Is there one? One key? I actually think there are a lot. And most of us probably already know what they are. After chuckling through an article on Centenarians though, I thought about the things in life that truly make a difference in our mental and physical health.
But first I have to share some of the unusual ways that these Centenarians have survived for so long, according to them:
- A raw egg each day (115 year-old)
- Daily Oatmeal (108 year-old)
- Daily Dr. Pepper (104 year-old)
- 100 Push Ups daily (100 year-old)
- Pilates and weight lifting (100 year-old)
- Delivering newspapers (100 year-old)
- A bowl of ice cream every night (108 year-old)
Genetics is certainly a piece of the longevity puzzle, though research shows that even our genes can be altered by our lifestyle.(1) That is great news! But here is what makes all of the difference:
Outlook. Choices. Beliefs.
When we choose to stay involved, choose to focus on the good in a person and situation, choose to believe in something bigger than ourselves, our bodies respond in a positive way. When a man who is 98 still goes to the office 3-5 times a week to manage clients’ finances, he is using his mind and social skills. When a woman who is 100 goes to work at the laundromat 6 days a week, she feels that she has a purpose in life.(2)
I believe (and research clearly indicates) that intentionally creating opportunities in our life to enjoy other people promotes our own health. It is a happy cycle. Happy=Healthy. Healthy=Happy. Now go create some happy and healthy.
(1) October 2010 Science magazine