I haven’t met many people in life who made it a point to say they were going to live to be 100. Not as a goal, but a fact.
It was two people who told me that.
And I don’t mean just to be funny. More like legit centenarian life planning.
That sounds terrible to you?
Let me guess, because you imagine a frail, dilapidated, broken down person?
Newsflash my friend, the folks that truly rock the CENT lifestyle are physical bosses long after most seniors are anchored to their recliner.
This is no bash at the modern day seniors of America, but there are a number of things that define a long life of thriving activity characteristic of those getting to 100 years of age.
So let’s hear the magic.
To be clear, the majority of the examples are based off the 100+ folks in rural Japan.
It’s no secret how these wizards of age eat. Loads of veggies, whole grains, and protein. Fish primarily.
Crazy. Who would have thought.
But it isn’t just what they ARE eating, but also what they AREN’T. There’s no heading to McDonald’s on the way home from work or getting a pizza on the weekends. The CENTS are eating this way all the time as a regimen and a lifestyle.
It makes complete sense though considering the activity level they carry pretty much their entire life. After all, eat good, feel good.
Let’s not sugar coat this.
Eat like crap and you are not going to have the energy to be working outside most of your life.
These guys and gals are either farming into their “senior years” or at a minimum have their own garden.
Gardening brings awesome activity to their life, stress reduction, and loads of great veggies too. Micronutrients for the win.
How about that vitamin D. Loads of benefits from bone and immune system health to helping with depression.
These long living individuals spend time outside every day basically year round keeping optimal vitamin D levels.
Having a social connection for them is huge. As they climb up in age it relieves stress knowing that there is someone there for them to lend emotional or financial support in times of need.
A group of good people that one interacts with on a regular basis keeps mood elevated and the mind at ease knowing they are there.
Even into old age these people are ingrained with purpose and responsibility. They know why they get up in the morning as there are things they have to do and roles they need to play.
They are not simply living day to day with no sense of meaning.
“Great Jon, thanks for the history lesson. What’s the point?”
The message here is not to get you to move to Japan.
If you want, you are welcome to, but that really isn’t my point.
My point is also not to harp on you for not having a manual labor job, for not eating enough fish, or not having a garden.
Shoot, I don’t even care if you don’t like the idea of living to be 100.
If we apply this to health and fitness I believe we can take away some pretty applicable things that we all CAN use in our individual lives.
Here is my adapted version for you:
Lots of veggies, protein, and a moderation of carbohydrates.
Veggies = micronutrients = awesome. Google if you want.
Protein = lean tissue growth/retention.
Carbohydrates = A moderate amount to fuel the demands of your daily activity.
And yes, of course, stay away from eating out too frequently.
I am not going to tell you to quit your job today and become a farmer.
Although I did want to be a farmer growing up and still highly enjoy many aspects of it thanks to my Grandfather and two uncles.
But anyway, stay active.
-Get to the gym a few times per week.
-Go for a walk on your off days.
-Do some mobility work.
-Or even start growing a garden.
Get out there and live life.
Get outside more. It’s really that simple.
Turn off the Xbox/Netflix marathon, get out of the basement, and see the light of day. Every day, or at least every day the sun is out and it isn’t negative four degrees.
Since us “northerners” don’t have as many days of sun as opposed to those folks closer to the equator, you may consider supplementing with Vitamin D.
Stay connected to people. Whether it is friends or mentors, find individuals who not only can help you better your life, but you can help better theirs.
The gym is a fantastic community of people and can be a great starting point for expanding your social reach.
What drives you upon waking every day?
What are you ingrained with as a person that keeps you motivated on a Monday morning?
What role can you play in someone else’s life to encourage them and show them you are there for them?
Maybe these principles have a place in all of our lives after all.
At a quick glance it seems that centenarians live in a very different way than we do. A life that might sound weird or “not for me”.
When you look at it from the right angle though, they have it figured out.
I think we all can learn something from them and can live better lives for it, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If I can help you with any of those things please don’t hesitate to contact me.
If you want help figuring out how to eat right, what sort of stuff you should be doing at the gym, or maybe just some words of encouragement, I am here for you.