Straight out of the premiere issue of Self Healing, tips from the oldest people on earth ~ the residents of Okinawa, Japan.
1. Take pride in your status as an elder. Embrace your age and wisdom. Don't treat it as a curse. In Okinawa, there are special celebrations for key birthdays between 73 and 100, where the elders touch younger family members to symoblically pass on their good lives and good health.
2. Stay Active. It is extremely important to stay agile as we age. Okinawans continue to work, garden, and follow their passions throughout their elder years.
Because of this, most over 100 still live independently.
3. Help each other. The Okinwans live according to the principle of yuimaru, or mutual assistance. Neighbors and friends help each other regularly, knowing that when they will be assisted when needed. This goes for finances as well. Groups (moais) meet regularly, each donating small amounts into a pot. Whoever needs it the most at the time takes it home.
4. Have an easy going attitude. Elders with "happy go lucky" personalities, and a calm, relaxed attitude toward life are well respected within the community. Researchers believe this is one of the most important factors in acheiving a healthy aging process.
5. Let food be your medicine. The Okinawans believe that variety in the diet is the key to good health. They were the inventors of the "eat the rainbow" plan. They believe that each meal should have at least 5 colors for both health and visual balance. Regular meals include fish, vegetables, fruit, soy, tofu, whole grains and legumes.
6. Eat in Moderation. To prevent overeating, the Okinawans practice eating until they feel 80% full. Knowing it takes up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you feel full after eating, stopping when you feel 80% full gives the brain a chance to "catch up", effectively preventing overeating and stretching the stomach.
7. Pay attention to the spiritual side of life. The Japanese have figured out how to "kill two birds with one stone" so to speak. They take part in tai-chi and karate regularly, which combine physical and spiritual workouts. They have a saying that, when translated, means "to best understand your problems, you must see both a doctor and a shaman." In other words, take care of the body, but also tend to the spirit.