Thursday, May 2, 2013

Compression of Morbidity: A compelling Reason for Lifestyle Change

This link will take you to an study abstract on lifestyle habits and compression of morbidity. What the heck is that you might ask. Compression of morbidity is the idea that you live a long life but it's also a long healthy life. Medicine has the ability to keep us alive no matter how badly we abuse our body with our lifestyle choices. By making healthy lifestyle choices you can live a long but also healthy life.

Have you or someone you know expressed the idea that if I'm going to live I'm going to enjoy life and do as I please? When people say that they are usually referring to a lifestyle element - diet, healthy movement, stress reduction, smoking, drinking to excess, etc. - that they do not wish to address. What people don't consider however is that those choices may not result in a terribly shortened life but they will almost certainly result in a life that is uncomfortable and filled with pills, possibly insulin injections, surgeries, chemo, doctor's appointments and high health costs. HMMM doesn't sound like living the high life to me...

The above study looked at lifestyle risk factors and disability. The result reads like a poster for lifestyle change.

The risk-factor-free group showed average disability scores near zero 10-12 years before death, rising slowly over time, without evidence of accelerated functional decline. In contrast, those with two or more factors maintained a greater level of disability throughout follow-up and experienced an increase in the rate of decline 1.5 years prior to death. For those at moderate risk, the rate of decline increased significantly only in the last 3 months of life. Other differences between groups provided no alternative explanations for the findings."

I've always loved the following quote and living a healthy lifestyle will help me live it.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson

There is a huge difference between a body that has been thoroughly "used up" and one riddled with disability and struggling under the influence of poly-pharmacy and medication side effects. You get to choose, which body do you want to live in?

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