Life expectancy is defined by Wikipedia as the statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age and other demographic factors including gender. Life expectancy is commonly confused with the average age an adult could expect to live. Life expectancy differs from maximum life span. Life expectancy is an average for all people in the population, including those who die shortly after birth, those who die in early adulthood, and those who live unimpeded until old age. Maximum lifespan, on the other hand, is an individual-specific concept—maximum lifespan is therefore an upper bound rather than an average.
Various factors contribute to an individual’s longevity. Significant factors in life expectancy include gender, genetics, access to health care, hygiene, diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and crime rates. Japan has the longest life expectancy of 82.84 years in 2010 while Mozambique has 41.37 years in 2010. The rest of the list of life expectancies of each country can be searched on Wikipedia or Google.
The reason why I thought of writing in this blog about this topic is when I saw a Facebook post in one of the FB Groups where I am a member. This FB Group consists of Retired Officers and Soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, of which I joined in the later part of 2019. In the said FB post, with the premise that the Life Expectancy of Filipinos is 68 years old, attached in the post is a List Of Retired Generals and Senior Officers who died before and after reaching the age of 68 years old. I was surprised that some of my Seniors, as well as, my Junior Officers had joined the List. May their Souls Rest In Peace! I am just sad that they did not enjoy their Retirement Benefits to the fullest.
As I am few months away, actually 4 months, from reaching the age of 68 years old. I feel good and happy that I am blessed to be healthy and active. However, as I “googled” the Life Expectancy of the Philippines, I found out the latest statistics/survey as seen in this picture that I grabbed:
It is indicated that the Life Expectancy of the Philippines was 68.73 years old in 2000 and had steadily been increasing through the years up to 71.28 years old for the current year 2020. It appears that I still have an additional 3+ years “bonus” to live to reach the age of 71 years old.
It is very easy to say that I can project myself to reach this age and still be standing, healthy and active. But there are things that could be done to ensure that I could reach this age. In my past experience, I could say that the following reasons or tips made me as healthy and active as of today:
- Exercise everyday: My exercise consists of running or hiking on a daily basis for a minimum duration of one hour. 80-90% of my workouts are easy runs just to be able to perspire and let my heart do some cardio-vascular effort. I purposely hike with a weighted backpack once a week to strengthen my leg muscles, see the scenery/outdoors, and the best and quick way to perspire.
- Eat Simple but Healthy Real Foods: Most of the time, I eat a cup of steamed rice and one viand that has soup, vegetable, and meat/fish/chicken, all in one soup bowl. I end up eating a bite of chocolate or any fresh fruits available. If there is a chance that I could eat fresh vegetable salad, I would gladly grab the opportunity.
- Hydrate: I regularly drink water before, during and after my daily exercises. I even drink water regularly whenever I am reading some articles on the Internet, reading a book, or simply watching the Netflix. I make sure to take my body weight before and after my workout and closely monitor how much body liquid I have lost during the workout. I would immediately drink the equivalent weight that I have lost.
- Sleep Eight (8) Hours Every Night: Whether I sleep late or not, I should be able to sleep 8 hours during nighttime. If I can not make it or lacking for one or two hours, I would take a nap after lunch during daytime.
- Do Some Strength Training Exercises: Simple Dumbbell exercises with Light Weight; Leg Squats; Push-Ups; Sit-Ups; and Step-Ups are my main strengthening exercises which I do, at least, three times a week.
- Do Some Stretching Exercises/Yoga/Pilates: I usually concentrate my exercises with the strengthening of my Core Muscles through planks; some Yoga and Pilates poses. I usually do them as additional exercises during my Strengthening Exercise workouts.
- Take A Crap Ever Day: This should be a daily habit for me. I can not go out to run or hike or get out of the house for some errands if I can not sit “on my throne” once I take my hot coffee in the morning. My mood for the day depends on this habit. Every thing is light/easy and positive if this is done early in the day.
- Ignore Bad Vibes: There are lot of things to read on the Social Media that promotes Bad Vibes or things that are negative in nature. Most of the time, the sources of these negative stories and comments have nothing to do but spread such lies, inuendos, fake news, and information without any basis or evidence. These people are just happy to say bad things to other people and I really don’t understand what is in the mind of these people. There is only ONE Strategy to adopt in order to deal with these people: IGNORE!
- Always Stay Positive: Because I ignore those Bad Vibes and negative comments, I always make it a point to think the positive way. What is important is that I know myself, I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I keep to myself my plans for the future. All my posts in Social Media are facts, my activities, and things that I like. Always staying positive leads to the next topic.
- Don’t Stress Yourself and Simplify Things: For the past days, I have been reading the comments and exchange of comments among the members of a FB Group whose members are all AFP and PNP Retirees. The topic is about the delay in the availability the Monthly Pension for January 2020 in the ATMs. Some of the members are patient and understanding but most of them are angry of the situation. I just smile as I read the comments. In situations like this, I always say that “this is not yet the end of the world, why worry?” Politics? I don’t even dip my finger to politics. I really don’t care! As long as I receive my monthly pension, get my dividends to my investments & rentals to some properties and push through with my running activities, I really don’t care what is happening around. It is not yet the end of the world! How to simplify your life? Don’t mind the business of other people. Never dip your finger to the life or problem/s of other people. As they say, things happen for a reason! If something happens to you, deal with it. Don’t broadcast it on Social Media.
- Plan Ahead: Last November 2019, I have already made my schedule for 2020 and beyond, hoping that I am still healthy and active by then. However, they are still categorized as “Secret”. Hahaha!
- Enjoy What You Have: What else can I ask for? I am trying my best to control myself looking for places and running events where I could join in the future aside from those events where I have already registered. I am also controlling myself looking for things to be added in my collection of watches, pocket knives, business suits, and boots. I guess, I have to stop collecting them now and invest in precious metals that have the potential to increase in price in the future.
- Drink and Eat Rich In Protein: As my muscles are shrinking as I grow older, I need to drink more fresh milk, soya milk, and eat more eggs! It is noteworthy to say that I don’t have any medication or maintenance medicine. Having said that, I could eat anything in moderation and make sure that I monitor my body weight regularly. I drink beer during occasions and social events but never I would allow myself to be drunk. Instead of paying for my medications (which there is none), I would spend for the service of a Professional Sports Coach to my Running as he closely monitors my training to include my Rests and Recovery. I think this is the best investment where my money is going as I am getting better, stronger, more active, and healthier.
- Socialize From Time To Time: As I am writing this post, one of my classmates in the PMA just died due to heart attack. We were born in the same month of May and year (1952). He should be 68 years old this coming May. We were both long-distance runners when were cadets and he was a good rival in our cross-country events as he was a member of another Cadet Company. During our early career as Officers of the AFP, we would compete each other in our Annual PMA Alumni Athletic Meets and would saw him in weekend road races in Manila in the early 80s. I have been faster than him since we were cadets. The last time that saw him was in the middle of last year during a meeting with a group of Retired Generals of the AFP in Camp Aguinaldo and I personally warned him of his “heavy” weight, thus, encouraged him to bring back his running days through walking every day. I really don’t know if he followed my advise then. I might have socialized much with my runners for the past years but I would meet my classmates and contemporaries from time to time. Most of those Generals whom I have worked with and had worked under me are now the “bigwigs” in the present administration. I guess, it is about time to visit them one by one and say “Hello” to them! In essence, I have the young ones and the old ones as my friends. And that makes my life a better and a wonderful one.