Image from the New York Times - Mikyung Lee
There's a story in this week's New York Times that begins:
"At a pool party this summer, Johnnie Cooper climbed onto the diving board, executed a perfect dive and then joined a raucous game of Marco Polo. The occasion? Her 90th birthday."
Gotta love this woman and her zest for life...
And it seems the research is unequivocal - Johnnie Cooper's attitude to aging is what we all should adopt.
Staying engaged and involved with friends, family and your community plus daily exercise -preferably outdoors - and healthy eating seem to be the simple answers to enjoying life for decades.
Netflix is streaming a great series Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones that examines the lifestyle of centenarians. Author Dan Buettner visits the so-called Blue Zones where people live seemingly without any Western society diseases well into their 100s.
The common denominator is friends, family and community, exercise, outdoors, daily work and diet.
Why, then, don't we all adopt this type of lifestyle to maximise our years on the planet, to feel great and stay mobile well beyond expectations, just like Johnnie Cooper?
Elderly residents in the Blue Zones still work. Many of the villages in which they reside are in hilly terrains and they cycle or walk them daily. They largely live off the land, consuming what they grow, their diets high in vegetables, legumes and fruit based.
Generations of their families live in the same village so everyday they interact with family and other villagers they have known probably since birth.
Contrast that with the aging population in most Western countries.
Obesity is rife, creating major health and mobility issues. We drive or take public transport everywhere. Society promotes and encourages retirement around mid-60s, often cutting off avenues of socialisation people have enjoyed for years, not to mention activities.
Few people have a passion or hobby; they view retirement as the next step towards an aged care facility.
It doesn't have to be this way and the more we can encourage everyone to live life, get out and maintain social networks, stay involved, eat healthily and sparingly, and exercise, we might all end up celebrating out 90th like Johnnie Cooper.
Netflix - Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones
New York Times article - https://tinyurl.com/2hejex69