How To Live To Be 100!
I personally don’t care to live to be 100, but then again, if I were living on a beautiful Greek island, I might change my mind. Ikaria is an island in the Aegean Sea. It’s beautiful and it’s filled with people who live very long lives! So what are their secrets? They’ve shared a few of them with us.
1. Sleep in and take naps.
A 2008 study conducted by the University of Athens Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health studied more than 23,000 Greeks and found that occasional napping was associated with a twelve-percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. But regular napping—at least three days weekly—was associated with a thirty-seven-percent reduction. I’m all for a good nap.
2. Stop worrying about being late.
I think they call it “Island time” and it works for pretty much any island you live on. You’ll get there when you get there, and not a minute sooner!
3. Grow a garden, nurture it, and eat from it.
Eat plants, avoid animal products, consume lots of olive oil, avoid processed foods, and drink wine in the company of good friends. I like that.
4. Never give up your sense of purpose.
Studies have linked early retirement to reduced life expectancy. In Okinawa, another community where many people live to be older than a hundred, people embrace the notion of ikigai—“the reason for which you wake up in the morning.” It gets older folks out of bed and off the sofa so they can make a difference in the community. The Nicoyans in Costa Rica use the term plan de vida to describe a lifelong sense of purpose.
5. Be Intimate.
A study of Ikarian men between sixty-five and one hundred found that eighty percent of them claimed to have sex regularly, and a quarter of that self-reported group said they were doing so with “good duration” and “achievement.”
6. Take a placebo at least once per day.
Ikarians take a spoonful of honey every morning. They believe it is medicine and use it for both prevention and treatment of illness and injury. They also regularly consume a homemade tea made of a special blend of herbs they believe extends their lives.
7. Walk up twenty hills a day.
To get around the island, Ikarians walk. And it’s hilly where they live. Exercise isn’t something they do at the gym. It’s a built-in part of their lifestyle.
8. Cultivate a sense of belonging.
Feeling like part of a community can cut your risk of heart disease in half and extend your life up to ten years. Be part of a community where you fit in. Ikarians live in multigenerational homes and avoid spending too much time alone.
9. Go to church.
Studies show attending religious services can extend your life up to fourteen years.
10. Surround yourself with people who follow #1 through #9.