The video above is of a fascinating Tedtalk looking at lifestyle habits of centenarians across the Globe. There are pockets of communities that regularly outlive the average person and we can analyse their habits discover how to enjoy the same benefits in our own lives. As it stands only 1 in 5,000 Americans live to reach the ripe old age of 100, so our chances are low if we continue with the typical Western habits.
To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.
So what can we do to ensure we live longer? Is it all determined by our genes?
It has been found that only 10% of our longevity is determined by genes, the rest is attributable to lifestyle choices. Is it a case of taking the right supplements and hormones? Living spiritually? Being sociable? Getting the right exercise? It is actually a combination of these.
What is ageing?
Each cell in our bodies renews itself around every 8 years. Each time it does so, some damage occurs, the ‘copies’ are imperfect and over time the blemishes increase exponentially. As we grow older we age at a much more rapid pace. Some telltale signs of ageing are damage to our joints, clogged up arteries and dementia. Medically our bodies should manage around 90 years of typical wear and tear, but the average life expectancy in the States is 12 years short of that.
There is no miracle cure to stop aging to ensure that we will live longer. We can only slow the process gradually over the course of our lives. The common themes of these ‘blue zone’ communities are that they live simply, following similar habits that you could use yourself. We will look at these in turn.
The communities in the blue zones are active throughout their lives. The golden rule here is that they move naturally. They do not force their bodies to perform gruelling hours at the gym, they exercise in ways that they enjoy. They do not tend to take shortcuts, preferring to ‘do it themselves’ rather than opting for convenience with everyday things such as climbing stairs or mixing a cake.
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