AARP Eye Center
Dan Buettner: Living Longer
By Alejandra Owens, October 23, 2009 01:23 AM
From Bernard Ohanian
Dan Buettner, author and researcher known for his work on "Blue Zones" -- places around the world where higher percentages of people than normal live long and fulfilled lives -- talked about his work in the Blue Zones and with the Vitality Project in Albert Lea, Minn.
He also added several tips for a longer and more fulfilling life, including:
1) Not exercising, but instead incorporating natural movement into your life: walking, raking leaves, getting up to change the Tv Channel rather than using the remote, etc.
2) Cutting stress by "downshifting" in your life, with quiet moments of prayer, meditation and the like
3) Having a sense of purpose in your life - a reason to live
4) Not dieting on a short-term basis, but eating wisely -- which he defined as a plant-based diet, with some meat and/or fish, and ample beans, nuts and even tofu as protein sources. He also recommended drinking two glasses of wine per day with meals; eating a big breakfast; and eating off of smaller plates.
5) Connecting with your family and community -- "putting your loved ones first" -- and surrounding yourself with people with good health habits and rich and active social and community lives.
In a later session, introduced by AARP Board President Jennie Chin Hansen, assistant surgeon general Dr James Galloway highlighted a panel that shared a PowerPoint with a map of major U.S. roadways intended to illustrate pressures on circulation, thrombosis, embolisms, and amputations. The panelists' advice? Exercise (walking is ideal), don't smoke, eat well, and maintain an ideal body weight (it turns out, Dr. Joshua Beckman of Harvard Medical School pointed out, that Mom was right when she gave us the same advice. One exception to the advice about walking: if you feel any symptoms of a heart attack, run (well, maybe not literally!) to the emergency room.