Do You Just Want to Live Longer?

by Taru Fisher on November 10, 2015

Or do you want to live longer AND healthier AND happier?

In 1965, Lester Breslow, M.D. completed a research project in Alameda County, California, that examined a group of 6,928 respondents (including approximately 500 women aged 65 years and older) to find out what makes people healthy and live a long and happy life.

They shared seven common factors:

  • They ate breakfast daily.
  • They ate at least three meals a day and avoided excesses of anything. (After 4 to 8 hours blood sugar begins to drop and we need to replenish blood sugar; therefore eating should happen every 4-6 hrs.)
  • They maintained their weight within 15% of normal. It seems that it was better to be either less than normal or higher than normal, but within 15%. Fluctuations were problematic, stability was very important.
  • They slept normal, regular hours; men slept 8 hours, women slept 7 hours. Additionally, they went to bed and arose at the same time each day.
  • None of the participants smoked.
  • Alcohol was used in moderation; no more than 2 drinks per day.
  • They exercised 30 minutes a day at least three times per week.

Even starting as late as age 45, incorporating 1 to 2 of the above items has the potential to add 21.6 additional years of life. Or, if you’re able to add 6 to 7 of these healthy habits into your lifestyle, you may be able to manage an additional 33.1 years to a happy, healthy life!

Based on current research (and my own experience), I would also recommend adding the following:

  • Meditation or some form of daily relaxation like a power nap
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Maintain a circle of close friends with whom you have FUN
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Look at the positive side of things; have positive thoughts
  • Be grateful daily – have a gratitude practice
  • Believe in yourself and build your self confidence
  • Keep your mind active and learn new things – don’t be afraid to try something new
  • Don’t dwell on age or sickness
  • Love people and try to help others

What would you like to add to your lifestyle? Pick at least one thing from the seven common factors, and one from my list and do them for 21 days. Let me know how it goes and what you notice changes for you. You can post your answers on our Facebook page,

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