Elders share wisdom for healthy living

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I enjoyed researching this topic because I love learning from the elders in our population. My Italian grandfather lived to be 106. When he was 90, he could still do 100 pushups. When he became a centenarian (someone who lives to 100 or beyond) he went to Kennywood Park, a famous  amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. News reporters interviewed him there, as he relaxed on a park bench. A reporter gently inquired as to what compelled my Nanu (an Americanized form of Nono) to visit that day, since he couldn’t ride any rides. My Nanu matter-of-factly replied, “I’ve always want to come here, and now I did.” Elders are so full of wisdom for healthy living. They typically have a simplistic way of looking at life.

To my Nanu, it was that simple. He didn’t care that he couldn’t ride a roller-coaster or spin upside down or drop from great heights. All that mattered to him was achieving his goal. He was over 100 years old at the time, and there was still an item on his bucket list that he wanted to check off. And, so, he did. If there are centenarians in your family or community, you’ll do yourself a favor by spending time with them. First, keep reading this post to discover more bits of wisdom shared from folks around the world who have been blessed with longevity.

Elders emphasize staying active in their wisdom for healthy living

wisdom for healthy living, man and woman walking arm in arm, coats and hats, autumn background

Mika Cribbs recently shared this article online. Cribbs’s Japanese grandfather is 95 and is retired from his career as a cardiologist. Upon a visit to Japan, this grandfather taught his adult grandchild about purposeful living and the habits that keep him and his wife so healthy late in life. There are eight specific things this 95-year-old considers non-negotiables in his life. He does most, if not all of them, every day. Here’s the list:

  • Takes a 30-minute walk with his wife first thing every morning
  • Follows up the walk with stretching, balancing and strength-building exercises
  • Writes on his blog
  • Uses social media to stay connected to his loved ones
  • Creates self-portraits every day to gain a better understanding of himself
  • Learns new skills and hobbies
  • Takes naps
  • Enjoys favorite foods like cheese, red meat and wine

Cribbs said that her grandfather practices an ancient Japanese concept called “ikigai.” In English, it translates to “a sense of purpose.” Her grandfather believes that each person must find the unique sense of purpose in his or her life and practice it with “care, intention and joy.” Balance is the key.

Centenarian sisters have 5 tips for us

wisdom for healthy living, two old women, one standing behind other with hands on shoulders

A pair of sisters, ages 103 and 106 now live hundreds of miles from one another, each in an assisted living facility. However, they call each other at least three times per week. They have summed up their secrets to longevity with the five helpful tips shown in the following list:

  • Maintain close relationships and connections with your loved ones; it keeps you going.
  • Do not smoke or drink, and make healthy food choices.
  • Become an avid reader.
  • Get in a good workout by walking up and down hills every day. If you can’t handle that, just walk a good distance.
  • Focus on a positive mindset; don’t dwell on regrets or past problems in life.

One of the sisters says that she has had her share of grief and illness. However, she believes that a healthy lifestyle includes facing your problems head-on, overcoming them, then moving forward with optimism. The sisters also believe it is important to be grateful and mindful of your blessings.

World’s oldest practicing doctor shares his wisdom

surgeon and medical team in operating room, green scrubs, facemasks

Dr. Howard Tucker’s name is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s oldest practicing doctor. His way of teaching how to live a long, healthy life is to share what not to do. What’s the first thing on his list? Retirement. He says that people who want to avoid cognitive decline as they age should not retire. If you’re physically and mentally able to keep working, then you should. Doctor Tucker says that the problem with retirement is that people who stop working tend to become inactive. This causes substantial cognitive decline.

Dr. Tucker also warns people not to let themselves go, meaning don’t get out of shape. This amazing man was still hiking, jogging and skiing in his late eighties. Nowadays, he limits his “sports” to three brisk miles per day on a treadmill. He says he watches classic movies while he walks to avoid boredom. In sharing wisdom for healthy living, there are three more things Dr. Tucker says NOT to do if you want to live a long, healthy, happy life. Here they are:

  1. Do not smoke.
  2. Do not overly restrict yourself. Eat and drink what you want in moderation, and make healthy choices, like incorporating greens into your daily diet. (He and his wife eat a salad every day.)
  3. Do not waste your knowledge. Share what you know with others and keep learning new things as you age.

Dr. Tucker says that he loves spending time with his children and grandchildren when he is not working. He is also currently participating in the production of a documentary about his life. Dr. Tucker is a neurologist and also has a law degree. He served as Chief of Neurology on the Atlantic fleet during the Korean War.

What wisdom for healthy living do you have to share? Leave a comment under this post on our Facebook page and start a conversation!

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