“Live long and prosper." That famous line from the Vulcan Mr. Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) in the TV series “Star Trek” should be your motto for the coming year.
A study that looked at 29 people ages 90 to 100 uncovered two powerful secrets to longevity: acceptance of and recovery from things you can't change, and an impulse to fight for the things you can change.
This is valuable information — especially now that life expectancy in the U.S. is falling.
Of course, COVID-19 contributed to the decline in life expectancy from age 78.8 in 2019 to age 77.3 in 2020, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
In addition, more than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses — a 30% increase over 2019. Homicides and deaths from diabetes and chronic liver disease also made major dents in longevity.
What can you do to buck this trend?
1. Get vaccinated. It’s the best way to protect yourself. For instance, all of the deaths from COVID-19 in the month of June in Maryland were among nonvaccinated people.
2. Reassert control over your health. See your doctor for checkups and tests, especially if you have diabetes or other chronic conditions such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Reach out to support groups if you have alcohol- or substance-related disorders or suicidal thoughts and behavior.
3. Revamp your nutrition and your physical activity routine. Nutrition influences everything from longevity to mood. There's great guidance in Dr. Mike's book "What to Eat When."