Living longer, but not living better

Living longer, but not living better

We are now living longer than any other time in human history. Unfortunately, it’s not because we are making healthier choices. Our longer life spans are mostly due to advances in medicine and access to cleaner sources of water. However, as we live longer, our quality of a healthy life is not getting any better. Yes, our life spans are increasing, but are we actually healthier? We are taking pills to mask our health issues. Extended life does not the same as extended health. We are living longer, but we are not living better.

Differences between living longer and having a long healthy life

Even in advanced countries, we still have health serious issues with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. How can we have all of this advanced medical technology and still have diabetes and obesity? It all points to one thing. As a society, we have horrible eating habits and we don’t exercise. Our western diet is high in sugar, fats, carbs, red meat, and starch. No magic pill we take is going to prevent us from getting fat.

The secret to a healthy life is a healthy diet

We might take a pill to help us with our symptoms, but we are really not fixing what’s causing our problems. The best method to living longer and living healthier is to eat better. Honestly, we need to cut back on our beef consumption and stay away from the fast food joints. We need to eat more healthy meats like fish and chicken. I started my diet change years ago by adopting Meatless Mondays. I still eat meat. I still love meat. I just choose not to eat beef. And on Mondays, I skip meat altogether.

I admit, once in a while, I still have a craving for a big juicy steak. So once every month or so I indulge myself and have a lean cut of beef for dinner.

Exercise is important too, but you should focus more on your diet

I remember telling myself, I exercised this morning – so I deserve this bacon cheeseburger. Wrong…wrong…wrong. You are throwing away all of your hard work at the gym if you don’t follow a healthy diet.

I started my latest exercise regimen by installing the free 7 minute workout on my smart phone. You can get the Android version on the Google play store. If you have an IPhone, you can get it via ITunes.

Get a dog – It will make you happy

Your happiness is also vital to your health. Getting a dog helps release endorphin’s, and getting a dog means you and your loved ones can go out for more walks to the dog park.

When I come home from work, the first question my wife asks me is…where do you want to take Bear for a walk today? Without our dog, we wouldn’t get nearly as much as exercise as we do today. I sometimes think our happiness as a couple revolves around his wagging tail.

It’s never too late to get started on a healthy lifestyle

My grandfather had a triple bypass heart operation while he was in his forties. He was a chain smoker. Lucky for him, his doctor was blunt and to the point. He said…”if you want to live for another year, you need to stop smoking now. Otherwise we are wasting our time with this operation”. 

Those words scared the crap out of my grandfather. He never smoked another day in his life. He ended up living another 40 years.


Gary is one of the founders of RetireBook, and is the site engineer and also one of its writers. He has been working in IT for over 25 years, is a world traveler, and enjoys everything about living in the Pacific Northwest. He is full of energy, loves the outdoors, climbed several mountains, volunteers in his community, and has been saving his whole life for an early retirement that will be coming up in just a few short years.