Making Better Choices During Healthy Aging Month

(Newstream) -- September is Healthy Aging Month and Americans are living longer than ever before, but not necessarily better. Health risks - such as obesity, high cholesterol and heart disease - threaten to outweigh our medical advances and reduce the quality of life for millions of people, particularly those in their retirement years. But with a few simple lifestyle changes, people can live a healthier long life, and enjoy the nest egg they've worked to achieve.

People may think that they are fated to live to a certain age because of genetics or the environment. However, experts say that we are responsible for 70 to 80 percent of how well we age. Thus, with regular physical activity, keeping a healthy diet, monitoring blood pressure, controlling stress, and not smoking, people can control how long they live.

One place people can start to evaluate how their lifestyle choices affect their longevity is Northwestern Mutual's quiz at The online quiz calculates the impact of lifestyle choices on life expectancy, giving visitors an estimate of how many more years they could live if they made healthier decisions, such as quitting smoking or exercising more often.