Secrets to Living Longer

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TIME Magazine ran an article last year about a 115 year old woman and asked her, before her death in 2010, what her secrets were for living such a long life. Keep in mind that genetics play a part but there are so many other factors as well. She was asked her secrets and she gave her top NINE keys to long life. Her response is as follows…

1. Diet matters. A Lot! A largely Mediterranean diet — which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy fats like olive oil — gets a lot of attention and has been linked to a healthier older age, lower risk for heart disease, and even protection against memory loss.
2. Getting educated will add a few years. Educated people are more likely to land better jobs, plan for their future, and make healthier lifestyle choices.
3. Stress isn’t bad for you, necessarily. Productive, hardworking people (even in old age) are not stressed and miserable, but tend to be happier, healthier, and more socially connected than their less productive peers.
4. Above all else, be mindful. The mind does have influence on the body. Meditation teaches the mind to let go and therefore allows the body to let go as well. Self awareness takes the place of the exterior environment and increases the body and mind’s ability to function.
5. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna. Thinking positive” isn’t necessarily healthy. If you’re very optimistic, especially in the face of illness and recovery, if you don’t consider the possibility that you might have setbacks, then those setbacks are harder to deal with. Better to plan for every contingency.
6. Social inclusion is critical. Having a strong social network not only provides you with the support you need in bad times but also provides you with cohorts during the good times. A strong family and friend network is vital to good health.
7. Sitting a lot is the worst thing you can do. You sit, you become stagnant. You stop moving, you die. Being active, moving, stretching, walking is the key to a healthy body and long lasting health. And it’s fun too.
8. Your personality says it all. Conscientiousness beats out all other personality type when it comes to life expectancy. The qualities of a prudent, persistent, well-organized person, like a scientist-professor — somewhat obsessive and not at all carefree are the qualities that help lead to a long life. A carefree person takes needless chances. A conscientious person makes smart choices.
9. Sometimes, it’s all about the genes. Even though the lifestyle you lead and the outlook you have on life makes a world of difference, you can’t overlook that good genes help play a part in living a long, healthy life.

Hendrikje Van Andel-Schipper lived to be 115 and passed away peacefully in her sleep in her home in Denmark.She was active up until the time of her death. She had to have known something of importance. Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, 113 years

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About leisatwatkins

In May 2011, I hit an all time low in my life and an all time high in my weight. I was 199 pounds and the idea of hitting 200 scared me. I had tried every known diet, HCG, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, the grapefruit diet. I'd even tried Phen-phen when I was younger and Dexatrim before that. While I'd lose a little weight, I would always gain it back and then more. I knew the yo-yo dieting was not healthy for my body and it was definitely wreaking havoc on my mental wellness. I didn't know what to do and I was looking into taking drastic surgical measures to lose weight. That's when a friend of mine told me his story about losing over 200 pounds without pills, surgery, or starving himself. Not only did he lose the weight, but he kept it off. What did I have to lose? I asked him to share the secret with me. Now, only six short months later, I weigh 140 lbs and am working on losing 5 more. That will put me back to my weight that I was in HS, college, and before I had children. And I've done it with my friend's help as my Health Coach, without starving or even exercising, although I love to walk everyday. I haven't felt hungry at all in this process. How many "diets" can say that? I feel fantastic! I've felt great since the first week on this program. Let me be very clear about this. This is NOT a diet. This is not something you do for a little while, lose the weight, then go back to your old eating habits. This program is a life changing plan to help you eat healthier, make food choices that are tailored to your body, and bring you to a state of optimal physical health. If like me, you are tired of diets that don't work, then let me show you a life style plan that does.

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