When I gave birth to my three children after the age of forty, extending my lifespan became my obsession. You know what they say, when you have your health you have everything. Put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting othersor something like that Anyway, since a fair share of my immediate family met with an early demise, I was determined to not succumb to the same fate. I wanted to learn the secrets of a long life.
Its been proven that behavior affects longevity by as much as 75%. Longevity For Dummies; the ultimate guide to living to 100, is based on the lifestyles of Blue Zone centenarians, (groups of people in certain parts of the world who live to be 100.)
1. No self-respecting longevity guide would be complete without advise on healthy eating. While there is no single diet to ensure wellness and longevity, centenarians of the world eat a plant-based diet of whole, fresh foods. So, if you aspire to reach 100, youre going to have to eat meat less often. (Once a week at most). And by all means, eliminate processed food and sugar. Its also advisable, ne critical, for your longevity to drink red wine. Youre welcome.
2.Longevity protocol dictates getting almost constant, daily, natural movement. I love exercise. But like many of you, sometimes dont have time for a dedicated work-out session. Thats okay-dont need it. It is possible to stay healthy by doing those things that create natural movement, such as gardening, yard work, house cleaning, and just plain walking extra steps or climbing the stairs instead of riding the escalator. True story. I had barely said good-bye to the movers of my current home in east coast suburbia when I was hit by a dose of irony. As I was mowing my lawn and shoveling mulch, a well-meaning neighbor sidled up to explain how it was customary in these parts to pay someone to do that for you. Then, she trotted off for a run. Am I the only one that finds that strange? Hello?, some of us enjoy gardening.
3.Societies where centenarians exist put family first. In todays transient world its not always possible to remain close geographically. So, its even more important to have a strong social support system and a connection with friends of similar outlook and shared values. Being connected helps a person feel happy and satisfied, and happy people are generally healthier and live longer. So, while your two-hundred and thirty-four Facebook friends may miss daily updates of Coco the dogs activities, step away from the computer and get out there and make some real friends to hang with.
4.Theres a common sentiment among centenarians; a reason to get up in the morning. Even though I sometimes complain about all the things I do for my children (I swear its only sometimes) doing those things helps give my life purpose. Whatever your life situation is, find your purpose and passion, whether its a church group, a sports team, a club, or volunteering at a museum, animal shelter or your childrens school. Feeling needed provides that reason to carry on that we all need.
5. Lastly, the big one. Stress wreaks havoc and most be controlled. See 1-4 for limiting stress. If all else fails, theres always my favorite, take a vacation. People who take vacations live longer. A little gem of information I let my husband in on when I found it. But remember, caving to your kids demands and taking them to Disney, utilizing their intended college funds will ultimately only cause more stress, so plan wisely. Enjoy.