Innovate Your Health Span
Have you heard that the person who will live until 150 years of age has likely already been born? This has been predicted based on the current trajectory of advances in medical technology. This is news that sparks the imagination about the future of our world. When many people live to 150 years old, how will the demographic definitions ‘youth’ ‘adult’ and ‘senior’ change? What would be considered the new retirement age? The mind boggles at the potential of being in a job or career for 100 years!
Extending our lives sounds like an exciting prospect because it would give us more time to experience all we want to see, know and do in the world. Generational wisdom could be expanded as we live to see our grandchildren grow up to have children of their own and beyond. The benefits we anticipate, however, rely on the assumption that we will be healthy enough to enjoy these extended years.
While innovations in medical technology are exciting, health scientists are now taking a closer look at health span. Health span is the length of time that we are healthy within our life span. The World Health Organization has even developed an indicator around this called HALE or healthy life expectancy. The current estimate is that our health span in North America is at about 80% which means we live 20% of our lives, likely towards the end of our lives in an unhealthy state. While that doesn’t sound appealing now, it becomes even more daunting when we do the math on 20% of 150 years.
This is why it’s more important than ever to think more about maintaining and building health than to ponder how long we’d like to live. No matter how old we are, it’s never too late make positive changes to our lifestyle in order to lengthen our personal health span.
As Greek philosopher Heraclitus tells us, “change is the only constant.” Our lives and circumstances change, so too does what we need from a strategy to increase our level of health.
Having good level of health in early adulthood, for instance, might involve strategies around getting good sleep, eating healthy food and finding ways to stay physically active.
As women, what we need to support good health changes during the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy and menopause. While the changes are often less dramatic, men can also experience hormonal changes, usually a reduction in testosterone, as they age.
As we enter our 60s and onward, health strategies may alter towards managing health challenges we have acquired. Our focus moves towards keeping strong in our bodies and minds to maintain cognitive function, preserve our muscles and bones, and avoid injury.
No matter what age or stage we’re at, it’s easy to fall into lifestyle habits that aren’t so good for us, such as overindulging in food or alcohol, not getting enough sleep or allowing the stresses of life to build up. As a part of any strategy to improve our health, it’s important we look at these unhealthy patterns and find ways to address them. We can, however, find creative and unique ways to build our health that are our very own. Deciding to add a couple of lunchtime walks to your schedule, drinking more water, adding a green smoothie to your morning regime are examples of small steps that can help improve your health and help you feel like you’re on the right path. No one size fits all in terms of adopting health building habits.
Thankfully, there also are many therapies available in addition conventional medical care that can help us make changes for the better. Acupuncture, naturopathy, chiropractic, energy healing, and homeopathy are just a few complimentary modalities available. We can’t forget psychological counselling as another important therapy we can choose to improve our overall mental health. Most importantly, however, we need to find ways to innovate on our health that suit our specific needs, lifestyle and temperament.
Homeopathy, the modality I offer to my clients, is a popular system of medicine worldwide. It can be a helpful addition to conventional medicine. Moreover, it’s gentle and safe, and customized to your particular health needs. Clients from infancy to their senior years can benefit, regardless of their health challenges. Together, we look at your health history and the challenges you are experiencing. In addition to prescribing a remedy to strengthen your immune system and stimulate your body’s healing mechanisms, I also provide support in the development of a health strategy that works for you.
Let’s focus on using personal innovation to live longer in good health.