What's the secret to good health and longevity besides having good genes, eating healthily (and lesser too), getting enough restorative sleep, getting enough laughter each day, managing stress well and be socially connected?
Exercise and lots of movements daily!
In Bama, China, one of the world's "longevity villages", the people were outside, moving their bodies all day. People of all ages engage in physical activities like farming. Everything was done by hand because this remote area had no access to mechanical equipment like power tools until very recently and no televisions or computers. In this village, people live up to 100 years old and beyond. There are no obese people in Bama and it is rare to come across elderly people suffering from common health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gout or even cancer. The people of Bama live such long lives that at age 70, one is still considered young enough to carry out demanding physical work. Though life is tough, people are happy. Many of the villagers have never been to a hospital.
Research data also shows that people who stay physically active get extra years of life. In a Taiwan study of more than 400,000 people, researchers found active people enjoyed an extra three years of life. They needed only a bare minimum of physical activity to prolong life — 15 minutes each day. The reason relates, in part, to heart health. It’s often said in the cardiology community that you are only as old as your arteries. If your arteries age, it wears out your brain, heart, and even kidneys. This is because by being physically active, you can slow the buildup of plaque in your arteries – and keep your heart and body healthy a lot longer.
There's this 85-year old lady living at my condo whom I really revere. She exercises every morning, whether is rains or shines. Though she does not run, she does brisk walking, tai chi, qigong and even takes a public bus to the heart of KL city to do banking and run errands! Sometimes she walks to the nearby supermarket to get her groceries. She is also a frequent flyer travelling alone to Australia to visit her children and grandchildren. She's more active than most people half her age are and her complexion is silky smooth and flawless.
I just had to take a picture of this white-haired grandma to motivate you and you who still haven't gotten the inspiration to start an exercise regimen. Each morning, she would walk round the pool for over 20 minutes. Then she would work on her tai chi and qigong.
This former tailor who only started exercising regularly at a ripe old age of 60 has another health secret, which many people like myself often stop her on the street or airport to ask her. Does she take any supplements? Besides fish oil, she takes Brewer's Yeast regularly for the past 25 years. Apart from undergoing Lasik to fix glaucoma on her eyes, she has no major health issues. And she told me that her secret to her good health is exercising everday and she won't sweat over the small stuff.
So does that motivate you enough to start exercising TODAY?
Only 25 percent of longevity is in the genes; the other 75 percent is lifestyle.