Not Just Diet and Exercise. 22 Key Factors to Keep Health in 2022.
Here are 22 key health factors for 2022. They go beyond just diet and exercise since your health must be considered comprehensively. What improvements are you willing to make?
- Regular high quality sleep -- with high quality sleep, you can focus on your health.
- Safe exposome (your lifetime of environmental exposures).
- Choose to live where there is clean air and water.
- Avoid toxins and hazardous substances.
- Enjoy a safe and friendly setting where you feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach your full potential.
- Social interaction -- active social relationships increase health and longevity by improving key biomarkers of physical health.
- Robust microbiome -- go read I Contain Multitudes, fascinating and fun insights into life.
- Keeps us alive.
- Protects us against germs.
- Breaks down food to release energy.
- Produces vitamins.
- Food and beverage discipline -- don’t give up your favorite unhealthy foods. Do minimize the portions and frequency of consumption.
- Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction -- both are proven to increase healthspan and lifespan, if done carefully.
- Dietary supplements -- even a good diet doesn't provide everything you need as your body ages.
- Periodontal care / Oral health -- healthy oral bacteria keep your body performing well. Pathogenic oral bacteria degrade more than just your gums and teeth.
- Proper gait -- walk this way!
- Flexibility and pliability -- often forgotten. Build stretching into your daily routine.
- Exercise -- exercising without proper gait, pliability and flexibility leads to injuries. Run this way!
- Body and brain protection -- avoid preventable causes of injury and death.
- Recommended vaccinations and seasonal immunizations -- without a vaccine, approximately one-third of US adults over 50 will get shingles, a nasty disease causing acute pain which can last for months or even years.
- Strength training -- avoid gradual muscle loss and the resulting frailty.
- Skin and lip protection -- sunscreen and lip block. Many people forget the lip block…Don’t get lip cancer.
- Eye care -- eye-specific dietary nutrients, sunglasses, screen time safety, regular vision exams.
- Hearing protection -- wear earplugs at noisy events and for better sleep.
- Proper breathing and posture -- including when running.
- Continuous learning / Getting smarter -- are you willing and capable of rapidly changing your habits and behavior based on better information?
- Happiness -- research shows that being happy promotes a healthy lifestyle. It also helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts your immune system, thus increasing your life expectancy.
- Optimism -- research shows that people with higher levels of optimism had an 11-15% longer life span, and a greater chance of living past age 85.
- Stress less -- frequent stress can lead to major health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and an impaired immune system.
- Give health -- when you’ve become a role model for good health, others see that change and cautiously express interest. You can support them. Studies show you receive health benefits from giving help to others.
- Having a purpose in life -- research shows that people who know their life purpose and why they wake up in the morning live up to seven years longer.
For how many of these key factors are you in excellent health today?
How are you monitoring and confirming that?
What areas would you like to improve? What area do you have the willpower to change today and continuously going forward?
Pick one and start making a difference in your healthspan. A good way to check back in with yourself to see how you are doing is to put notes on your calendar at the beginning and end of each month to set and confirm progress on your health improvement goals.
After you implement healthy changes into your daily routine, splurge a bit and reward yourself by purchasing an Oculus Quest 2 for $299. While gas prices make real travel expensive, immerse yourself in new virtual worlds to explore and play. You'll get some exercise too! Your future is amazing.