While I was writing my ‘Age is an Attitude’ book recently, a timely article came out on ‘The 12 Easy Strategies to Live to 100 and Thrive while doing it:’ I thought you may like to have this latest research.
While it looks at World Health Statistics of 2014, it also looks at trends moving forward. While the average life expectancy in Canada and the USA was now 80 for men and 84 for females, Australia and Japan tended to fair a few more years of longevity. The point here is that in this growing trend of living longer “They also remain vital and productive for many more years than previously” says Dr Zachary Levine.
In the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan the 85 year olds are the fastest growing group of older adults. This is up to a 25% increase than only five years earlier. “Moreover, 22 percent more were hitting the 100 – mark than did five years earlier”. So turning 100 is becoming trendy and expected. More interesting is that the ladies have a 21% higher life expectancy than that of the men.
Zoomer Media Limited 2017 then put out the 12 easy strategies to live to 100 and thrive while doing so. We have already mentioned quite a few of these, and it’s great to see them verified in further studies. So for ‘Living Long and Aging Well’ they suggest:
- Train Your Brain: Keeping your mind sharp is really important well into your 80’s and 90’s. We know through neuroscience, and have given examples in this book, that you can train your brain to have the aging lifestyle you choose. We can generate new neural pathways anytime we want simply by thinking and deciding we want to do something. Mental laziness is a choice and one you can change in an instant and at any age.
- Get Gardening: Mixing the exercise of gardening to the attachment to Mother Earth has proved through many studies that it promotes well-being, decrease depression, and is adaptable to everyone’s ability. We have a gardening ‘working bee’ where I live and I love the opportunity to get down and get dirty. We are now offering residents the chance to grow their own vegetables, which has proven extremely popular.
- Lift to Last: Jim Karas, a Personal Trainer, has suggested that older adults do strength training in preference to cardio exercise. Recently on the TV they showed a nun here in Australia who retired as a nun and decided to get fit. She went to the gym five years ago and began strength training. She does it diligently 4 days of the week. Five years later she is the fittest over 70 year old female in Australia today. Jim Karas says “Strength training may determine whether an individual leads a dependent or independent lifestyle after the age of 70. Only strength training reverses age-related muscle loss”.
- Stretch it Out: There are so many studies that look at Yoga, Stretching and Meditation that offer greater functional fitness in all areas of our body. Some of the renown benefits include relaxing the nervous system, promoting healthy hearts, improving digestion and improving positive mental attitudes.
- Go for Mushrooms: While this may not suit all of us because of its ‘yeast’ content, others can enjoy the low sodium and high potassium and its ability to contain vitamin D which has numerous benefits of lowering Type 2 Diabetes and reduces occurrences of rheumatoid arthritis. They also have high levels of anti-oxidants which fight against free radical damage and inflammation.
- Get the Blues: With “Vitamin A and C and flavonoids in this popular berry it is brilliant for lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol) and protecting our vascular system” says food chemist Wilhelmina Kalt.
- Know Your Colours: Yellow-Orange color vegetables and Greens are all powerful anti-oxidants that may be most useful in lowering the propensity for cancer, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. These are more common in older adults.
- Eat to Fight: Cancer fighting foods are worth including in your diet such as cabbage, broccoli and buck choy, tomatoes, sweet potato, lemons, blackberries, brown rice and wheat berries. All of these have research based evidence on the possibility of preventing various cancers.
- Sweeten the Deal: Pure Canadian Maple Syrup contains a host of anti-oxidants so could be used as a successful sweetener.
- Brush Up: Teeth and gums are vital to keep clean. “Extensive scientific research has linked oral health to overall health and suggests that gum disease can contribute to many age related ailments including diabetes, heart disease and stroke, respiratory disease and rheumatoid arthritis” says this article and much more research backs this information up.
- Hit the Pool: Swimming, and Aquafitness are brilliant ways for you to gain strength and mobility in an exercise environment that massages you while you work out. My Dad and Mum did Aquafitness for over 14 years and I continue to attend the classes twice weekly.
- Say Yes to Sex: This varies markedly throughout our aging process for a variety of reasons. “Any activity that increases the dopamine level in our biochemistry will stimulate pleasure, energy and activity. So good sex cannot hurt in whatever form it is practiced – it should increase intimacy and well-being, and that does help to increase longevity,” says Barry Worsfold.
So there you have the latest research on the ‘12 Easy Strategies to Live to 100 and Thrive,’ while doing it. Changing two habits every month can change your life. Making the decision to change can happen in an instant and add years to your life.