Do you think your diet and lifestyle have contributed to your health as a senior?

Southern Comfort asked:

Did drinking alcohol, smoking, exercise or lack of lead to your current health problems? or the health porblems of those you know your age? My mother is 73 smikes, drinks and is diabetic and couldn’t care less. The average age expectancy in my family is mid to late 70’s for smokers and drinkers. The others lived to be an average of 84.

9 thoughts on “Do you think your diet and lifestyle have contributed to your health as a senior?”

  1. geniepiper says:

    I don’t drink or smoke; but, my good health in my sixties is due mostly to good genes I think. My people live to be in their eighties, nineties, and some make 100!

  2. joanthegrate says:

    The only things that plague me are genetic. I have always controlled myself with a morbidly bland lifestyle that is attractive to no one. I’ve learned to love life on the curbside of slow and have made it this far and looking forward to more. I’ve seen what the vices of life can do for people as well as gross stupidity and wearing blinders. That is not my way now or ever. Just give me a mountain to climb and I’m good.

  3. I am certain of it. I did not drink, smoke or do drugs (unless dispensed by my doctor.) My only poison was Pepsi or Coke.

    I try to stay active and learn new things. I also believe if you live a clean life and think good thoughts, it will show on your face when you get old. I mean look at the life Mick Jagger lived. In his 60s, his face and Keith Richards are, well, Dorian Gray comes to mind. Yipes.

  4. I stopped smoking 35 years ago, and occasionally have a glass of wine. My health is excellent, but I work at it. . . going to the gym every other day, eating right. No junk food. I’m 5’9″ weigh 145 lbs. and wear a size 10 pants. Same as I weighed in high school, but like I said I really work at it. Now if I can just keep as fit mentally as I keep physically! Did I just say keep as fit mentally? haha

  5. Iritadragon says:

    I was almost an alcoholic. I let the disappointment in the breakdown of my 16+ year marriage lead me to using alcohol as a crutch for awhile. The wake-up call came when I drove from my home to my job, a trip of 20 miles, on two separate super highway systems, and DO NOT REMEMBER the trip at all. I remember getting into my car and driving to the highway. I “came to” parked in the lot at work. That experience was absolutely frightening to me and made me throw out all the alcohol I had in the house as soon as I got home. And that happened 15 years ago. Now the most alcohol you will see me take is half a glass of wine, or half a beer once in a very long while (about every 3 months or so).

    I also smoked every day from the age of 19 to the age of 45. Then I quit cold turkey. Of course, I had to because I couldn’t BREATHE, but I haven’t had one puff since I quit.

    I was always very active physically…running every day when younger, or walking after my daughters were born. They used to groan everytime I asked if they wanted to go for a walk, because it ALWAYS turned into a marathon! 🙂

    Now I can no longer exercise–the arthritis in my joints HURTS and I am afraid of getting too dependant on pain killing drugs. My osteoporosis has weakened my bones to the extent that I have always got at least one broken bone in my foot at any given time. And my deteriorating discs stop me from doing any sort of exercise that involves my back.

    Do I think my lifestyle contributed to my lack of health in my body now…you betcha! Life expectancy in both my mother’s and father’s families seems to be mid 80s to early 90s. I don’t think I am going to make those “goals”.

  6. Dorothy C says:

    I think everything you do contributes to your health at any age. I also think genes plays a major role in your general health. My mother smoked for over 65 yrs and decided to quit, she live to 91. Everyone in my family smoked and most drank and it hasn’t caused any problems so far. I have been smoking for about 47yrs…would like to quit and tried many times but so far nothing has worked. I drink a glass of wine (though I used to drink the hard stuff) now and then. My health is good. I am an amputee but was told it wasn’t caused by smoking, though smoking slows the circulation down. Longevity runs in my family. I think that overrides your habits a little bit more. I am not suggesting to go out and eat a 1lb steak everyday if longevity runs in your family. Everything in moderation is the safest and best way to get through life as healthy as possible.

  7. martinamagrace says:

    I am 61 years old. I am on social security disability. I smoked for about 45 years. I quit smoking & drinking just over a year ago. I have severe COPD. (emphysema) I am on oxygen 24/7. And even with the oxygen I can hardly breathe.

    What people need to worry about is the quality of life they are going to have at our older age IF they don’t stop the bad habits NOW before it is too late.

    I wish people that still smoke and ask HOW to quit could spend a day with me when I am not having a good day. They would never smoke again…………….

    When you abuse yourself for years with bad habits, I don’t think your genes save you from a painful death.

  8. Yes I think it does, and I inform my children and grandson of such. I smoked for a short period of time until the pretty clothes I was wearing started stinking, I never have been a drinking person, little glass of whatever now and again, go to bed early around 10:00 forever. Now when I was married I was sick all the time, migraines, aches pains, colds, allergies, my husband caused me such STRESS that I would throw up every morning before going to work. I have been divorced since 1984 and have had good health since then. So I feel it’s a combination of ingredients, and main being surroundings, company you keep etc. I am about 20 lbs. over my normal weight and I’m 5’9″ I say I’m fat and happy.

    My former husband? He used to be 6’1″ he is now 5’8″ has had a heart attach and talking about Dorian Gray!!!! Moderation, moderation.

  9. I am convinced stress is the single most telling factor in how long one lives, how happy the life is, and how healthy the person is. E.g. I know Buddhist monks who have almost never done any exercise beyond walking who are healthy. I know people who have exercised for almost all their life who are physical wrecks. I know of people who had “those bad habits” for a very long time and are healthy – recall the French female who died a couple of years ago, when asked about reaching 106, said that everyday she had her chocolate, cigarettes, and wine.

    My personal experience is that 30 years ago it seems I was always coming down with some illness. I learned how to not have stress and feel better now than ever. I take no medication and have no diagnosed illness. I have my chocolate, cigarettes, and wine when I want. I have no exercise program though I am more active than most people I know who are 10 years younger. I may not live to be a hundred, but I certainly don’t want my life at any point to seem like I’ve been around a 100 years.

    I suggest: Don’t worry; if it is something you can’t change, don’t worry yourself about it. If it is something you can change, then change it and don’t worry. Just learn what you can and can’t change, then proceed accordingly. Yes, diet and lifestyle along with several other factors contribute to health, but more importantly, they contribute to the enjoyment of living. Enjoyment of living is more important than length of living.

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