2014-01-31 / Sports

Jen’s Fitness Forum

By Jen Font de Bon

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve learned about the nutrition and healthy habits of centenarians.

In concluding the series on “living to 100”, we will focus on some of the important emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. To make the most of our lives, we must maintain equilibrium by practicing moderation. Many times addictions and obsessions arise to fill neglect and can be avoided by paying better attention to the different aspects of our lives and making sure they are all in balance.

1.Have goals and work toward them. Investigations show that people with a driven purpose live longer, better quality lives. We are never too young or too old to go after our dreams. Pursuing the things that get us excited give us meaning and fulfillment. Get motivated, devote time, stay consistent and track your progress.

2.Optimism and laughter. Studies link a positive attitude and laughing often with longevity. Try to look on the bright side of every situation. Even if something seems less than ideal, focus on what you can learn from the occurrence and how it can help you grow. If you find yourself feeling stressed out or in a foul mood, a good laugh could be just what you need to release the tension. Throw on a silly movie, read some comics or recall funny moments that made you belly laugh. Even forcing a smile is enough to change your attitude from sour to sweet!

3.Release your inner child. Holding onto your childlike attitude throughout adulthood can extend your years. Ask questions, play, imagine and create. There’s so much to be amazed by, and even living to one hundred won’t provide us with full understanding. Stay inspired and awed by keeping an easy-going attitude and an open mind and heart.

4.Be a believer. Numerous studies show that people who lead spiritual lives tend to outlive those who don’t. Whether you find your faith through personal prayer and meditation or by attending religious services, believing in a higher power has been connected to better overall health and a longer lifespan.

5.Exercise your mind. Read, research, take a class or do puzzles. Engaging in activities that force you to use your brain can add good quality years to your life. An active mind increases alertness and decreases chances of developing dementia. Really looking for a challenge? Learn a new language. People who know more than one language tend to be better at processing information, thinking on the spot and handling multiple tasks at once. Research also shows that taking on another language after adulthood can help spark new areas in the brain.

6.Help others, but also set aside time for yourself. Individuals who selflessly volunteer live longer than those who don’t, studies show. Also, regular interaction with people lowers feelings of loneliness and chances of developing certain heart and brain diseases. At the same time, it’s important to do things for yourself every day. Go to the gym, pick up a new hobby, read a pleasure book or take those cooking classes you’ve always thought about!

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