For the last 15 years, author Dan Buettner has been traveling to communities all around the world where people live the longest. He and teams of researchers have observed some commonalities – in both lifestyle and environment – across these communities, which gives us all some insight into how we can live healthier, longer, lives.
Here are Buettner’s 9 Secrets to Living a Long, Healthy Life
1. Move naturally. Don’t do marathons or pump iron; work around the house, garden, walk, cycle, walk when talking on the phone.
2. Know your purpose. Have a reason for waking up in the morning.
3. Kick back. Find ways to shed stress, whether it’s praying, napping or going to happy hour.
4. Eat less. Stop eating when you are 80% full.
5. Eat less meat. Beans are a cornerstone of most centenarians’ diets.
6. Drink in moderation. Only the Seventh-day Adventists in California didn’t have one to two glasses a day [like the other communities did].
7. Have faith. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter, but attending faith-based services (4 times a month) does.
8. Power of love. Put families first, including committing to a partner and keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby.
9. Stay social. Build a social network that supports healthy behaviors.
Since each of these could require some major life changes for most Americans, I’ll do what I always do: remind you to start small! Rather than be overwhelmed by this list, pick one secret and start with that. I don’t think Buettner would recommend stressing out over how you’re going to de-stress!