There’s a cute little village (Acciaroli if you’re interested) in Southern Italy with more centenarians than anywhere else in the world! Lots of healthy old folk living a lovely long time and generally not suffereing many of the ills that befall the rest of us (think heart diesase and Alzheimer’s).
Apparently, these guys and gals put their longevity down to a mash-up of the following:
- keeping active – walking is best for longevity according to these wise old birds – no gym bunnies here
- physical pleasures – sex – and lots of it!
- good sleep – but set that alarm early – this lot properly get up and go!
- being sociable
- fruit, veggies, fish, olive oil – think Mediterranean diet but no loading up your plate – these guys eat small portions
- occasional fasting – apparently cutting back can help you live longer, and reduce the chances of developing nasties like heart disease and cancer
- very little added salt and sugar in their diet – ditto processed foods – these guys and girls like to make their own – even in their 90’s!
- red wine (no Friday night binge-drinking though) – think balance and moderation
- simplify your life to reduce stress – no mod-cons or high-tech stuff for this lot – they like it pure and simple – and sloooooow – and it clearly works!
- regular health-checks – think occasional check-ins with your GP.
I guess the message to take away from this is that we don’t have to be pounding away on the treadmill at every given opportunity, that fad diets may come and go and that actually, the key to a good, happy, healthy and (possibly) long life is probably about simplicity. Stripping back and cutting out (some of) the crap. Giving ourselves a bit of a break. Stepping away from the rat-race (when we can).
Instead, taking pleasure from life’s simple pleasures … and in the process, finding contentment (and good health!).