Dr. David's Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle for Longevity

Imagine planning your dream vacation, the trip of a lifetime; hours spent researching, months organizing and preparing, then finally booking the itinerary with much anticipation. The day comes, shuttled to the airport, luggage checked, plane boarded and seat taken and ready for takeoff. Once airborne, the pilot welcomes everyone aboard reassuring a good flight to ALASKA! Wait, Alaska? I’m going to Tahiti, there must be a mistake! The only mistake is that you’re on the wrong plane.

Live till 100

What’s your destination? Are you on the right plane? Has all your planning and preparation been based on the correct principles? Your destination in life, your hopes and dreams for longevity, vitality and function, especially in retirement, are common goals, but most fall short of their expectations. It is true that Americans are consistently living longer, with life expectancy for women now in the low 80s and men as high as 79. In fact, the fastest growing segment of the population today is centenarians, or those that make it to 100 years of age. It’s always inspiring to hear and see news reports of exceptional seniors celebrating their 90th birthday skydiving or competing in 1500 meter swims. Unfortunately, these are the exceptions, with most advanced seniors spending their remaining years chemically preserved in a nursing home. Our lifespan may be lengthening, but our health–span, or length of healthy years, is not. To go the distance and fulfill your desired destination of longevity with vitality, your health–span must match your lifespan or length of days. To live your ideal 100 year lifestyle, you must have a plan based on the correct principles of health and longevity and adopt a lifestyle that is producing the highest number of healthy and vital centenarians. 

Blue Zones

Many often assume that this extraordinary longevity is attributed to complicated medicines and expensive modern technological therapies, but that isn’t the case. Recent research of geographic locations called Blue Zones, where many live relatively healthy and vital lives to 100 and beyond, often achieve this longevity without drugs and expensive high tech treatments. A common lifestyle of healthy foods, daily exercise and low stress in a culture that values family, faith and friends is the simple secret.  If you weren’t fortunate enough to be born into a Blue Zone, there is still hope. Each and every one of us has the potential to fulfill a destiny of longevity with vitality. 

Lifestyle Choices

Adopting the correct principles and making the right choices for health will assure that you get on the “right plane.” Your body is designed to heal, be well and not get sick when given the right opportunities. Those right opportunities include adopting a lifestyle of daily exercise, like walking, hiking and weight training and a diet of large servings of plants, vegetables, seeds and nuts with lots of water and moderate red wine intake. Enjoy other stress reducing outlets, whether through sport, hobby or a social network with friends. Stop smoking and get 20 minutes of sun exposure three times per week to fill your vitamin D stores, bolstering your immune system and protecting you against cancer. Finally, work on your posture and spinal alignment, avoiding the dreaded hunched and forward head posture. Research shows that posture improvements can increase lung capacity and oxygenation as well as reduce stress on the cardiovascular system and slow the aging process. 

Make sure you’re on the right plane to your dream destination!

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