There are millions of people all around the world who have lived very long, healthy lives following these 10 secrets of longevity.
Researchers have been observing the lives of old people who have lived to be 100 and beyond. Those who seem to have lives that, though filled with many ups and downs, have come out smiling. They are happy, flexible, mentally sound and content.
So what are their secrets of longevity? What has kept them going for so long?
And what are these 10 secrets of longevity?
Researchers traveled all over the world to find some really old people. They were looking for the factors that allowed them to reach their golden years, still all ‘put together’. They also wanted to examine the kind of environment they lived in.
One author, Buettner, who wrote a book, Blue Zones, studied a place in Greece called Ikaria. This is an 88 square mile island situated 30 miles off the Turkey coast. In his book, he wanted to shed light on the people who lived there, their values and their habits.
They discovered that the people who lived there, the Ikarians, had far fewer incidents of cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and dementia than other parts of Europe.
Then they noticed that the habits and values of the Ikaria people were also observed in four other parts of the world as well. – Sardinia in Italy, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, Loma Linda in California and Okinawa in Japan.
To conclude why people live so long in these areas, the researchers put together these 10 secrets of longevity which they believe all the people of Ikaria and the other 4 places listed above had in common.
10 Secrets of Longevity
1. They Were Always Physical
These people were farmers or fisherman; they were active people living in the villages. They did not jump onto buses or use Uber to take them around. They walked all over the place to do their business, visiting their friends, going to the markets, etc.
Ok, so modern city living calls for different measures, right? Today, we have moved quite a bit away from the quiet still life in the cities where our work takes us. But you can still be very much on the move, finding exercises that you really enjoy and can stick to.
If you want longevity and health, you need to move your body. If you live in a city, make use of staircases, benches, ramps. Jump over them, run along them, do pull and push ups to give your body a workout.
2. They Managed Their Stress
Stress takes a toll on the body, tiring it out, aging it.
A stressed-out brain looks the same as an old brain – depleted connections between the nerve cells. Stress raises the temperature of the body, which results in thermal injury to your intra-neural connections. Another thought is that stress interferes with the cortisol receptors in your brain. This interference can cause a chemical imbalance, killing off nerve cell connections.
Life happens to all of us. It throws us stressful situations like the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, family responsibilities, illness or emotional issues come up, and then there are environmental factors. We can't prevent these sorts of things, but we can get better at how we respond to them. Stress is due to perception, which means we can do something about it.
Whether it’s meditation, relaxation techniques, Yoga Nidra, getting more sleep, exercising or taking an adaptogen herb like Ashwagandha – we need to find ways to deal with stress.
3. They Ate Nutrient Dense Foods
The Ikaria people ate a mostly plant-based diet. They enjoyed the foods that grew naturally – olives, nuts, and seeds with small amounts of meat, fish, and dairy.
They also relied on home cooked meals, made from local ingredients. They grew vegetables and herbs in their own gardens.
It appears as if processed foods did not pass over their lips because their food was naturally grown and nutrient dense.
They ate a diet high in fiber, antioxidants and vital omega 3's which is so excellent for the brain and heart. They ate organically grown apples, not apple juice or applesauce, they ate natural oats, not fortified, sugar added puffed oats. Get the picture?
4. They Had Close Bonds to Family and Friends
Those who lived over 90 had close bonds to family, friends, and work. Researchers say close relationships are equal to physical fitness and good nutrition.
Happiness hasn’t got so much to do with your material possessions. (This is the lie advertisers use on us.) It has to do with rich and satisfying relationships.
Everyone needs to reach out and connect. People who live healthy, long lives are usually active members of their social circles. They have hobbies and activities that challenge them. They have fun times and support and connect with each other in good and bad times. In times of joy or in times of sorrow, they all rally around, supporting and encouraging; it keeps them mentally motivated and content.
5. There was Love, Joy, Hope, and Peace
These people gathered together with their friends and family to draw from their values and beliefs. They love and live in close communities, building strong bonds of fellowship with their families.
They feel joy because they love their creative pursuits and enjoy their lives as they work and play together.
Because they feel satisfied and accomplished, they experience peace. All healing that comes is self-induced from these physiological factors in their lives.
6. They are Optimists and Put Negativity Behind Them
If you are someone who believes that your best days are ‘over’, you are not living to your full potential. Some people believe that they don’t have the resources to create a better tomorrow for themselves. – They resign themselves to the fact that it just won’t happen. But there is one tool – an open mind.
When you lose that open mind, you lose your purpose because you stop growing and evolving. To be open-minded means you have to let new ideas and beliefs come in. You can change how you think and your worldview.
Admit you don't know everything and that there are possibilities you may have not considered. Your future holds plenty of opportunities than you could ever imagine. No successful people got where they were without pushing past their failures of the past.
Even though setbacks can seem like impassable mountains, consider the hurdles you have already overcome and survived.
Because nothing is forever or certain, never put a value on anything other than yourself.
Look for the positivity and beauty in each opportunity that comes your way. It is a chance to explore the unknown, exploring beyond your comfort zone.
Embrace change and opportunities as your chance to grow and learn. Whether it’s a blind date you are anticipating, an inspired idea, or an unexpected career move, embrace it. Here is your chance to learn and grow.
Too many people are afraid of their potential and never recognize the level of greatness they are fully capable of. Some people won’t even try because they are too comfy in their own mediocrity.
7. They Have Purpose in Their Life
In order for you to have a rich and satisfying life, you need a purpose.
This means you need to be authentic, truthful, introspective, and clear about where you are going and who you are. This is what gets people to live long and rich lives when they have a purpose and they are working to that end purpose. It makes them motivated and fulfilled.
You need to be true to your purpose in life, doing what makes you feel fulfilled and happy and not trying to make other people happy. This is authentic self-love. What you get back is satisfaction, happiness, pride, and gratitude.
8. Hormone Therapies are Anti-Aging Therapies
There are heaps of studies from the National Institute on Aging which point to hormones that work together for a long life – if they are in balance.
This isn’t about getting rid of wrinkles. This is about stopping the aging of the body as a whole. It’s about what keeps it functioning, mentally and physically at its peak; it's about what is going on the inside of your body.
There are amazing hormone therapies that contribute towards anti-aging. But you must get these from professional people because you need to know the right way to use them. It’s not simply replacing decreasing hormones, it’s more about maintaining a good body condition and hormone therapies can achieve this.
9. Detoxification and Fasting is Essential
Detoxification is definitely a pillar to a long and healthy life. In order for your body to be in optimal health, the body must detoxify first. The body must be able to move lymphatic fluid and blood. Unless the body cleans up “trapped blood proteins” the body will not heal itself.
Detoxification is becoming more popular as people are realizing their symptoms may be due to an accumulation of toxins.
There are preservative chemicals in food, water treatment chemicals, air pollutants, pharmaceuticals, and harmful ingredients found in personal care products.
Detoxification and fasting clear the toxins that accumulated over time, enabling your body, and giving it the strength it needs to heal and rebalance.
Some benefits of detoxification are:
- Heightened energy
- Memory improvement
- Better circulation
- Weight loss and normalization
- Reversal of the aging process
- Improved circulation
- Improved immune function and become better resistant to illness
- Better elimination
- Skin issues disappear
- Blood pressure and blood sugar normalize
- The feeling of lightness in body
10. Sleep is a Fountain of Youth
Sleep is a huge part of the longevity lifestyle. When we don’t get enough sleep, our work is affected – our relationships with other people are affected – our decision-making is affected, and our general well-being cannot function at its peak.
When we don’t get enough sleep, it is linked to:
- Cognitive issues
- Decreased telomere length
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Depressed immune system
- Nervousness and worry
- Inability to deal with stress
- Weight gain
Sleep is vital for good memory, cognitive performance, and mood control. Science and researchers tell us to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night if we want good health and longevity.
Along with helping with stress, Ashwagandha can also help to support healthy sleep. The Latin name for Ashwagandha is Withania Somnifera, which literally means “sleep inducer“. Ashwagandha is a potent stress reliever that can help you get a good night's sleep. More here on How to Sleep Better Naturally.
The Secrets of a Highly Effective, Long and Content Life
In the USA, the centenarian figures are growing too – between the years 1980- 2010, the numbers of these aged people rose from 32,000-53,000. When some of these people were questioned about living to 100 or older, many of them echoed what others from Ikaria had experienced in their lifetimes. They ate well, they slept well, and they didn’t overdrink or overeat, detoxed and fasted, and exercising regularly.
It’s as simple as that!
Studies are confirming that lifestyle is the most important thing. People are becoming more educated and taking control of their own health. And the more educated they become; the more self-care they practice.
It is possible for each one of us to live to be over 100 and maintain health. It might mean a change of lifestyle, focusing on your diet and your nutritional needs. You can bask in your own fountain of youth if you are prepared to make some changes.
A tree needs to build strong, firm roots because it can start reaching for the sun and the skies. And like the people of Ikaria, we need to build solid foundations in our life before we too can reach for the stars and fulfill all our aspirations.
What about your life? Is it built on strong foundations with strong lifestyle pillars to sustain you? When the winds of adversity and stress blow your way, there are pillars of longevity to rely on that you can count on to take you well into your golden years – they’ve been proven true.