“There are no answers, just stories.”
People of my generation receive many “interesting” ads for magic. I like magic. One of the latest was an ad for a ayurveda concoction made while adhering to a technique developed 5000 years ago. The magic potion is chyawanprash, a jam like substance.
Only one or two teaspoons a day of this concoction, according to the promo, promotes intellect, memory, immunity to diseases, longevity, strength of sense organs, sexual excitement, stimulation of digestion, and clarity of complexion. In a word, it provides excellent anti-aging and anti-stress properties to support the body’s natural defenses. It does not, however, help you with your finances or relationships.
Then I heard a speaker who was part of research to examine communities where people live to be 100+ years old on a regular basis without the aid of magic concoctions. This is what they found.
Centenarians generally don’t do structured exercise. (Yes!) Rather, their lives are filled with natural movement, such as gardening or walking/biking to locations rather than driving. Centenarians also learn how to downshift, which means taking time for reflection or for prayer. That would be quiet times.
These oldies but goodies also have a vocabulary for their sense of purpose, or for their reason for getting out of bed in the morning. In Japan it’s known as ikigai, or reason for living. Just having a reason to live can add up to seven years to a person’s life.
OK. You knew we’d get to diet. Such communities generally have a plant based diet with lots of veggies, beans, nuts, and seeds. However, the diet is not necessarily vegetarian. And, (drum roll) these centenarians are good at moderation, which would include ending a meal at 80% capacity rather than at the point of the spandex challenge.
Finally, there are relationships. Important in this area of life is putting family first, participation in a faith-based community that gets together about four times per month, and good friends that have your back.
Who knew it could be so easy! I’ll start with eliminating structured exercise. It’s a start.
Loveya – The Grandma
Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.