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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Five Steps to Longevity or how to live to 100

I have been eagerly researching small towns and villages whom are well known for their longevity, specifically a high percentage of centurions.
It all began with some research into a little town not far from where I live, called Roseto. It is an old Italian American village steeped with old traditions, generational families, family businesses and old churches. Though I've never visited, but plan to, I am told it is like walking into a 1950's town. The amazing thing about this quaint village is that until recently it had an extremely low percentage rate for heart disease, despite all the fattening foods being cooked up.
Another article I read up on was a man from Greece whom moved to the US. At 66, he developed lung cancer and was told he would have 6 months left to live. So him and his wife left the US and moved back home making funeral arrangements along the way. At first he took it easy, but eventually I'm sure with different diet, a quieter pace of life and old friends visiting he slowly recovered, gardened, played dominoes, walked, built up his parents vineyard and found peace and health. He was 96 when the article was written, only thirty years after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
In result I found some other places known for living long happy lives. The people of Okinawa, Japan. On these fragmented islands exist the longest living women and more centurions than anywhere else in the world. Researchers believe this villages' longevity is chalked up to good health. They say a diet of soy beans, fish, seaweed, and eating till you are only 80 percent full is the path to 100.
In addition there is a place in California named Lima that has a community of Seventh Day Adventists with many that live to be centurions. This town doesn't drink, smoke, and eats vegetarian. But also they have a tightly knit religious community. All this adds up to what I believe to be five main factors to a happy, healthy, long life.


1) To Your Health: a Steady diet of beans, fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. And avoiding red meats, sugars, dairy and fats.

2) Community: Most of these places have strong family ties, three generations or more living amongst them. Close family ties, tight knit friendships and a close kinship to their neighbors. With community comes simple traditions such as Sunday dinners, festivals, evening strolls, game nights etc. It's the simple things that bring joy and happiness and health!

3) Religion: Most if not all of these areas in which long living people exist are devout to a religion they grew up in. A deeper and eternal meaning to life obviously brings peace and tranquility to ones life.

4) No keeping up with the Jonses: Most of these places are old communities where there isn't fancy mansions or several people much better off than others. The majority are in the same boat, living average comfortable lives that are not focused on how big their incomes are. There isn't a feeling of competition or "ray race" mentality. Life is about enjoying each other, not the things.

5) Work/Activity: These centurions still garden, cook, work, walk, and remain active. When one still acts young they ARE young!

Some Links:

http://www.uic.edu/classes/osci/osci590/14_2%20The%20Roseto%20Effect.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.bluezones.com/live-longer/


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