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Feel Better and Live Longer 

IMAGINE that human life is a long hurdle race—a race in which runners jump over obstacles. All runners start the race together; but as they jump over and occasionally hit the obstacles, the runners slow down, and more and more drop out.

Similarly, human life has a starting point and high hurdles along the way. During his life man encounters one hurdle after another. Each jump makes him weaker, and in time, he gives up. The higher the hurdles, the sooner he drops out, or dies. If one lives in the developed world, the drop-out point comes at about 75 years of age. This time period is called the average human life span—comparable to the distance most runners actually go. Some people, though, run on longer, and a few even reach what is thought to be the maximum human life span, 115 to 120 years—a feat rare enough to make world headline news.

Identifying the Hurdles

People can now stay in the race almost twice as long as they could at the beginning of this century. Why? Basically because man has been able to lower the hurdles. What, though, are these hurdles? And can they be pushed even lower?

A public-health expert of the World Health Organization (WHO) explained that some of the main hurdles, or factors, affecting man’s life expectancy are habits, environment, and medical care. Thus, the sounder your habits, the healthier your environment, and the better your medical care, the lower those hurdles are and the longer your life may last. Although people’s circumstances vary greatly, virtually everyone—from a bank director in Sydney to a street vendor in São Paulo—can do something to lower the hurdles in his or her life. How?

9 Tips to help lose weight:

  1. Be aware of the calories in what you are eating and drinking. Note: Drinks can be a major source of calories, especially sweetened juices. Alcoholic drinks are also high in calories. And beware of those widely advertised soft drinks. Check the calorie count on the label. You might be shocked.

  2. Avoid temptation. If chips, chocolates, or cookies are on hand, you will inevitably eat them! Replace them with low-calorie snacks, such as apples, carrots, whole-grain wafers.

  3. Have a snack or an appetizer before eating a meal. It will take the edge off your appetite and may induce you to eat less.

  4. Don’t eat everything put in front of you. Be selective. Reject what you know will give you too many calories.

  5. Slow down. Why hurry? Enjoy your meal by noticing what you are eating—the colors, the flavors, the interaction of foods. Listen to the body’s signals that say, “I’m full. I don’t need any more.”

  6. Stop eating before you feel full.

  7. Restaurants in some countries are notorious for serving excessive portions. Leave half of your entrée behind, or share the plate with someone else.

  8. Desserts are not essential to complete a meal. It is better to finish off with fruit or another low-calorie item.

  9. Food manufacturers want you to eat more. Profit is their bottom line. They will try to exploit your weaknesses. Don’t be taken in by their clever advertising and pretty pictures. You can say no!