By: Brittany Jones
A new study by the Journal of the Public Library of Science says that on average life expectancy in the United States is declining.
The study shows that since the 1980s, the life expectancy for a man has dropped by eleven years, making their life expectancy 74 years. The life expectancy for women has dropped 7.5 years, making their life expectancy 79 years.
Experts say the decline is because of increased obesity and smoking. The trend is strongest in the south.
Personal trainer Sonny Arnold has noticed the trend, and says health problems related to obesity can cause many people to die sooner.
"You don't see a lot of obese people after about 65...you don't see any elderly people that are really obese. You're just going to live longer health-wise than you would if you don't exercise."
That's prompting people like Milford Hunter to take better care of themselves. The 74 year old joined the Columbia Athletic Center two years ago and has reached his ideal weight.
"I hit 180 a couple of times and I said no, if I keep doing this I'll be 190 next time", said hunter. He also says it's never too late to start improving your health.
Experts say working out in groups and having fun is the best way to stick to your excercise routine.