If You Could Live Longer By Doing Four Things, Would You?

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

seniorcoupleexercisesmallWhat do supercententarians (people who live to be 110 or older) have in common that makes them live longer (1)? We can narrow it down to four things.

1) Body: They are physically active. The simple act of walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, participating in activities that involve exercise such as tennis, gardening, hiking, and other sports. (Riding in a golf cart for 18 holes does not qualify as a sport!) One women at 105 walks in place and lifts light hand weights when she watches television. Another 103 year old walks his dog twice a day rain, sleet or snow. Not keeping the body active and engaged in exercise allows the internal systems and organs to weaken and atrophy from lack of stimulation. Your heart, for example, is a muscle and a pump. If you don’t work it, it will lose its strength and you will be a prime candidate for cardio vascular disease – something that is 90% preventable through exercise and diet.

2) Attitude. Optimism, smiling, laughing, letting things roll off your back, being grateful for all that you have, forgiving those who have hurt you… you know, the easy stuff! (Laughter.) Actually, it is easy. Our attitudes are formed based on our beliefs. What we once learned, we can re-learn and unlearn. If you are willing to teach yourself a new way to look at life, you can increase your lifespan and the enjoyment of your life. Next time you have a negative thought, flick yourself on the wrist and change your thought, comment, expression from a downer to an upper in an instant.

3) Social Networking. This doesn’t mean Face Book, Twitter, or Pinterest. It means having and making real, live friends that you can share activities and interact with. It means you will have to come out of hiding behind your work, computer, isolation and reach out into society. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and share a common bond.

In one study, for example, researchers found that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a 6-month period. In another study, those who had the most friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60% (2).

4) Spirituality. Having a belief in something bigger than ourselves accounts for added years and happier feelings says a study from the University of Toronto (3). When you have a balanced set of beliefs, share common values of family, friends, community and the environment you are going to live longer. This doesn’t mean you have to belong to an organized religion, but the study does suggest regular attendance within a social atmosphere filled with inspiration and common bonds is a prominent key to long life.

There you have it. Four steps to a longer life. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s yours for the taking. If you are starting fresh, begin with step one and work your way through the steps one at a time. If you dedicate one half an hour each day to improving your life and integrating the four steps, you will begin to see and feel an improvement in your health within three weeks.

Maxwell Maltz says it takes twenty one days to change a habit. You’re only three weeks away from a healthier, happier and longer life. Why not start today so you can see many more tomorrows.

(1) http://www.econ.ucla.edu/costa/genusreviewessay.pdf
(2) http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/gender/tendfend.html
(3) http://www.thirdage.com/spirituality/spirituality-longevity

– Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books and a crusader for a happy healthy life and heart. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. In the cook book sound nutritional advice is followed by traditional recipes that have been turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make and everyone will love. Learn more: HeartEasy.com