Are Your Lifestyle Choices Killing You? Try These 8 Simple Rules to Live Long and Strong.

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Longevity is basically a crap shoot.

We all know that.

At any moment we can get hit by a bolt of lightning or fall into a deep dark hole.

Chances are that you’ll live as long as your body holds up depending on how well you take care of it and how environmental factors will affect you.

The question is how do you see yourself living in old age?

How do you visualize yourself in old age?

1.    Hobbling helplessly in a nursing home
2.    Staying vital, active and strong until the end

Hopefully, you chose number 2.  Longevity has very much to do with your attitude and is also helped along by following 8 simple rules.

1.    Stay Positive

There are many people who have experienced extreme adversity, such as living in a Nazi death camp, that have gone on to live long, productive lives well into their 90’s and beyond.  They were eternally optimistic and found their true purpose in life.  Despite their challenges, they were always certain they would survive.

2.    Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes

In the longevity hotspots of the world, such as Sardinia Italy or Okinawa Japan, the local centenarians have never had to go on a “diet plan.”  They never worried about cleansing or detoxing.  For all of their long and healthy lives they have eaten fresh foods from their native regions and often from their own gardens.  The emphasis on their diets consisted of 80 percent vegetables and fruits and 20 percent meat, dairy or fish. Their meals were eaten slowly with others and were much smaller than our typical American portion size. They typically ate until almost full and would often have a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage with their meals, but did so moderately.

In most of these areas there is very little heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

3.    Drink Water

Water is the elixir for a long and healthy life.  Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization for those over 50.  Water cleanses the body, keeps skin, nails and hair looking young, and enables organs to function at full capacity.

The purer the water and free from harmful chemicals the better.  In longevity areas water is found in springs or glaciers containing natural minerals and trace elements. There is no need to drown yourself by drinking gallons of water, but sip it throughout the day to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.  Be wary of drinking sodas and other drinks with artificial flavors and coloring.  Pure water is the best medicine you can give yourself to stay healthy for life.

4.    Move Your Body

Gyms are not necessary or even in existence in most longevity hotspots.  Instead, people simply walk from one destination to another such as the store, church, or to visit friends.  For strength training they will do chores such as house cleaning, gardening, picking olives or fixing fences into old age.  You won’t find them attempting to run marathons or sweating profusely pumping iron.   Many elders in those areas have had active sex lives well into their senior years.

5.    Have a Social Life

Centenarians in most parts of the world are socially connected to a network of friends and family that offer support and nurturing.  They are very rarely alone.  Meals are enjoyed in the company of multi generations of family members and friends are treasured for life. Unplug yourself from Facebook, Twitter and online pseudo relationships on a regular basis and put yourself in the company of “real life” friends and family.

6.    Stay Intellectually Challenged

It is said that when a person decides they no longer need to learn, they die.  People who live alert and vital lives to 90 and beyond tend to stay curious and continue to pursue new areas of interest.  This keeps their brains functioning and prevents the onset of dementia.  Even though an elderly person may not be interested in solving crossword puzzles, they are still engaged in finding solutions to life’s challenges and aren’t the type to give up easily.

7.    Have a Sense of Spirituality

Whether or not a person is religious or not does not mean they don’t have a sense of spirituality.  Many centenarians have found some type of connection to a higher power whether it’s through deep contemplation, meditation or oneness with nature.  They find support from somewhere other than themselves that gives them the ability to move forward and survive.

8.    Find the Comedy of Life

If you look at some of the celebrities that have lived to be 90 or over, such as George Burns, Bob Hope, Betty White, Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller and Ernest Borgnine, they’ve had a profound sense of humor and the ability to not take life as seriously as most.  Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress.  People who live long tend to not be easily depressed and do not get hung up on the small stuff that causes anxiety in others.  They are more laid back and adaptable.

Although we can’t predict if we will live to be 90 or more, we can certainly do our best to make sure to live long and strong so that our quality of life in old age is as comfortable and satisfying as possible.  Will power and the strength to survive comes from inside ourselves. We have the power to live the best life possible.

Now that you’ve got some tips for living a long and healthy life be sure you don’t miss this article on 7 of the best weight loss foods that will help you shed pounds.

Written on 9/19/2013 by Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski. Rebecca is a blogger, and 30 plus year professional voiceover actor. She is the founder of BabyBoomster.com – Secrets and Recipes for Longevity. Her goal is to help others live as long as possible with the best possible outcome.

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Photo Credit: Province of British Columbia

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