As Oprah Winfrey says, “there is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are each responsible for our own life.” If you are young and if you have great health, you cannot assume that this will continue for ever. Remember that age can take a toll on your health. No amount of sugar-coating can hide the harsh reality that aged people with poor heath may have to lead a hellish life. If you want to avoid such a situation in your life, you should first study the lives of those old people who have been leading a fulfilled and healthy life. This will help you realize that these successful and old people possess great life skills. This means that even while you are young, you must make all possible efforts for acquiring life skills so you can also lead a fulfilled and healthy life during your old age.
But what are these life skills? Though various experts have come out with their own versions, skills like determination, emotional stability, control, conscientiousness and optimism cover most of them. Those who practice and acquire these skills are almost likely to enjoy the health benefits as well as all the good social outcomes during their golden years.
Thanks to these skills, they will have financial stability, there will be no affliction by chronic ailments or by mental depression and most importantly, they need not fear social isolation. Since they will have overall general health, they may lead a smooth life. Andrew Steptoe, a Professor working for the University College London, who conducted a study on a number of aged and healthy people, also corroborates with this fact. He says, “No single attribute was more important than others. Rather, the effects depended on the accumulation of life skills.”
The findings of the study that were published in the PNAS journal, clearly reveal that those who possess these life skills have favorable biomarkers in their blood. Their cholesterol levels are perfect and the C-reactive protein in their system amazingly stands at the right level. It is a known fact that the level of C-reactive protein is a near-perfect marker indicating inflammation that can cause several diseases.
Similarly, those with these life skills have smaller waistlines compared to those who have fewer life skills. Accumulation of fat around the waist is another clear indicator of cardiovascular as well as metabolic diseases. The study also reveals that those with better life skills walk faster and more briskly than others. Researchers involved in the study point out that the walking speed is certainly an objective factor that helps in predicting the future mortality of aged people.
According to Steptoe, “We were surprised by the range of processes — economic, social, psychological, biological, and health and disability related — that seem to be related to these life skills. Our research suggests that fostering and maintaining these skills in adult life may be relevant to health and well-being at older ages.”