What Does Longevity Mean to You and Why is it Important?
What is longevity and why should we care?
To some longevity is living into their 60’s or 70’s. To others it is merely living longer than the average person and not bothering to think about our true potential. When Dr. Ed Traum was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic back in 1990-92, he had the opportunity to sit down and talk with some amazing people over the age of 100!! Still vibrant. Still working on life.
Anyone of us would be compelled to ask the question, “What are these people doing to live so long and so well without the standard litany of “medically necessary” interventions common in our country?” They had no lipitor to control their cholesterol levels. They had no atenolol to control high blood pressure. These were people who lived deep in the country practicing very simple, bucolic lives.
When asked, these “super humans” all said the same thing. It was all in what a person eats, how active a person is, and having love. When you think about it, this is profound wisdom and it is being discovered by more and more regular people everyday as we discover the limitations of contemporary, standard medical practices around our country. And the cool thing is that this is CHIROPRACTIC PHILOSOPHY! It is what drew Dr. Ed and Dr. Pam to chiropractic. Fortunately, as we’ve stated before, it does not involve complicated and expensive treatment protocols or exotic extracts from far away jungles to achieve this. These people, remember, lived very rustic lives in the Dominican Republic.
So this brings us to the definition of longevity. Dictionary.com defines it as “great duration of individual life.”
Ok, simple enough.
Or is it?
When you visualize yourself in the nebulous future, how do you see yourself? THAT is the real definition! It’s not only the years that we get but how we see ourselves in those years that defines us. As a firefighter, Dr. Traum has been on thousands of emergency medical calls and two things are clear; it sucks when you’re not vibrantly healthy and you almost NEVER see an obese person over the age of 60. So you not only want to live longer but better. This vibrancy we all seek is largely dependent on the habits that we CHOOSE to adopt in our everyday lives.
What are these habits? Here is a simplified list of 4 things you can do RIGHT NOW to begin your journey of living well into your longevity:
Number one; Get you body chemistry right. This means getting your pH UP as high as possible. Remember, lower numbers is HIGH acidity and higher numbers are more alkaline (7.4 is better than 7.0, for example) There is a simple and scientific plan for this and it’s actually easy to follow:
- Stop eating any sugars, flours or trans fatty acids (Hydrogenated oils)
- Take a high quality multi vitamin to give your body the materials it needs
- Get more Magnesium (at least 400mg/d for an adult)
- Get more Vitamin D (we get surprisingly little here in AZ – too hot to go outside)
- Get more Fish, flax, or borage oil (You just want more Omega 3 and less Omega 6)
- Take CoQ 10. It’s pricey, I know BUT you’re health is worth it
- Take an anti inflammatory enzyme like Nutri Disc (I know, just ask Dr. Pam)
If you can’t get 3 huge salads a day, you really need that high quality multivitamin. Despite the attractive advertising, Centrum does not qualify here. Talk to our Tempe chiropractor, Dr. Pam and she will advise you on some very high quality, cost effective options. From there you can add on immune system turbo fuel with that high dose vitamin D and occasional high dose Vitamin B12. However, if you really want to blow the doors off of your immune system, you just have to start eating a bunch of green leafy vegetables everyday. This is where most people role their eyes. But it’s irrefutably true. You will live better by eating lots and lots of green stuff. Ultimately, you need to make the commitment to spend a certain amount of money every month (entry level cost is $30, superstar serious is about $150) on these products; be they pills or greens, you must incorporate them into your DAILY routine. Most people can easily do that by reducing the amount they spend on dining at greasy, high carb and bad fat restaurants. This is the surest way to push your poor body into an acidic state, which is the single biggest factor in illness, morbidity, and eventually, an early demise. Creating an alkaline state for your cells to bathe themselves in does, admittedly take a bit of work. But its far less expensive than your ridiculous health insurance premiums which are YOUR cost of supporting all the bad habits of the general public who don’t care about their wellness. Dr. Pam or Dr Ed Traum will give you great suggestions as to what your options are. Just get in there and get serious about living well!
Number two; DIET. As stated above, you absolutely must get away from those sugars and flours of any kind. They push you straight into acidity. Your cells start to die and the lubricant of your muscle system (that Hyaluronic Acid I keep talking about) is FAR more prone to get sticky and dense. By eating more clean meats and piles of green vegetables you can extend your life by DECADES. As stated above, Dr. Ed has been in the homes of thousands of people who call the fire department for various medical reasons. He has often stated that the single most striking thing that he has noticed over those years is that you almost NEVER see obese people over the age of 60. So, imagine that; eating too much can shorten you life by almost 3 decades if the average lifespan in America is 78 years of age according to current CDC numbers. Not only are you apt to live longer but you will also live BETTER. Imagine more energy, less joint pain because you’re leaner, you’re younger looking, and you’re much less prone to diseases ranging from the common cold, to allergies, diabetes, and even cancer.
Number three; ESHOFYD. (I love making up acronyms. It makes me feel so smart). ELIMINATE SUGAR and HYDROGENATED OILS FROM YOUR DIET.
No I’m not repeating myself…..I’m pounding this idea into your head!! Technically, that’s to “repeating myself”.
Bad Fats and Sugars, baby; they are killers. The first thing you HAVE to do right now is throw away anything w/ refined sugar and/or hydrogenated oil (margarine) or even partially hydrogenated oil (found in most processed foods). Then throw out the polyunsaturated fats like canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, and peanut oils. These are like free-radical machine guns. They produce enormous amounts of cell killing electronic projectiles. Cook only with olive oil, coconut oil, or macadamia nut oil. Costco even has a new Avocado oil which is very light and healthy. We can talk about this more when you come in but this gives you a great place to start. It ain’t rocket science, it’s simple common sense.
In addition to this, did you know that 90% of American children and teens consume at least one soda every day! Each 12 ounce soda contains more than 10 teaspoons of white sugar. That’s 10 times more than your body wants in the blood stream at any given moment! This spikes our insulin production which not only increases our likelihood of developing diabetes (America’s fastest growing health problem) but it also drives that sugar into a process that turns it into fat! Just to add conspiracy excitement here, soda companies typically add 50 mg of salt that only makes you feel more thirsty, thus, more likely to crack open another can. And you thought the tobacco companies were devious!
The biggest problem facing us as individuals as well as a nation is our addiction to sugar. Studies have repeatedly shown that refined carbs (sugars, fructose corn syrup, potatoes, flour of all kinds) stimulate the brain’s chemistry just like addictive drugs like opium, heroin, and morphine. WE ALL have become addicted to sugar and refined carbs despite our best intentions. It is a tough habit to break and we can actually go through “withdrawal” symptoms just like a recovering drug addict. This is the single biggest cause of the obesity epidemic facing our country and it is the ticking time bomb facing our health care system.
Finally, number four; take the cushions off of your sofas. What?! No, seriously, this will give you less reason to sit down on those comfy, long, napping stations. Go out for a walk and move those muscles and joints. Remember, every muscle is like a second heart as it pumps blood back up to your ticker. Blood needs to circulate to help you and only one thing can do this; Muscles. They all need exercise and there is no way around this. Start slow and form a plan for improvement. Dr. Ed or Dr. Pam can give you simple suggestions and coaching ideas but you must remove those cushions! And if you’re looking for a great place to get a work out in we recommend Kaju Kenbo Arizona on Baseline east of Hwy 101. Super friendly people who are experts in accommodating all levels of fitness into their many class options.
So begin today, your contemplations of your longevity, and ask one of the Dr. Traums about the simple ways to plan for wellness in your longevity. Then sign up for our e-mail newsletter and follow our blog “A Wellness Moment”. These periodic, brief but informative discussions and essays will concentrate on just this topic precisely because it is THE topic of your lifetime.
It’s all in our hands. We look forward to hearing from you.