Staying healthy requires certain behaviors, like eating right and exercise. But did you realize that its within your ability to increase your longevity and remain disease-free as well? Contrary to popular belief, how long you live is not all about heredity. Research shows that the length of your life is only about 25% predetermined by your genes. Thats good news for those of us with relatives who had an early demise.
Armed with insight into the lives of Blue Zone centenarians, you can begin making the best decisions on how best to eat and exercise, as well as how social activities may make it possible to add many healthy, happy years to your life.
First of all, no amount of exercise is going to make up for unhealthy eating, especially if you’re past a certain age. Eating junk and being over-weight will prevent you from reaching your longevity potential by contributing to the development of certain diseases. If you’re eating processed, high saturated fat, or sugary foods, your health suffer. Eating fresh food and the right food is crucial for maintaining health and weight, throughout your life. While there is no single diet to ensure wellness and longevity, the diets eaten by centenarians of the Blue Zones are a good blueprint.
Here’s what centenarians eat:
1. Beans, peas and lentils
2. Lots of vegetables
3. All kinds of Fruit
4. Whole grains
5. Pecorino cheese made from grass-fed sheep
6. Red wine
8. Herb tea and coffee
9. Limit your meat-eating to once a week or less. In spite of everything you hear, its not wise to consume large amounts of meat, grass-fed or otherwise. The people who live the longest and do not develop age-related disease, simply do not eat meat daily.
When it comes to being healthy and living a long time, a good diet and exercise are not enough. Heres what else youll need to do:
1. Put family first
2. Find a purpose and a passion. Happy people are generally healthier and live longer.
3. Keep moving as much as possible. Beyond your dedicated work-out routine, consider adding extra walking, gardening, and even house cleaning to stay active. Constant movement is what you’re after.
4. Find a way to minimize stress.
5. Socialize and stay connected.
Living to 100 is no easy task. But with thought and insight, you too can make a good run at it. See you in the triple digits.