I have been following Dan Buettner's research adventure to Ikaria in the Aegean Sea. In the first seven days he has teased out a number of factors that have obviously contributed to individual longevity on that island. Here are a few...
His findings estimate that 80% of the longer life equation can be contributed to lifestyle... the remaining 20% to genes. This means we can all make a significant difference to our potential wellness by doing a lifestyle check-up and making some changes. My motto... stay away from the public health care system at all costs... its no all inclusive hotel!
Ikarians produce a special honey that is high in antioxidants and has some extraordinary healing powers. Make sure you are choosing food items that provide the necessary vitamin and mineral intakes. If not... supplement.
Their Mediterranean diet of herbs, vegetables, beans, little meat and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over many dishes is a winner. Good food leads to great socialization, sharing and a glass of wine.
Napping appears to be important because it lowers the heart rate and production of stress hormones. Better sleep leads to more work. More work leads to more exercise. More exercise leads to better health.
Stay as active as you can. Do things manually rather than mechanically. Ikarians are used to walking everyday as part of their lifestyle. Herding goats in mountainous terrains is a big thing. One priest aged 95 uses an ATV to travel to his parishoners. Stay mobile. Get a pedometer and start a walking regime... with a minimum goal of 10,000 steps a day.
Family community enables grandparents to visit with grandchildren everyday. That's their purpose and it gives them the opportunity of both giving and receiving love and also the opportunity of passing along wisdom and family history inter-generationally.
Stay tuned for more of Dan's thinking. Watch his research.