Sisters’ seven simple secrets to heathy aging

Yesterday, I told you about a brand new study showing that men and women who first developed high blood pressure in their 80s and 90s reduced their risk of dementia by up to 55 percent. But how do you get to be 80, 90 or even 100 in the first place?

Well, you can open any popular health magazine and try their latest “anti-aging cure” or “super food.” But I don’t recommend it. In fact, I steer you away these bogus fads. Instead, I encourage you to focus on healthy aging. And in a moment, I’ll tell you about three sisters who all reached 100+ years and their seven simple secrets to healthy aging. But first, let’s back up…

As you’ll recall, a recent study found that your ability to perform simple physical tasks is an excellent predictor of longevity.  For example, how well can you stand up from a chair? Or how efficient is your walk (the quality of your gait)? They both make a world of difference in how long you live. There’s nothing complicated about these findings. But it makes perfect sense. These simple activities of everyday life place complex demands on your brain, skeleton, and muscles. They also require you to have good sensory perception and coordination.

Plus, clear science shows two simple natural ingredients–dandelion and rooibos (South African red bush)–can remarkably improve gait in as little as two to three months. When it comes to vitality, longevity and healthy aging, that’s where we should be looking. To learn more about this study, subscribers can refer to the March 2014 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to consider becoming one.

Of course, one of the most basic “secrets” to a long life is simply having the will, the interest, and the motivation to go on. It’s also important to set concrete, daily goals. This life strategy is important at any age. But it’s essential as you grow older.

Here are two great illustrations of my point…

As you know, I’m a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. And on the 70th anniversary of D-Day last June, I heard the story of one remarkable WW II veteran of the Normandy invasion. This veteran had a goal to return to Normandy his whole life. He wanted to put a “footprint in the sand” at the same place on Omaha Beach where he landed with thousands of American, British, and Canadian soldiers in 1944. He made it back there in 2014 at the age of 94.

I also know of three sisters who had not seen each other in many years. They shared a common goal to stay healthy so they could see each other again. When they finally did get together–at ages 101, 104, and 110–they reminisced about a single telephone box hanging in the hall and sharing a “party line” with three other households. They remembered when their family switched from riding in a horse and buggy to owning a Model T Ford. They spoke of going to see the silent movies with Rudolph Valentino. He played The Sheik (1921) and The Sheik’s Son (1926).

The chances of reaching 110 are about one in seven million. So how did three sisters within one family defy these odds? They shared these seven secrets with me…

  1. Love one another. This one is simple. Giving and receiving love has a positive impact on physical, mental, and spiritual health.
  1. Stay connected. The sisters maintained relationships with family and friends throughout their lives. (And they did it without cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, instant messages, text messages, or computers.)
  1. Embrace new experiences and meet new people of all ages. One positive development is that modern society seems to be breaking down old barriers about socializing between different age groups.
  1. Learn to cook for yourself and eat healthy foods. Fortunately, these ladies were around long before all the government began spreading around misguided dietary recommendations in the 1970s.
  1. Have a curious mind and develop a love for reading. The sisters were around long before the advent of the internet, Amazon, and the Kindle. But they never stopped studying and learning.
  1. Pursue your goals in life and give them your best try with drive and ingenuity. Just think of Frank Sinatra singing, “That’s Life.” Remember this verse:

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king

I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing

Each time I find myself flat on my face

I pick myself up and get back in the race

  1. Cherish the fleeting moments when it all comes together. You may marvel at all the constant changes in the world around us, but the essentials never change. So cherish these meaningful basics in life.

Notice all the “do’s” and “don’ts” pushed by the government-industrial-medical complex are completely missing from the sisters’ list. And that’s no surprise to me…

It actually reminds me of a joke my respected colleague, mentor, and friend, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop used to tell about how to live longer. He died last year at the age of 98. But he always liked to tell people, “Eat only oatmeal to prevent heart disease. Abstain from sex to prevent STDs. Exercise in a gym four hours every day to stay fit. And never have a drink or a cigar.” He would then say, “You might not live forever, but it will still feel like it.”

Boy, do I miss that man.