Some say that life is too short, when in fact most of us take too long to begin living it. Many of us have grand travel plans to that infamous place called "someday" - the place we'll go to enjoy ourselves and try something we have always wanted to try. Of course, not until our obligations and responsibilities are taken care of.
The problem with this mentality is that by the time we finally find the time, our life choices have caught up with us, and our quality of life is not what it once was. Spend some time with Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and you will be inspired to learn that our DNA is not our destiny. Milner explains that how long we live our lives, and how well we live it, is remarkably elastic and can be manipulated.
Citing Dan Buettner and the research that produced the hit book Blue Zones, Milner references areas in Italy, Japan, Costa Rica, Greece and the U.S. that have large population segments of citizens living disability-free to 100 and beyond. For example, in Loma Linda, Calif., studies show an average life span that is 10 to 12 years longer than the average American's.
While the characteristics and behaviors won't be found on an infomercial, try these tips to improve your physical, emotional and mental health:
• Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
• Move naturally - exercise
• Hang out with family and people you really enjoy
• Think positive thoughts - expect the best
• Have an attitude of gratitude
The results can be astonishing. Gwen Johnson, who is over 90 years old, recently jumped out of an airplane to celebrate life. Sid Newman, 90, just launched a new company. Bill Bell is training for his 25th Ironman at the age of 85; he started participating in the sport at 60.
As we pursue methods to provide products and services that can engage people in healthy lifestyle choices, we can create an environment that supports the information shared by Colin. Better yet, we can embrace the characteristics and behaviors noted above through our own lifestyle choices. People hear what they see - hopefully they can hear you loud and clear.