Commit to a Lifestyle of Good Nutrition, Regular Exercise, Good Sleep, Strong Nerve Force, Proper Breathing Techniques and Productive Endeavors
Naturally achieving wellness, longevity and living a vigorous fuller life is a commitment to a lifestyle that combines, like finely woven fabric, (i) natural Nutrition, (ii) regular Exercise routine, (iii) strong Nerve Force achieved with good and regularly scheduled Sleep, meditation and proper breathing, and (iv) a Philosophy that embraces determination and discipline, responsibility and challenge, positive relationships and productive endeavors, and Clear Thinking and Simplicity.
An important element of wellness and longevity is achieved by developing and maintaing a high and efficient Metabolism. Although not examining Longevity in terms of Metabolism, the Eastern philosophy of Tao, which means ’Way’ or path, teaches that one can reach the state of being of ’Enlightenment’ and a long life by living in harmony with the ebb and flow forces of nature. This enlightenment is achieved through the greatest of personal effort and self-discipline. Taoism equates physical and mental health and provides that only a strong and healthy body can house a strong and healthy spirit. Taoism believes human life is comprised of ‘Three Treasures’: Essense (jing), Energy (chee) and Spirit (shen). These three fundamental and interdependent levels of being, the physical, energetic and mental are the natural legacy of life. It is their relative strength and balance and our level of discipline in ’guarding’ these treasures that determines our longevity and level of health and wellness.
Similarly, each of us has the opportunity, if we live well, to achieve the same or better level of health and vigor tomorrow as we have today. That philosophy adhered to and practiced each day over the years can add many years to life expectancy. Good years! Advances in Science and technologies hold the promise to extend a high quality life even further.
Each of us also has the potential to live essentially free from illness and disease and when illness strikes it will be short, mild and not become a setback.
A day filled with nutrition, exercise, proper breathing, challenge, focused positive thinking and rest is accretive and builds the foundation for Brain Power, a stronger immune system and nerve force cumulatively for more vital living.
Efficiency and Metabolism
Eastern philosophy also instructs that each of us are conceived with a certain amount of primordial energy (yuan-chee). This primordial energy can be compared to the potential energy stored in a battery. This primordial energy begins to dissipate at birth and the rate of dissipation determines one’s lifespan. Our batteries are charged, the rate of energy dissipation is slowed and life is prolonged by eating nutritiously and breathing correctly. This thinking seems wise.
A key element in building longevity is to reach a point of optimum metabolic efficiency. This is achieved through (i) a diet rich in nutrition, (ii) long and deep breathing which increases the supply of air and oxygen with less effort, (iii) achieving and maintaining an optimal body weight which lowers the overhead required for the best functioning of the vital organs and muscles, and lowers stress on joints, (iv) exercise, which builds a strong metabolism and (v) clear and positive thinking. Our metabolism can be efficiently focused to elongate our life through good and strong living. Metabolic efficiency is achieved at the cellular, organ and system levels. The more efficient and strong our metabolism is the longer and stronger our life will be.
It is recommended that (i) 3/5 of your natural diet should consist of natural fruits and vegetables, (ii) 1/5 of your diet should be sources of protein such as organic meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and lentils, and (iii) 1/5 of our diet come from natural oils such as olive oil or peanuts, and natural sweets and starches, such as molasses and potatoes, respectively. Natural food like whole grains, vegetables and fruits that directly capture the sun’s energy are rich in Vitamin B complex and other vitamins, proteins, minerals and carbohydrates. Most processed foods are devitalized of nutrients. Historically whole grains have sustained flourishing civilizations beginning with the grains cultivated in the rich river valleys of Mesopotamia. Whole grains like wheat, oats, rice, corn, barley, rye, spelt make easy to prepare cereals and contain nutrients far in excess of the commercially processed cereals. See Health Benefits of Whole Grains - Nutrient Comparison between Whole Grains and Refined Flour Products
Dairy products like cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium, protein, carbohydrates, Vitamin D, sodium and potassium. Plain yogurt has a sweetness in and of itself and does not need added sweetening. Dutch men have become the tallest men on the planet. Dairy products are the primary food staple in the Netherlands and the increased height of Dutch men have been attributed in part to their rich consumption of dairy products.
Eating nutritious natural foods is less expensive than eating processed foods.
Hydration and Milk
Good and ample hydration is essential for everybody, but particularly for very active individuals and competitive athletes. Milk is an excellent primary source of hydration as it is an excellent source of calcium, protein, carbohydrates and Vitamin D and also contains just the right percentage of potassium and sodium that supports maximum nutrient absorption and helps maintain ideal salt balances. Nonfat milk or low fat milk is preferred in the warm climates and during summer. Low fat milk or whole milk is better in the winter as the extra natural fats help generate heat internally to stay warm. Milk is a better source of hydration and is also good food. Reliance on water alone for hydration can have the effect of flushing needed vitamins and minerals from the body. See Hydration for Endurance Athletes. Also See Nutrient Content and Health Benefits of Dairy Products
Good Breathing Technique
We’ve all experienced the fast pulse and faster breathing that comes with anticipation of an important event, like giving a speech. Advice typically given is to ‘take a deep breadth and relax’. That’s exactly right! Deep long breathing is relaxing to our system and is the correct way to breath. Breathing should be long and deep where the abdomen (not just the chest) expands with each inhalation. Deep abdominal breathing (i) increases the supply of oxygen into the blood stream as more air moves into the lower and larger sections of the lungs, (ii) helps better peristalsis necessary for optimal intestinal digestion, (iii) stimulates blood circulation in the abdominal cavity, (iv) encourages deep uninterrupted sleep, (v) calms emotions and (vi) sharpens awareness. Correct breathing also means inhaling through the nose. The nose and naval cavity play the essential role of (i) warming or cooling the air to within 1 degree of body temperature, (ii) humidifying the air and (iii) filtering dust and other particles.
Regular Vigorous Exercise
Exercise enhances and increases blood flow to each cell and to the vital organs bringing more oxygen and more nutrients to both and improving the cell performance and organ function. Exercise strengthens metabolism, extends our life’s ‘battery’ and builds cell, organ and metabolic efficiency. Learning a sport builds confidence. Exercise makes us happy. The best form of exercise is aerobic exercise. Five days a week we should engage in at least one hour of vigorous exercise. Hiking, Swimming, Cycling and Running are the best forms of aerobic exercise. An exercise routine that combines all four is ideal. On average, beginning at age 25, lung capacity decreases by 1% per year. Swimming slows down this shrinkage and can increase lung capacity.
Simple Lifestyle and Productive Endeavors
Days are best filled with meeting personal responsibilities, challenge and productive endeavors where there is an opportunity to learn, teach, contribute and improve skills. Adversity and challenge builds character and sharpens focus. The belief that the easy life is a good life is an illusion as a soft life is most often a weak life. The good life is a strong life. Worry and unexpected hardships occur in the ordinary course and play a maturing role. However, extreme worry destroys health, damages the immune system and weakens the cardiovascular and nervous system. A simple life, and that does not mean a dull or boring life, is a life of lower and better managed worries. A simple life can be a life of significant accomplishment, achievement and reward.
Strong Nerve Force and Good Natural Sleep
A simple but full life is a key ingredient to longevity. Good sleep is earned. Hard work followed by good sleep, like the yin and yang, the day and the night, and the changing seasons is the natural rhythm of life. An average of regularly scheduled 8 hours of sleep each day is essential to a high quality life. During deep sleep (i) blood pressure drops, breathing slows and muscles relax which gives the nervous system an opportunity to rest, (ii) growth and other hormones are released into the blood stream, (iii) blood supply to the muscles increases and (iv) tissue growth, development and repair occurs, including muscle growth and repair, and energy is restored. Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM sleep), which accounts for 25% of our sleep, provides energy to the brain and the body. Living a life of integrity, self respect and respect of others helps sleep with a clear conscience and is a very important factor in getting a good nights sleep.<-- back to top
Articles on Longevity
Resveratrol May Slow Aging in Humans , Bill Hendrick, Medscape