Let's talk about death for a moment, shall we?
This morning, CBS News published a list with the top 10 leading causes of death in America. I'm actually sort of happy I read it. It's an excellent reminder of how important it is to take care of your body.
For the most part, in our day-to-day lives, we try to keep ourselves safe by doing things like not standing too close to the edge of the subway platform for fear that someone will knock us onto the track. Or maybe, that's just me. (It's honestly my biggest fear as a New Yorker.)
Here's the truth, though. According to this list based on CDC research from 2013, death is a bit slower and sneakier than that.
There are much more important precautions to take that will help avoid these top five killers in America:
1. Heart Disease
This cause of death has been number one for years. You'd think that since it's been number one for so long, people would start taking better precautions to avoid heart disease at all costs. Because even though the amount of heart disease-related deaths have declined a lot since the 1950s, it's still number one.
Keeping your heart healthy is just another great excuse to eat more Cheerios, am I right?
As heart disease declines and the amount of people who die from cancer increases, the gap between these two is closing quickly. Many deaths due to cancer are related to the long-term effects of smoking. It's also more chronic than heart disease, so cancer-related deaths are happening later in life.
I know it's kind of depressing, but again, there are ways to avoid this. If you smoke, stop. You're literally walking right into the trap that is the number two leading cause of death in this country.
3. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
The number three cause of death is also related to the damage smokers do to their bodies. But, chronic lower respiratory diseases also include emphysema, bronchitis and asthma.
Take care of your lungs, people.
This was incredibly surprising to me. But, the number four leading cause of death has to do with car accidents, unintentional drug overdoses, random falls and other injuries.
Is it possible that accidents are on the rise as a cause of death because we can't stop looking at our phones? These days, people die while taking selfies. It's ridiculous. I hope "taking selfies" is never number one on this list.
Despite common belief, stroke is actually related to the brain, not the heart. Stroke used to be number three on the list, but because we've become better at preventing it, the number of stroke-related deaths have declined.
So, there you have it. Be safe, people. Don't smoke, and put down your phone when you're crossing the street. Take care of your heart.
And maybe don't ever leave your house.