It’s a cloudy, hot and humid day in Toronto today. After a gruelling hot power yoga class, I am now sitting with my honey, listening to him play guitar to whatever’s playing in the background (currently, Arcade Fire’s newest record, “The Suburbs” – superb!), drinking my organic coffee with soy milk and agave – yes, life is good. 🙂
… but back to the happiness project!
One of my ultimate favourite books on health and vitality is Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones. I highly, highly recommend this book. Dan, a national geographic reporter, spent some time surveying the world’s oldest populations to see what characteristics and behaviours have helped them live to 100 and well over in some cases. The book really needs to be read in full but Dan has kindly summarized all 200 plus pages into a top ten (because Oprah likes sound bites). So here are the Blue Zones Top Ten (for TV):
- De-convenience your home – lose the remote, buy a light garage door and lift it yourself, use a shovel instead of a snowblower
- Eat Nuts – Have a can of nuts around your office or home, eat a handful daily
- Drink Sardinian wine – Sardinian canonau wine has the world’s highest levels of antioxidants. Drink a glass or two a day
- Play with your children – this is excellent low intensity exercise and will strenthen a family. Both associated with longer life expectancy
- Grow a Garden – This proven stress reducer will put your body through the range of motion and yield fresh vegtables
- Hour of Power – Downshift daily with a nap, meditation, prayer or a quiet walk—destressing is a proven way to slow aging
- Eat Tofu – Arguably the world’s most perfect food, eaten by the world’s longest lived women. Contains a plant estrogen that makes skin look younger
- Get a Tan – Doctors are rethinking the notion of slathering yourself with sunscreen. Up to half of Americans are Vitamin D deficient—a condition that can double your chance of dying in any given year. A tan not only looks healthy, it is.
- Donate your large dinner plates – eat off 9 inch plates as the Okinawans do and reduce calorie consumption at dinner by 20-30%
- Write Down your Personal Mission – Know and putting into practice your sense of purpose can give you up to a decade of good life.
There you go, the secret to centenarian vitality in 10 simple steps. To quote a flick I saw yesterday, “knowledge is knowing how to clean the windshield; wisdom is doing it”. Time to be wise!