In today's mail, I received a DVD from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services titled "Texercise: Fit for the Health of It," as a supporter of the statewide program to promote fitness among older individuals and because I'm a running coach.
Last year, I had the opportunity to train with former Olympian marathoner, Jeff Galloway, who wrote a book, "Run Until You're 100." At 62, he's still running marathons. I was thinking about his book and and the DVD, wondering what the statistics are of people living life in poor health, not necessarily due to invasive illnesses, and of how much focus we place on treating the effects of poor lifestyle versus education about living healthy. I couldn't find any statistics on the treatment versus education, but I did find a 2001 study on the percentage of life lived by women in ill health.
The 10 countries topping the list are:
#1 Mexico: 15.3%
#2 Poland: 14.7%
#3 Turkey: 14.2%
#4 Slovakia: 13.9%
#5 Hungary: 13.9%
#6 USA: 13.5%
Original data source on life expectancy: OECD It was easier to find the statistics than the supporting data!
However, I think it's easy to understand how, the more affluent the society, the more opportunity for an indulgent, sedentary lifestyle. As evident in the focus upon healthy eating and dealing with global obesity, we're just not a healthy bunch. Worse yet, so called "healthy" foods just might not be what they purport to be.
Today, I joined our newly-formed office walking club for a nice 20-minute stroll around the office park. This month, I start training my mom for the Capital 10K that she'll be walking to celebrate her 80th birthday.
Wouldn't it be great if more of our conversations were about how healthy we are than not? I'd sure like to be running when I'm 80 - or 100!
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