The more things change, the more they stay the same – but not when it comes to life expectancies. On average, American only lived to be about 50 years old in 1900. Today, we red, white, and blues are living, on average, to be nearly octogenarians. But there are some obstacles to reaching 80 years old, and I’ve taken the liberty of introducing some of them. Take my hand and dance The Great Waltz with me as we uncover those heartbreakers of health with an Academy Award-winning theme.
Stay away from instability and guns. It didn’t work out so well for Sean Connery’s character Jim Malone in The Untouchables as he was shot down in a blaze of glory. Not too many of the wiseguys in The Godfather fared any better because of rampant cases of, um, lead poisoning. In the United States, there are more than 31,000 deaths each year from firearms. Watch out for this Cavalcade of chaos!
Of course, cigarette smoking will cut short The Best Years of Our Lives. Lung cancer will probably get you, but not if heart disease, emphysema, or stroke put a bid on you first. No one was quite as witty while puffing on Parliaments as George Sanders’ Addison DeWitt. Lighting up at every social occasion was what all the Ordinary People would do back in the day. But today you’re much smarter than that Mrs. Miniver; drop the habit before it drops you!
Your weight is a great predictor of whether you’ll be advancing into your ninth decade of life. There is no need to be the all-American Beauty; you just need to be height-weight appropriate. Check online for a body mass index calculator and determine an acceptable level for yourself. If the weight is skewed in the wrong direction, it’s not likely It Happened One Night. Obesity occurs gradually, so be constantly vigilant.
Be certain to visit your doctor regularly, My Fair Lady. You’re going to get ill “Sooner or Later” and when you do, you’re going to need medical care. Guys are less likely to go see the doc than women, and that’s one of the reasons women generally outlive men. It is true that “Whatever Will Be, Will Be,” as the song goes, but you can detect health problems early with doctor visits and checkups. I’d be indebted to you for a ride to the office of Dr. Zhivago … if you’re Going My Way.
Whether you are walking the “Streets of Philadelphia” or reading a book in The Apartment, you need plenty of water. Your body is made of mostly water and your body functions better with plenty of this essential liquid. Stick to drinking at least eight cups each day and just maybe you’ll live From Here to Eternity.
Cars come equipped with seat belts for a reason … they save lives! There is no reset button after a Crash. Get in the habit of strapping in for safety each time you head down Sunset Boulevard for a Sunday drive On the Waterfront. To reach 80 years of age, watch out for Traffic.
The Greatest Show on Earth is the one you are in. Make some healthy changes in your life and don’t be joining that list of The Departed just yet. I’ve got “High Hopes” that you’ll do The Right Stuff to stay healthy!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy with Oscar aspirations. That guy with red carpet swagger is Ron Blake and he can be nominated for best story at myblakefitness.com.