Sunday, January 26, 2014

3/20: Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived PeoplesHealthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: In this revolutionary book, bestselling author John Robbins presents us with a bold new paradigm of aging, showing us how we can increase not only our lifespan but also our health span. Through the example of four very different cultures that have the distinction of producing some of the world’s healthiest, oldest people, Robbins reveals the secrets for living an extended and fulfilling life in which our later years become a period of wisdom, vitality, and happiness. From Abkhasia in the Caucasus south of Russia, where age is beauty, and Vilcabamba in the Andes of South America, where laughter is the greatest medicine, to Hunza in Central Asia, where dance is ageless, and finally the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa, the modern Shangri-la, where people regularly live beyond a century, Robbins examines how the unique lifestyles of these peoples can influence and improve our own.

Bringing the traditions of these ancient and vibrantly healthy cultures together with the latest breakthroughs in medical science, Robbins reveals that, remarkably, they both point in the same direction. The result is an inspirational synthesis of years of research into healthy aging in which Robbins has isolated the characteristics that will enable us to live long and–most important–joyous lives. With an emphasis on simple, wholesome, but satisfying fare, and the addition of a manageable daily exercise routine, many people can experience great improvement in the quality of their lives now and for many years to come. But perhaps more surprising is Robbins’ discovery that it is not diet and exercise alone that helps people to live well past one hundred. The quality of personal relationships is enormously important. With startling medical evidence about the effects of our interactions with others, Robbins asserts that loneliness has more impact on lifespan than such known vices as smoking. There is clearly a strong beneficial power to love and connection.

Another textbook done!
This was a good book with good information. The studies that were done for the longest-living cultures were fascinating but I didn't feel they were well related back to today's society. There were a lot of good points about the differences in diet and definitely showed WHY some cultures live longer than the average North American, I just didn't feel a connection. Perhaps because what was being said seems very basic to me. Eat whole, natural foods. Limit saturated and trans fats. Stay away from hydrogenated oils and fats. All things that people should do anyways.
I did enjoy reading the studies and the connection between food, mind and body. It was interesting, but nothing I haven't learned before.

What I did appreciate most about this book was the view on aging. It is a natural process that is feared by so many. We all age, but we have a choice whether we get old. There is a difference. I believe that when we are not afraid of aging, but embrace the changes, we are happier and healthier. The choices we make TODAY and in the future, will make a difference for how we age and how long we live.

Are you afraid to get old? Is it because of the media? Some cultures have the utmost respect for their elderly. They are not shoved away in a home, they are revered as wise and the most important resource in the community. We grow old because society tells us we have to. There is so much "ageism" in our world that as we age, we conform to the negative image ourselves. What would happen if we broke that image?

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