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3 Secrets for Longevity and Vitality
Longevity is useless without vitality, or the presence of physical and mental strength and vigor. Vitality ensures that our longevity will be full of enjoyment and adventure, as opposed to physical and mental weariness. The keys to longevity and vitality can be somewhat obvious, like exercising and eating correctly, but others can get lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. Keeping vitality in your life requires a focused, goal-oriented effort. Here are three secrets of longevity and vitality.
Combine the world's healthiest diets
According to Forbes magazine, the Japanese island of Okinawa has the largest number of centenarians, or people over the age of 100, on the planet. According to Daphne Miller, M.D., author of The Jungle Effect, the people on the Greek island of Crete have the lowest incidence of heart disease in the world. The population of Iceland has some of the world's lowest rates of diabetes. The secret in each case is in their diets.
These three populations have the healthiest diets in the world, and you can re-create the characteristics of those diets in your own home. The Japanese eat unprocessed rice, green tea, fish and sweet potatoes. The Greek diet is high in olive oil and whole grains. The Icelandic diet contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in grass-fed meat, fish and berries. The common denominator is unprocessed, all-natural whole foods, high in healthy fats and low in meat consumption.
Incorporate yoga into your life
According to Mark Stibich, Ph.D., health behaviorist, researcher and professor at the University of California, yoga is another tool for enhancing longevity and increasing vitality. Yoga is a powerful detoxification tool because it increases circulation and focuses so intently on deep breathing. The increased oxygenation of the blood, coupled with better circulation, will help the body carry off toxins.
The improved flexibility from yoga will help rid your body of stiffness and aches, making daily movement easier and more enjoyable. Yoga also focuses on stress relief and relaxation, and stress elimination is a key to improving longevity. Yoga makes you more physically fit and mentally sound, and mental strength is a key to vitality.
Meditation is an increasingly popular practice for enhancing focus, improving concentration and relieving stress. Meditation can involve repeating a mantra (a phrase, syllable or prayer) over and over again over time in order to still the mind. It can also involve reflection and deepening self-awareness, as well as emotional healing.
A guide can lead you through a meditation practice of identifying emotional baggage and releasing it, leaving you free to continue your emotional journey in life unencumbered. Increased self-awareness will bring up buried desires and forgotten goals, on which you can then focus without distraction. Meditation can remind you that you always wanted to learn Italian, read all of Jane Austen's works or visit Australia, and having something to look forward to is a secret to living a strong and adventurous life.