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Whitehall of Deerfield - Healthcare Center

Six ways to live longer

When predicting life expectancy, it is common to look to relatives. However, even if grandpa only made it to 70, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t live to see your 80s or 90s. A study at Boston University School of Medicine found that genes account for less than one-third of the factors influencing the probability of a long life. Lifestyle plays a much bigger role than the gene pool.

A century ago, the life expectancy was around 54 but people born today can expect to live to an average age of 79, according to the National Institute on Aging. Plus, if you make it to 65, changes are good that you will make it to 85 and if you reach 85, it is likely that you will make it to 92. Here are a few lifestyle tips to help you strive toward reaching 100.

Keep moving
Exercise tops most doctors’ list for healthy lifestyle tips. Natural aging leads to a loss of muscle, reduced energy levels and painful joints but it is important not to give in and become a couch potato. Regular exercise can do everything from keep your heart healthier to making movement easier. Check with your doctor for exercise suggestions.

Keep tabs on your BMI
Keeping at a healthy weight is a key factor in a long life. When trying to determine what your own personal healthy weight is, try looking at your BMI or Body Mass Index. This revealing figure is an estimate of how much body fat you have based on your weight and height. There are BMI calculators found on the internet or ask your doctor to help you determine your BMI. The goal is to keep your BMI under 30 with a sensible, healthy diet.

Find a partner
Marriage is positive factor for a long life. If you aren’t into marriage, try having a roommate. Two people living together can mean better eating habits, more exercise, more engagement and a generally healthier lifestyle. A partner is also more likely to notice changes that should get a doctor’s attention.

Smile more
It may sound corny but smiling can be healthy. The act of smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, which work together controlling inflammation and pain. Smiling also can boost the immune system and stabilize your mood.

Have a purpose
Most people know that it is important to exercise the mind as well as the body to have a meaningful life. One of the best ways to engage the brain is to help others and find a purpose for your life. Whether you help the grandkids build a kite or volunteer at a local hospital, charitable activities bring meaning and can add years to your life. Researchers have found that being charitable reduces mortality rates by 22 percent over people who don’t act charitably.

Make new friends, keep the old
Having a support group of old friends is great but it is also a good idea to try to meet new people. When old friends move away, you will always have new ones to fill the role. Having friends increases the tendency to be active physically and mentally, both important factors in prolonging life. Friends can assist in maintaining a positive outlook on life and can be helpful in times of need.

An option for healing
A medical event requiring hospitalization is disruptive to anyone’s life and the following time of recovery can be very isolating. Having to stay indoors with limited mobility can lead to new problems brought on by poor diet, depression and loneliness. One way to combat the lifestyle challenge of recovery following a hospital stay is to choose to stay in a  short-term care facility for a few days rather than going directly home. Not only will your care be top-notch, you will be surrounded by helpful staff who work to make sure you are getting proper exercise, healthy meals, timely pain relief and even a few smiles. This can lead to a shorter and more successful recovery experience.

One of the area’s best options for this type of comprehensive recovery is Glenview Terrace. Guests who choose Glenview Terrace for recovery will have access to board-certified medical directors and physicians from local hospitals to ensure continuity of care. Top therapists provide personalized, one-on-one physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapies to help you quickly and thoroughly recover. A nurse practitioner is on-site to work directly with your physician to help quickly diagnose and manage your medical needs. Also, a rehabilitation nursing manager will guide your nursing team so you can reach the best possible outcome while the director of therapy oversees your therapy goals.

This period of recovery is set in elegantly appointed surroundings. Comfortable rooms with deluxe walk-in showers, satellite television and an array of amenities make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

For a recovery that is both effective and elegant, make plans to recover at Glenview Terrace. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.