Facts on aging
Whatever we do, we can’t turn back time, aging is irreversible, the only thing we can do is slow down the process of aging. The process itself can never be stopped, eventually we all die. However, it can be delayed and we can stay healthier longer in our lives. Many people in the busy West are doing the opposite now. They kick the accelerator to death just harder and more often.
The good news is that we have more influence than many may think. Scientific studies show that our eventual death age is only 25% determined by our genes. The remaining 75% is determined by our lifestyle.
By working with and not against our nature, we can add at least add 10 good years to our lives and we can lower the percentage of diseases we die from, so we can influence our aging process.
Legendary health and fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne born in September 1914, said the following about the subject during an interview with Dennis Hughes: "Anything we do in our lives, no matter what, good, wrong, blame no one else than yourself, not a God, not your neighbour. No, you do it yourself! Everything you think, the words you speak, the food you eat, do not blame the devil, do not blame me, blame or credit only yourself! Everything you do under your control”.
Jack does what he says and has always been a frontrunner in many health issues.
As we can see, life has a strong effect on our wellbeing and how old we will become. Before we go into the details, let me first call a few basic facts and things that have not done what they promised us.
The chance that we'll see 100 is not big, only about 1% for an average person. But it makes quite a difference whether we speak from one’s birth or from one’s 80 year of age having a good health. Almost all the people who have reached the age of 100 were in relatively good health in their 80. An expert once said "the older you get, the healthier you've been in your life."
Is Jack Lalanne going to be 100? Well who knows? But he said the following about himself: "I can not afford to die, that would not be good for my reputation :-)
Aging is the slow loss of physical capacity, loss of ability to do things you previously could do. When asked whether he was training differently than when younger, LaLanne said "Absolutely not!" He does not think in terms of age, he thinks in terms of today. In other words, he does his best every day and what tomorrow will bring he sees tomorrow. Is there a better way of undergoing the process of aging?
What have not worked so far are pills. There are many "secret" cures for aging, but they all end up doing little more than stealing money out of your pocket. There are not many really scientific examinations on human growth hormone or antioxidants. Every time someone examines them with a certain seriousness the outcome is that they do nothing for us. But man simply wants to be deceived!
What does work though, is healthy lifestyles. Research has shown that there are 9 lessons that teach us how to age in a healthy manner. Below is a brief summary and you can decide for yourself if you want or wish to investigate them in your personal life:
Scientist Buettner has written a book in which each of the Blue Zones lessons is covered in a separate chapter. Each geographical location represents a different culture with its own unique path to healthy aging. He introduces "champion old All-stars" and examines their lifestyle, culture, traditions and customs. He highlights how each unique lifestyle can apparently add a good number of years to our life. It is a fascinating book written in an instructive manner.
The nine lessons are learned under the best traditions of the 5 found blues zones areas. According to Buettner, these habits will of course not guarantee a long healthy life but, if you adopt them, they will give you a big push in the right direction.