Wellness: One Day at a Time

I think that blogs are a great place for lists...most of them are a little shoddy but some contain little gems like this one. Don't forget the advice at the end. The original title for the article is "How to Live Until 100 - 9 Healthy Habits" and can be found here.

1) Move naturally -- be active without thinking about it. Identify activities you enjoy and make them a part of your day.

* Inconvenience yourself: ditch the remote, the garage door opener, the leaf-blower; buy a bike, broom, rake, and snow shovel.
* Have fun, be active. Ride a bike instead of driving, for example.
* Walk! Nearly all the centenarians we've talked to take a walk every day.

2) Cut calories by 20 percent. Practice "Hara hachi bi," the Okinawan reminder to stop eating once their stomachs are 80 percent full.

* Serve yourself, put the food away, then eat.
* Use smaller plates, plates, bowls, and glasses.
* Sit and eat � not in the car or standing in front of the fridge.

3) Plant-based diet. No, you don't need to become a vegetarian, but do bump up your intake of fruits and veggies.

* Use beans, rice or tofu as the anchor to your meals.
* Eat nuts! Have a 2-ounce handful of nuts daily (it'll stop you from digging in the chip bag).

4) Drink red wine (in moderation)

* Keep a bottle of red wine near your dinner table.
* Keep the daily intake to two servings or less.

5) Plan de Vida: determine your life purpose. Why do you get up in the morning?

* Write your own personal mission statement.
* Take up a new challenge�learn a language or an instrument.

6) Down shift -- take time to relieve stress. You may have to literally schedule it into your day, but relaxation is key.

* Don't rush - plan on being 15 minutes early.
* Cut out the noise - limit time spent with the television, computer, or radio on.

7) Belong / participate in a spiritual community.

* Deepen your existing spiritual commitment.
* Seek out a new spiritual or religious tradition.

8) Put loved ones first / make family a priority.

* Establish family rituals (game night, family walks, Sunday dinners).
* Show it off: create a place for family pictures and souvenirs that shows how you're all connected.
* Get closer: consider downsizing to a smaller home to promote togetherness.

9) Pick the right tribe -- the people surrounding you influence your health more than almost any other factor. Be surrounded by those who share Blue Zone values

* Identify your inner circle. Reconsider ties to people who bring you down.
* Be likable!

Sound too simple? Remember, simple doesn't mean easy; I don't recommend trying to change all these behaviors at once. Pick two or three to work on at a time. Research has shown that if you can sustain a behavioral change for six weeks, you should be able to sustain it for the rest of your life. Which, as the world's centenarians have shown us, should be a long, long time.

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