Live long and healthy

Want to live a long, healthy life? Then why not learn how healthy 100 year-olds do it?

Studies of the  five spots around the world with the highest concentrations of 100 year-olds have revealed communities with eight habits which lead to healthy, long lives.

Multi-generation family gardening in the park

The most reported resilience-promoting factor was strong and long-lasting social bonds with family members and friends. The second most commonly cited habit was an outdoor lifestyle immersed in daily physical activity.

Third highest was involvement in family worship activities through regular church attendance and involvement in church ministries. A fourth was consumption of simple foods especially home-grown foods, with an abundance of vegetables and fruits.

Fifth most important was engaging with the natural world, especially gardening and walking in woods.  Sixth was getting at least 8 hours of sleep a day.

Seventh most important is a basic belief: that their actions will result in positive outcomes in their life.  The eighth is performance of regular charitable acts and altruism.

The authors of this study contend that these habits reduce the effects of chronic stress.

They believe that harmful biological changes associated with toxic chronic stress may be caused by inflammatory mechanisms. These eight habits help reduce inflammation.

The authors further contend that creating these habits in childhood “can help build up an immunity to the environmental and mental challenges that life brings.”

The key is a reduced reaction to traumatic life experiences.  Such experiences are going to happen to all of us.  How we respond to them determines how we survive and thrive.


For more details on this study, see: