Mastering Wellness: Our Elders Teach Us How to Not Only Live Longer, But Better.

In the last few weeks the topic of living to 100 appeared a few times on our pages. As a result we received a wide variety of responses, with many readers stating “no thanks!” (Actually “no thanks” puts it mildly.)

We understand this.

5 minutes reading the news or looking at the path of healthcare in the next 20 years might make the most determined person wish for a graceful exit long before a century rolls by. Add to this what elders in our community face for retirement – more years and less resources – and the desire to cheer for a couple more decades quickly goes silent.

So ok. No 100 years for some of you.

Still I think you might agree that having whatever years you do have be free of disease and the best quality might appeal right? I mean you do have control over that. How you care for your body has great impact on that body going forward. By making some changes now, you can potentially remove the struggle and health challenges that come later.

This last week an article in the magazine Self looked at 5 communities that have some of the highest numbers of 100 year olds. We know this partially because author Dan Buettner, with the help of National Geographic, created a notion called “Blue Zones” in his book of the same name. (Get HERE). The Blue Zones represent spots on the planet that seem to understand how to get it right in terms of balance and wellness.

In his new book The Blue Zones Solution he explores this notion in more detail, including some recipes and stories of communities that implemented these ideas. We thought it quite interesting and worth further exploration.

(Get the book HERE)

In the SELF article they look at five of the Blue Zone communities: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; the Greek island of Ikaria, the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, Calif.

A varied selection for sure. Yet the common themes quickly pop out as you read the basic recommendations from each location. Overall the suggestions look towards the following:

1) Balanced Diet – A diet rich in veggies, a slight bit of protein – especially fish, healthy fiber from things like lentils and cutting out sugars rules the day in these excellent communities. The focus on food balance and not overeating proves to be a good one. Even better – you have total control of this.

2) Exercise – What we eat certainly plays an important role. Movement and exercise equally so. These communities naturally include daily activity of some kind to keep the body energized. There is a sense that binge watching Netflix programs falls low on the “things to do” list.

3) Low Stress – As the lovely inhabitants of Sardinia suggest, “making love every Sunday” needs to be part of our wellness routine. Italian suave aside, they have a good point. Finding alternatives that help to de-stress regularly can greatly impact health. Think about your daily stress levels. Many of us live with a buzz of low level stress humming in our ear. Off setting this can truly help keep you well.

Simple advice for a simpler life. These communities encourage wisdom and kindness, with a dash of balance mixed in. Thankfully for us they are willing to share this. The question now is…can we use this to transform our lives for the better?

Yes, Yes and Yes.

To check out the SELF article just click HERE.

Do you follow this kind of plan in your life? Leave a comment below to share your insights. Your words can benefit us all.

Until next time – To Your Health.

 

 

Image courtesy: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / pressmaster

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