NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN RESEARCHED THOROUGHLY. STUDIES EXAMINED REFER TO TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND EVEN TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN JAPAN AND OTHER COUNTRIES. THE STUDIES COVER DECADES OF LIVING. I EXCLUDED ALL MINOR STUDIES WHICH COVERED LESS THAN 10,000 PEOPLE AND LESS THAN 10 YEARS. I AM OF THE OPINION THAT THE CONCLUSIONS ARE VALID.
- STEP ONE: EXERCISE
Almost all humans who live beyond 80 years of age exercise approximately one hour daily.
Yes, there are people who sit and watch T.V. and smoke and live to be a hundred and twenty; but, they are the exceptions to the rule. If you like, you may want to try this route, but I advise against it.
WHAT KIND OF EXERCISE? TOTAL BODY!
Walking, swimming, bicycling, dancing, racquet sports–any exercise that uses all your muscles, your heart and your lungs and circulates your blood. Many Asian countries find that the Martial Arts like Tae Kwon Do and Jui Jitsu, are exercises that men and women can use when they are in advanced ages.
DO NOT LIFT WEIGHTS!
Weight Lifting is not an exercise. It is a technique for young men and women to increase the size of specific muscles. It does not help the heart or lungs or blood circulation. The excess muscle develops increased blood supply and most weight lifters become obese as soon as they stop.
For the very elderly, Tai Chi, a Chinese form of soft exercise and meditation is excellent.
- STEP TWO: DIET
This step is just as important as exercise.
Entire countries have populations that live the longest on the planet because of their diet. The Japanese, of course, are the leaders. The Mediterranean countries, and, in particular, those residents that still eat the Mediterranean Diet have the largest number of Centenarians. Sardinia has the highest percentage of Centenarians in the world.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS? CALORIC RESTRICTION
All populations that live long and healthy, eat very little! Every animal that lives long and healthy eats very little. This process of reducing caloric intake is known as CALORIC RESTRICTION.
The exact mechanism of why all animals live longer when their calories are reduced is still unknown. It is obvious that if you do not “overwork” your cells in the act of metabolism, there will be less chance of their destruction.
On the opposite side of the coin, fat accumulation from excessive caloric intake leads to dozens of diseases. Fat cells produce hormones that are poisonous to the body.
FREQUENCY OF MEALS
There is no need to eat three meals daily. Our ancestors in the wilderness were lucky to eat one meal daily. One or two meals are generally sufficient. Reducing the number of meals automatically reduces caloric intake.
TYPE OF FOOD
Every study I have ever read indicates that vegetables, fruit and sea food are the best ingredients.
Meat should be eaten sparsely. Beef should be avoided. Modern cattle are fed with corn, creating a meat that has an unacceptable ratio of fatty acids. Grass fed cattle is the only type of beef you should consider.
Small mammals, sheep, goat and veal have muscles with little fat. However, whatever fat is found should be avoided since it has high calories and adds cholesterol to the blood stream.
Fish and other sea food are highly recommended. These sea creatures have oils that benefit humans. They have no fat as that found in mammals. Every nation that supports a population of long living humans eats fish more than mammal meat or bird meat.
Vegetables are, of course, the major ingredient of any diet.
However, cultivated grasses, such as wheat, corn and rice should be avoided. In essence, these seeds are nothing more than sugar molecules tied in strings which we call “starches.”
Mankind evolved eating vegetables and fruit. These are simply names for those plants that grew in abundance on the planet. Humans survived by eating these plants in abundance. Early humans also killed animals, birds and fish and used them for food. But this food was rarely available.
The cultivation of plants and fruit came about only recently in terms of human existence. Our genetic endowment was completed much earlier than the advent of farming and animal husbandry.
Our bodies are constructed for the ingestion and metabolism of vegetables and fruit.
Sugar, in any form, should be avoided. Sugar is a molecule which raises the blood level of glucose rapidly. This excess load of calories cannot normally be used. The glucose then enters the liver and produces fat which is absorbed by the fat cells leading to obesity.
Unfortunately, the taste of sugar is appealing to many Western people. In the Mediterranean region and in Asia, however, people prefer fruit, and these are the areas with the greatest longevity.
FATS AND OILS
“Fats” and “Oils” are the name for one group of molecules called Lipids by scientists. “Fats” are solid lipids at room temperature, and “Oils” are liquid lipids at room temperature.
Both have more than double the caloric content of fruits and vegetables. “Fats” are found in animal bodies and are much more deleterious to the human body. Avoid the consumption of fat. “Oils” are found in plants and, although their caloric content is equal to fats, their metabolism is beneficial to the human body.
The best oil is Olive Oil, since it is a mono-unsaturated oil and instead of contributing to atherosclerosis, it prevents it. The Japanese use peanut oil because they cannot grow olive trees on their islands. Peanut oil, which has arachidonic acid as a base, is not harmful.
- STEP THREE: MENTAL STIMULATION
All population studies show that the more educated a population, the greater the longevity.
Not only does education push the individual to find solutions for his or her problems, but it places that person in a social context with other educated people who will assist in innumerable ways.
As a physician I have close, first name relationships with other doctors, lawyers, bankers and accountants. Their advice is invaluable.
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
If you read, write, play chess, engage in discussions with your peer you stimulate your entire nervous system.
The nervous system is the essence of life. Our body is dependent on our Nervous System. Our muscles would atrophy and become small without nervous stimulation. Those people who do not use their brains for active thought have the appearance of “Death Warmed Over.” They look tired, haggard and unattractive.
Children, whose brains are active and constantly running have expressions of freshness, alertness and joy.
If you use your brain for solving problems, meditating and creating, your face will demonstrate to the world that you are young in thought, if not in body.
Read, study, debate, and create. Doing these four things will stimulate your entire nervous system, not just your brain. You will be much happier and live much longer.
- STEP FOUR: AVOID CONSTANT STRESS
We all face stress! We live in a crowded world, with other competing humans who want what we have or want what we want. We are constantly involved in inter-personal situations where we must defend ourselves, our possessions and yet, maintain our morality and integrity.
The POWER GROUPS OF EVERY COUNTRY, are determined to cheat us, take our assets and control our lives. These POWER GROUPS are insatiable. They control all governments and all the means of communications. The POWER GROUPS know that if they convince people through the use of television, radio and the Internet, their control will grow and they will continue in power.
We are seeing in North Africa and the Middle East, the rebellion of the new generation of young people against the entrenched POWER GROUPS.
Nevertheless, we must always remember that POWER GROUPS are a form of human predators. They will always arise if they are destroyed; and, they will always cause you stress.
Many of us have stress from our occupation, our business or our social life. This is very natural. It will not affect our health. There are many studies that indicate that a moderate amount of stress is beneficial to the mind and body.
However, if our daily work is a form of constant stress. If we are unhappy when we go to work. If the entire day is unpleasant. This type of stress is known as Constant Stress and every study I have ever read indicates that Constant Stress wears down the immune system, interferes with sleep, causes digestive problems and shorten life.
In poverty ridden countries, most of the population is under Constant Stress. And, although these people are not obese, eat sparingly and have more than enough physical exercise, they die young.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a wealthy country or have been given by God the ability to earn a good living, but are under Constant Stress, due to work or your social situation or your harmful habits, plan an exit. No matter what you are doing Constant Stress will destroy your health and your mind.
- STEP FIVE: BE A PART OF A FAMILY
Humans are, genetically, social animals. They cannot survive independently. Every population and longevity study has emphasized that humans living in families live longer and healthier.
The bigger the family the better. The reasons for this beneficial effect is multifold:
Families socially and emotionally support all members. If one member loses strength or health or happiness, the other members of the family step in and support the ailing member. This support may simply be emotional commiseration, or it may be financial, or spiritual or even educational.
Family members, by nature, are aware of their other family members and they Empathize (feel the same emotions) as the afflicted member. They, too, feel sad when another member is sad; or confused when another is confused; or angry when another is angry.
As a consequence of this Empathy the healthy member will move in to assist the ill member. He or she will support the weaker member until the situation improves. Nowhere else in society is such close and sincere assistance available.
If you are not a member of a family, begin your plans to form or become part of a family.
- STEP SIX: DEVELOP A SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP
Modern man has dropped spirituality as an essential part of his or her life. Many people think of religion or any other spirituality as fake, insincere and worthless.
This is a grossly false mistake!
All studies of health and longevity demonstrate that Spiritual Relationships improve health and increase longevity!
A spiritual relationship does not have to be within an organized church or religion. Frequently, organized religions have degenerated into institutions for people who are insincere, lazy, or, as we have seen in the Catholic Church, degenerate.
Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and other non-theistic (no formal God) religions avoid the formal hierarchy of Western religions.
The Western religions have become aristocracies with members and officials who continue to rule from within, handing over power from one generation to the next.
One may go to these formal churches, but the important relationship is between yourself and God or a Spiritual Source.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF SPIRITUALITY
From our own personal observations, we can easily deduce that there is more to this planet, to Nature and to the Universe than we can see, feel, touch, hear or smell with the limited resources of our senses.
Simply looking at clouds tells us that there are patterns of nature that transcend what we think of as the knowledge of Physics.
We know that the Moon plays an immense part in our lives through the effect of Gravity, a force that is not physical yet moves physical objects and controls the minds of human beings.
We have all experienced the strange phenomena of people thinking thoughts that appear in our minds or predict events that occur later in time.
This area of experience cannot and has not been explained by science. But it exists. It implies that there is a non-physical, or Spiritual world, in our Universe.
If we have a relationship with the Spiritual World we have a sense of more strength in our daily experience. The Spiritual World explains what our present state of knowledge cannot explain.
Acknowledging our ignorance makes us healthier in all ways. Assuming through faith that a benign Deity or Force exists increases our optimism and prolongs longevity.