What serves older Americans as the entrance ramp to living longer?
Do you ever wonder why some people live longer than others? Many studies reveal the best-kept secret like those residing in Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece, and the Hunzas in Pakistan.
Each group follows a daily regime of healthy living and commits to a steady diet of nutritious foods. However, the residents in each country do things differently, and you will not find one group doing the same as another. The varieties range from a sense of purpose, eating nutritiously, keeping a positive attitude, drinking wine, socializing and exercising. Read more about the blue zone longevity lifestyles.
You won’t find U.S. citizens on that list of superior long-life. Although the graying of America illustrates the vast numbers of boomers approach the age 65 milestone, many Americans like me want a long, healthy lifestyle that our neighboring countries enjoy. But what changes should we make to achieve the extended ranking? Do we know where to start? So, I asked the Seniorcare.com Aging Council to give examples of clients over the age of 80 who take active steps to age well. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from them.
“What activities do your clients participate in, and what kinds of foods do they eat? Please tell us the things that affect longevity and wellness?”
Kim D. Crawford, M.D., DrKimsAgeWellSolutions.com: My patients, come to me to “stay young and healthy” so, 80 is the new 60 for my patients! They eat an anti-inflammatory diet, do an hour of cardio exercise daily and lift weights three times weekly. They sing along with music, exchange and share jokes with me, use social media and follow my rule to have ten good laughs and five good hugs a day.
Shannon Martin, AgingWisely.com: My favorite “aging wisely” role models often volunteer, do some physical activity every day (especially simple things like walking outdoors or gardening), enjoy a balanced diet/moderation, stay connected, and exercise their intellect. We’ve profiled many of them on the Aging Wisely and Easy Living blogs. Check out the “blue zone” (areas known for longevity) posts especially.
Anthony Cirillo, The Aging Experience: Move Naturally is a term used to describe people who live in Blue Zones, places where people seem to live longer. Instead of being regimented to a elliptical or treadmill workout, people find ways to move naturally. For my mother-in-law, if she needs to use the restroom, she will not go to the powder room closet but climb the steps to the far end of the house to go!
Rhonda Caudell, EndlessLegacy.com: A female client walks 30 minutes 6 days/week, rain or shine. Eat small amounts three times/day, low fat protein, fruit, and vegetables. Keeps track of any weight gain to adjust accordingly. She connects with friends and family on her Ipad. Attends church weekly and helps others in her church who need help. Has hobbies to enjoy and keeps up with current events. Her friends are of all different ages.
Joy Loverde, ElderIndustry.com: My 90-year old Mother will tell you that aging well is attributed to remaining curious about everything. She consistently asks the question – why? She will also tell you that walking on the treadmill is her medication. She is resilient and steady, and happy.
Samantha Stein, Association of Long-term Care Planning: People have their varying ways of aging gracefully, and our clients Gemma and Henry are the best example. For Henry, it’s all in the matter of strict dieting and an active lifestyle. Keep engaging, he always says. While free-spirited Gemma believes that the mind is a powerful thing, and positivity can go a long way. Eat well and keep your body fit, but change your mindset about aging.
Bryan London, BestCareJobs.com: My father pastors a church of about 500 and 95% of the congregation is made up of Senior Adults. When I am there, I observe. Many are over 80, and they are thriving. Why? Their friendships at church, the discussions they have on healthy eating and activities they enjoy. Morning walks, nine holes of golf, weekly book clubs and social dinners 2-3 times a week. They are models of wellness.
David Mordehi, AdviseandProtectscc.com: Volunteering is a tremendous activity for elders of all ages. While doing for others and continuing to contribute to their community, seniors not only maintain a sense of purpose but remain socially active; thereby, eliminating the effects of isolation.
The one piece of advice that I will incorporate today, “move naturally, and remember to take the longer route when going from point A to point B, and make sure I use my legs to get there!” By applying the suggested tips and advice, I hope we all enjoy better health and a longer, happier life.
The Dance – Garth Brooks