the less likely that food is going to contribute to the production of fat. There are numerous books and websites that provide the glycemic indices for foods and drinks. However the general food groups noted above are a good start in your education.
9. Calorie consumption
Good for you! You are doing better or at least aiming for a goal better than more than 60% of the country who are at least overweight. Being overweight is a significant risk factor for many age-related diseases as well as various cancers. Keep up the good work. Stay lean!
Facts: Obesity is associated with inefficient energy production and an increased production of
11. Exercise and physical activity
Good job! It is great you are making the time to get that exercise in at least three times a week. Don’t forget to be balanced in how much aerobic exercise you do versus strength training. Both are very important. Also, if you are doing a lot of high impact workouts, gauge how much wear and tear you are putting on your weight-bearing joints so that you don’t set yourself up for premature osteoarthritis.
All of this must change immediately.