Did you read my blog post this week about the major factor affecting aging well? If you read it and thought, there is not just one thing, you are exactly right! Outside of following Jesus, there is rarely just one thing that makes a difference. But there are a few lifestyle characteristics that have been repeatedly shown in different studies to contribute to longevity.
In Dan Buettner's book, Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest, he claims there are certain areas of the world where people live the longest. In these zones, he found the following 6 characteristics to be shared by each group:
Family – put ahead of other concerns
Semi-vegetarianism – the majority of food consumed is derived from plants
Constant moderate physical activity – an inseparable part of life
Social engagement – people of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities
Legumes – commonly consumed
His research was criticized because of lack of proof of birth certificates in the regions. But as you are probably aware, most of these traits have been claimed in other longevity studies. In fact, he goes on to give us 9 lessons from the people he studied. These lessons resonate with me. See if they do the same for you:
Moderate, regular physical activity.
Moderate caloric intake
Plant-based diet - mostly plants
Moderate alcohol intake, especially wine.
Engagement in spirituality or religion.
Engagement in family life.
Engagement in social life.
What do we not see here? Super strict diets or workout plans, workaholism, isolation. The overarching theme seems to be taking care of your body, mind, soul, and spirit.
This all reminds me of the Greatest Commandment:
When you love God, He will show you how to love yourself (practice good self care with eating, exercise, and rest), and how to love others (be engaged in community). Aging well will be a by-product of your life well lived! ❤️