longevity and happiness

10Jun13

Just the other day, a few of my nutrition students and I had a great discussion in class about increasing longevity, and is it really worth it.

elderly

I’d mentioned a controversial–and not fully proven–research study that showed that restricting calories (by how much, who knows) in humans, similar to an animal study, increases lifespan. My first response was that if you have to restrict significantly, what fun is that? And even if you live longer, if your remaining years aren’t enjoyable, what’s the point?

One of my more astute students riffed on this, adding that if scientists proved that by running 20 miles a day you could live a lot longer, how many people would do that? Certainly only those who enjoy running long distances…

Because ideally, our daily choices are driven by happiness… what brings us happiness. Maybe not always in the immediate term (not always instant gratification), but in the broader view.

(And this is the little voice constantly in the back of my head, analyzing every decision! Ah, only in my world does even the quest for happiness become a stressful one…)

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4 Responses to “longevity and happiness”

  1. 1 MikeW

    Thanks for this snapshot into your classroom.

    • Hi, Mike! Thanks for stopping by. I’m thrilled that I have some insightful students able to make these connections!

  2. 3 MikeW

    And, for sharing your experience with MS. Enclosed here are warm thoughts, prayers, and encouragement for a cure. I have never spent time reading up on MS, and after spending a moment looking at your tag cloud, plan to read up some more.

    • Thanks again! I think that positive thinking leads to positive behaviors (healthy eating, exercise, etc) and helps us in the long run. I haven’t talked much about the mechanics/physiology of the disease here–maybe I’ll break it down in future posts! (I also teach human phys, after all…)


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