As more and more people are adopting a healthier lifestyle, there is still a majority of individuals who have not changed those habits that can become major concerns in their later years. Here are common factors that often lead to unhealthy lifestyles later in life:

* Smoking. There is a concerted effort by many states to discourage smoking and it has been made clear that smoking can cause stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and many other diseases. Yet many people still engage in this dangerous activity and pay the price later on.

* Diet. Obesity is a pandemic in our society. While there are a variety of diets available, proper nutrition such as fruits, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and other important food groups are often left out of one’s daily menu. The lack of proper nutrition can lead not only to obesity but also to cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, vitamin deficiency which can result in eye diseases, and a host of other ailments – all of which can reduce the quality of life for those affected.

* Exercise. While we are advancing the need to engage in exercise programs to maintain a healthy lifestyle, many individuals have not even begun to realize the impact a lack of exercise will have on them later in life. Living a sedentary lifestyle invites a host of diseases which can decrease one’s longevity and increase the chances of developing serious conditions.

* Stress. Stress is probably the most insidious condition of all. High blood pressure, heart attacks, and other related diseases are caused by stress. It is analogous to a train going 200 miles per hour when suddenly the brakes fail and there is a major collision. That collision causes the breakdown of the body and the nervous system. Its impact reverberates for years to come.

We live in a fast-paced society. Multi-tasking is the norm, and we tend to turn a blind eye to the messages our bodies are sending us. The lack of proper nutrition and exercise makes us more vulnerable to injury and disease. Our bodies are like that train. Unless we maintain it, it can run away from us.

A recent study found that out of over 150,000 individuals surveyed, only 3% actually maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Those who have lived a vicarious life with all of its indulgences may well eventually find that illness will befall them. And they would have to spend their hard-earned money on medications, may find little enjoyment in the things they love to do, and have a shorter lifespan.