Will You Dance When You're 92?

This Saturday I threw a surprise birthday party for my mom’s 60th - she loved it!

We had friends and family come from all over - We danced with belly dancers, we sang Armenian songs, and we ate great food together.

It was perfect.

What I really found interesting was how much life everyone had. The average age was about 65, but every one had the energy of little kids, especially when the belly dancers arrived - even Sydelle.

Sydelle is one of my family’s oldest friends - she’s 92 (and enjoying every part of it).
When I see older people thriving it always gets me thinking…

“What’s their secret?”

I looked into it and found some great information from National Geographic’s Dan Buettner. 

Dan had the same curiosity I did, so in 2008 he went out and found the common thread that allows people to live long and healthy lives.

He focused specifically on regions where there’s a high percentage of 100 year-olds living well.
These regions included: 
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Costa Rica

When Dan concluded his research there were 9 things that made the difference: 

  • Move naturally- walking and gardening were common activities of the centenarians
  • Hara hachi bu - eat until you are 80% full and no more
  • Plant slant - eating meat once a week and no more. Chicken, fish, and vegetables primarily make up their diets. 
  • Grapes of life - a glass of wine a day or Sake for Japanese may benefit your health
  • Purpose now - having a sense of purpose is key in growing old. Something that motivates you to get up in the morning. 
  • Down shift - taking time to relax, meditate, or slow down will help you enjoy and appreciate life more
  • Belong - being part of a community, religious groups or other organizations benefit health
  • Loved ones first - prioritizing social life with friends and family is very important. 
  • Right tribe - people who share common goals and a healthy lifestyle encourage you to live healthy too. 

It was incredible! 

After reading Buettner's findings, I realized that Sydelle practices many, if not all of the things on that list.

She is an avid rose gardener, was a vegetarian for decades, and has always been very social…

What can we learn from this?
Living a long healthy life is not just about food and exercise.
It’s also about enjoying nature, drinking a nice wine, living with purpose, and being part of a community.

And if we can add at least one of these habits to our daily routine, we can live a long healthy life like Sydelle… 

I’m going to start by focusing on my community.

Which one of the 9 will you commit to today?

Happy Living, 


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