Age is Just a Number, Live Long and Prosper
Positivity, strength and a will to live + continuing interest in and curiosity about the world are Key elements for longevity.
This fortitude, aka guts, and emotional resilience plays a Key role in longevity as changing times can be stressful and unnerving to us all.
In a study of 100 seniors, average age of 81, those who were exposed to implicit positive messages experienced gains in their physical strength.
That is evidence that our mind has power over the human body. So, pay attention: if you believe your body and mind will fail you as you age it may well do..
But the opposite is true, when a positive mindset is combined with the basic requirements for healthy living, like good sleep, real food and staying active.
In a recent study, the majority of centenarians, 100 anni, report feeling about 20 years younger than their chronological age, and their mindset has a lot to do with that perception.
Interestingly, experts also agree that using acceptable bio-markers to determine biological age, such as blood pressure, muscle power, skeletal mass and fitness indicators would be a better indicator of lifespan than chronological age.
People that live long lives understand the value of eating real food often home-cooked from sctatch.
Now, in Y 2017, the notion of eating home-grown, home-cooked food has become a novelty for many people, but reverting back to the traditional way of eating is the best path for health and longevity.
Aside from what to eat, many people note the importance of variations of intermittent fasting and abstaining, meaning not overeating, eating only once a day.
Strong, positive relationships, fond life experiences and relationships with appreciation and gratitude are also Key element to longevity.
This is backed up by science.
As the research showing that the types of social relationships someone enjoys or does not, can actually put them at risk for premature death. In fact, researchers found a 50% increased likelihood for survival for participants with stronger social relationships, and that experiences tend to make people happier than possessions.
The newness of possessions wears off, as does whatever joy they bring, but experiences improve one’s sense of vitality and being alive both during the experiences and when remembering them.
Overall, people who live long lives, regardless of their health status, tend to have positive attitudes, optimism and a zest for life. In the video, you’ll notice the trio make mention of living in the moment, living for the day and having no regrets.
These are people who are living very much in the now, and not dwelling on what they have lost but appreciating all the living they have done and have yet to do, with strong feeling, and living each day to its fullest. They are active: physically, mentally and socially. This outlook help people to stay young and healthy.
When interview the “old folks” noted the importance of being kind and helping those around them. This is a life lesson worth learning, as doing good deeds helps others in need provided a natural mood booster, it is dubbed “the helpers high.”.
Having a sense of purpose and staying productive have been shown to promote longevity in The Longevity Project, a Stanford study spanning 80 years.
Conscientiousness, specifically, was identified as a marker for longevity. The reason for this, the researchers say, is because conscientious behavior influences other behaviors.
Conscientious people tend to make healthier choices, such as avoiding smoking and choosing work they enjoy and life partners they get along with, factors that can have a significant impact on their stress level and general contentment.
Conscientious people tend to be more productive, even past conventional retirement age, and tend to regard their work as having purpose.
The Longevity Project dismisses the idea that hard work will kill you early.
On the contrary, those who stay productive and work hard all their lives actually tend to be happier, healthier and more social compared to those who do not work as hard.
Co-author and psychologist Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D, of the University of California, said in an interview with the American Psychological Association (APA):” … [O]ur studies suggest that it is a society with more conscientious and goal-oriented citizens, well-integrated into their communities, that is likely to be important to health and long life. These changes involve slow, step-by-step alterations that unfold across many years. But so does health. For example, connecting with and helping others is more important than obsessing over a rigorous exercise program.”
Getting an education early in life is also a Key element, as it is correlated with a longer life.
People with a bachelor’s degree or higher tend to live about 9 years longer than people who do not graduate from high school, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics report.
This is likely because educated people often get better jobs, plan more for their future or lead healthier lifestyles. However, having a natural curiosity about life and a desire to keep learning likely also plays a role in the longevity connection.
Despite advances in science that have linked everything from eating more vegetables to the age your mother gave birth to you with a longer life, no one can lay out a set plan that will guarantee you or I will live to 100 anni and beyond.
But, the fact is that centenarians and super centenarians meaning those who live to 110 and beyond are a “motley crew”.
According to Israeli physician Nir Barzilai of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York:”There is no pattern. The usual recommendations for a healthy life, not smoking, not drinking, plenty of exercise, a well-balanced diet of real food, keeping your weight down, they apply to us average people. But not to them. Centenarians are in a class of their own.”
Based on years of data from studying centenarians, Dr. Barzilai reported that when analyzing the data from his particular pool of centenarians, at 70 anni:
- 37% were overweight
- 8% were obese
- 37% were smokers for an average of 31 years.
- 44% reported only moderate exercise
- 20% never exercised at all
Despite this, Dr. Barzalai emphasizes you should not disregard the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices, explaining: “Today’s changes in lifestyle do in fact contribute to whether someone dies at the age of 85 or before age 75. But in order to reach the age of 100, you need a special genetic make-up. These people age differently. Slower. They end up dying of the same diseases that we do, but 30 years later and usually quicker, without languishing for long periods.”
Some words of wisdom do centenarians have to offer to those with less life experience?
- Be alert
- Be independent
- Ask for help when you you need it.
- Show people respect
- Help people as much as you possibly can
- Be grateful for what you have
- Smile and Laugh
Sir Harry Lauder said, “Keep right on to the end of the road.”
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