Have you seen this 81 year old body building grandmother? She is amazing! But before you dismiss her as superhuman or someone who lucked out with "good genes", know that she puts in the work to be and stay fit. It may not be your goal to be a bodybuilder, but we all want to feel good in our bodies, have lots of energy, age gracefully and be in great health!
Exercise, including weight bearing exercise, is critical to maintaining strong bones, youthfulness and overall health. A healthy diet is the indisputable counterpart to longevity and graceful aging. Many of the illnesses and diseases that we associate with old age can be avoided with this combination of exercise and good nutrition, and have less to do with old age , and everything to do with to do with inactivity and years of poor nutrition.
For many, good health seems so far out of reach that they often give up and spout the old cliché, “you have to die of something”. However, the problem isn’t dying, it is the suffering with numerous maladies and terrible health for years before death actually occurs. So it’s really about how well you live until you die that matters most. And the good news is that we have a huge amount of control over how that goes down!
A testament to the power of diet over aging is the existence of what’s known as Blue Zones. Blue Zones are enclaves of people who are living healthy lives, well into their 90’s, 100’s and beyond. In these communities, dementia is almost non-existent and people are functionally independently well beyond 100 years of age. After studying these groups around the world, ranging from Okinawa, Japan to Loma Linda, California, researchers were able to pin down common characteristics among the groups.
Here are the top 5 habits of Blue Zone centenarians (100 years old or more) that will help you stay youthful and full of energy for years to come:
They eat lots of beans (daily). Bean were their primary protein source with chickpeas being the cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world.
They eat lots of greens, whole grains and vegetables.
They eat a primarily a plant-based diet with very little meat, if any.
They stay active with daily walks and activity.
They have a strong community, spirituality and family interaction. They socialize regularly within their community and families.
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