How can you plug into a longer and healthier life? Putting loved ones first is a common trait among the world’s longest-lived people. Centenarians in the original Blue Zones areas of the world keep aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home (It lowers disease and mortality rates of children in the home too). They commit to a life partner (which can add up to 3 years of life expectancy) and invest in their children with time and love. See how one family makes fun a first priority when practicing Family First.
Unlike the Energizer Bunny, you can’t just keep going and going without encountering stress. Stress can lead to chronic inflammation, which is associated with every major age-related disease. While everyone experiences stress, the world’s longest-lived people have routines to downshift. Okinawans take a few minutes each day to remember ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap, Sardinians do happy hour. Take time to recharge and shed some of that tension. Learn how Downshifting is helping this local woman recharge and shed stress.
Are you eating your way to healthy or far more than you should? Do like the centenarians do and gauge your intake by following the 80% Rule. It’s a strategy that focuses on taking things out of your everyday diet instead of putting things in. Saying “Hara hachi bu,” the 2500-year old Confucian mantra, before meals reminds Okinawans to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it. Find out how this local runner is using the 80% Rule to balance his nutrition and well-being.
The social networks of long-lived people have favorably shaped their health behaviors. Ikarians enjoy tight-knit communities that socialize frequently, while Okinawans build “moai” groups of five friends that committed to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Studies shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. Assessing who you hang out with then proactively connecting to those who support healthy behaviors will do more to add years to your life than just about anything else. See how a Fort Worth woman is impacting her community through her family and work-related Right Tribes.
The Okinawans call it “Ikigai” and the Nicoyans call it “plan de vida;” for both it translates to “why I wake up in the morning.” Whatever you call it, a strong sense of purpose can add up to seven years of extra life expectancy. Begin tapping into your own purpose by creating an internal inventory of your life. Try to articulate your values, passions, gifts, and talents. What are the things you like to do and the things you don’t? Then incorporate ways to put your skills into action in ways that will add meaning to your life and the life of others. Look what has grown from one man’s efforts to put his Purpose to work for himself and the community.
Research shows that faith and fellowship can serve as a power source for longevity. All but five of the 263 centenarians interviewed in the original Blue Zones areas studies belonged to some faith-based community. Denomination didn’t seem to matter. If you already belong to a group, great! If it’s been a while or you aren’t sure where to start, try asking friends and neighbors for their suggestions or search for additional information online. Learn how a Fort Worth resident exemplifies Belonging in his life.
Amp up your well-being by adding a plant slant to your plate. While most people in the Blue Zones areas only consume small amounts of meat on rare occasions, all of them eat a rich array of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are packed with disease-fighting nutrients. Beans, nuts, and whole grains round out a life-lengthening plant-based diet. (A handful of nuts a day can give you an extra 2-3 years of life expectancy.) See how one Fort Worth Realtor has been bringing people together even during a pandemic. Following a Plant Slant diet is both a lifestyle and a livelihood for this local woman.
The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. Their houses have stairs. They grow gardens. They walk to the store. To energize your own life, start moving naturally by making things a little inconvenient. Park farther away. Take the stairs. Walk the dog. Do your own housework or yardwork. Get rid of time-saving electronics and power equipment. A little movement can go a long way. Discover how easily this family finds ways to Move Naturally while living on a farm.