The problem with this thinking is that enjoyment of life is closely tied to how we feel and function. If we no longer feel good and function capably, living a long time doesn’t sound so appealing.
Healthspan is the number of years we’re active, physically and mentally functional, mostly pain free, and as independent as possible. At the most basic level, healthspan is the years we are able to take care of ourselves.
In my book presentations and workshops, I ask the participants a simple question. “How many years do you want to live?” After a few seconds of contemplation, the answer comes. “I’d like to live to 90 or maybe 95… but only if I feel good.”
This question and answer illustrates the issue of lifespan versus healthspan to perfection. No one wants a long lifespan without a correspondingly long healthspan. No one wants to outlive their health. No one wants to be dependent on others late in life.
The good news is that we have a lot more control over our healthspan than we might think.
Maintaining muscle mass, mobility, balance, posture, and basic cardiorespiratory function go a long way toward creating a longer healthspan. How do you do these things? Read my book! The StayAhead Method gives you a strategy for taking better care of yourself as you age.
Add in eating healthy, protecting your skin, and having a positive, appreciative mindset, and you increase your odds of feeling and functioning great, even in those late years.