The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Living a balanced life

What do we need in our lives to be healthier?

We’re on the brink of a longevity revolution. By the year 2030 the number of Americans 65 and older will more than double to 71 million and will comprise 20 percent of the population, according to a U.S. government report , “The State of Aging and Health in America 2007”.

BalanceMuch of the burden of chronic diseases that cause disability and death can be avoided through practicing a healthy lifestyle, a life in balance. Three behaviors—smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity—were the root causes of almost 35 percent of U.S. deaths. To address the challenges of an aging society, promoting and preserving the health of older Americans is essential. Healthy aging involves taking charge and modifying behaviors, especially those that are the root cause of declining health.


It’s interesting to follow national trends in health-related issues. I watched a movie that was set in the 1940s during World War II. Nearly everyone smoked. Even when someone was shot in the chest, they were offered a cigarette to comfort them. Many have since suffered the consequences of permissive attitudes toward tobacco.

Since the 1940s smoking rates have declined. Workplaces and some public places are now smoke-free. The battle over tobacco and health issues isn’t finished, but progress has been made.

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March issue

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