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Increasing your life expectancy

Aug. 19, 2013 @ 11:06 PM

In the 1992 movie "Death Becomes Her," Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep opt for immortality, but forget about one thing -- youthfulness. They end up eternally unhealthy. Have we learned from that cautionary tale? Doesn't look like it.

A Mayo Clinic report reveals that you -- and you and you -- may not be doing what it takes to achieve a HEALTHY longer life. Around 70 percent of Americans need to take at least one prescription drug daily, and 20 percent take five or more (25 percent of women 50-64 take antidepressants; 22 percent of all Americans 45 and older take a statin). Another zinger: In the past decade, the risk of dying from degenerative brain disease rose 39 percent.

What does it all add up to? In Canada and the U.S., the prospect for a guy (at birth) to achieve a HEALTHY life expectancy is ranked seventh and 32nd respectively compared with all other countries. For women in Canada and the U.S., the prospect for healthy life expectancy ranks 23rd and 35th.

To improve your healthy long-life prospects, first determine your RealAge (take the test at Sharecare.com) and start today to make your RealAge younger and your old age healthier: 1. Walk 10,000 steps daily. 2. Avoid all added sugars and syrups, saturated and trans fats and grains that aren't 100 percent whole. Food is not "Let's Make a Deal." 3. Meditate 12 minutes a day. 4. Volunteer -- for anything that helps others. 5. Be affectionate with friends, family, pets. You'll start to feel younger right away.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.

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