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Healthy aging and longevity: What is the secret?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate

SAN DIEGO, April 23, 2013 – Healthy aging is a popular  topic, especially for those of us who are members of the Baby Boomer generation,  as well as for those who are already senior  citizens.

With 10,000 people turning 65 every day for approximately the next 20 years,  the Silver Tsunami creates an explosive and never before experienced social,  political, demographical, and economic phenomenon.

According to 2010 Census data,  about one in 4,400 Americans lives to age 100.

As our life expectancy is anticipated to continue increasing significantly,  it is natural for us to examine ways to enrich our life experience and overall  health.

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What should we be doing to maintain our health and maximize our life’s journey?

According to Mache Seibel, M.D. in the Huffington Post on April 21,  2013, “Our genes only dictate about 10 percent of how long we live… So a lot of  it has to do with what you do with what you have.”

“The Blue Zones,” written by Dan Buettner, examines longevity. Dr. Seibel  incorporates some of Buettner’s views in his following: “15 Tips That Help You  Live to Be 100.”

Start planning for longevity today. This tip includes financial and  health-related issues.

Eat healthy. It is recommended that you avoid junk food; limit prepared food,  sugary drinks and sodas; eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and eat organically  to avoid pesticides.

Control your weight. It is harder on your heart and knees if your body  carries excess weight. Choose healthy snacks, and control portions during  regular mealtimes.

Don’t add salt to your food. Salt is contained in most foods already and  increasing salt contributes to high blood pressure and other ailments.

Take a multivitamin and fish oil daily. Consult your healthcare professional  to ensure appropriateness and to determine if you have any allergies.

Maintain family units. In today’s cultures and societies imbued with strong  family units, oftentimes with multigenerational households, there are  significantly increased life spans of its family members.

Eat on a smaller plate. According to Dr. Seibel, “People in Okinawa, Japan  use plates about the size of salad plates. They live seven good years longer  than the average American and have one-fourth the rate of breast and colon  cancer and one-six the rate of heart disease.”

Meditate daily. It only takes 10 minutes each day to reduce stress and  improve your health, which includes body, mind, and spirit.

Remain active. Staying active and keep moving.  Safe exercising 2-3  times per week pays great dividends and improves our overall health.

Stay connected. Relationships help us live longer.

Have a purpose. It’s one of the key points in my “Living Successfully: My  Healthy Aging Checklist.” You must find your purpose, which may change  throughout your life. It is worth approximately seven years of life  expectancy, according to Buettner.

Have a day of rest. Every major religion includes a day of rest among their  practices. This is beneficial  and key to longevity.  The world can wait one day, as you relax your mind,  body, and spirit and focus on your own life and well-being.

Remain spiritual. Belief in something greater than ourselves increases  longevity.

Choose friends wisely. “Birds of a feather” is a common social  phenomenon.  So, if our closest friends and associates are obese, chances  are you are or will be too.

Smile more. A positive attitude will help you live longer, and increase the  well-being of those around you too.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is President and CEO of At Your Home Familycare  in San Diego, California. In addition to her positions as entrepreneur, health  care executive, educator, media guest and contributor, Edwards-Tate is also a  wife, daughter, and dog lover. Read more LifeCycles in the Communities at The  Washington Times. Follow At Your Home Familycare on Facebook and on Twitter  @AYHFamilycare.

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