It is no myth or secret however that there are many groups of people living today that can long outlast most of the rest of us.
So, what is the secret to a long and healthy life?
To answer that question, I went through the most amazing life stories of those centenarians who were willing to share their wisdom on the net. To be honest, many of those stories were different and I was not able to make some final conclusion at first about the “secret” I was looking for. I found many different answers and they confused me even more. For example, Emma Morano from Italy lived 116 years, and she explained that the reason for her long life is staying single. She said: “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone”, so after her divorce at the age of 38 she spent the rest of her life single. She even won the battle against anemia by eating two raw eggs a day her whole life.
Another life story about Mushatt- Jones tells about eating fried bacon every single day. A California centenarian told his secret was eating one donut a day…Then I found out about the life story of Clarice Emley, who was born and raised on a farm. She explains that her family and she ate only what they grew and caught. She is still physically active, working out every day together with her friends. Then, I found out stories about centenarian twins and their secret of getting older together and close as the main reason for their long life…
Confused as I was, I continued searching for the “secret”. An article about the Hunza people took my attention for I began to realize that I was getting much closer to my answer. Hunza people or Hunzas are a population in a mountainous valley in the region of Pakistan.
The many reasons these people took my attention are the following:
1. The literacy rate of Hunza valley is more than 95%- which means that every Hunza has at least a high school diploma;
2. The Hunza region is home to people of four ethnicities;
3. There are two different religion in the Hunza region and people are divided between them, but;
4. The lifestyle of Hunza people is very simple and they are considered to be very welcoming and warm;
5. Some Hunzas live up to 150 years;
6. The women in Hunza can give birth at the age of 65.
7. They never eat processed food, and they eat apricot often and a lot.
8. They work in the fields from sunrise to sunset every day and they work hard.
Connecting together the dots of all the stories and facts presented above, here is my conclusion about how to have a long and healthy life:
1. You do need to educate through life. You can start developing a healthy mind in the young age, and you should never stop reading and thinking actively. Clarice Emley was a teacher, almost all Hunzas are educated, so we can say, we need a healthy developed brain activity to have a healthy life.
2. Single or not it doesn’t matter as long as you maintain healthy relationships during your whole life. “Healthy relationship” can sometimes mean a good connection with yourself, knowing and acknowledging all those hidden feelings, and helping them dissolve in a healthy energy, no matter how contagious they can be. Using self- learning techniques and meditation can help you develop a better understanding of your needs and wishes, which can lead to a bigger and wider loving atmosphere for yourself and everyone around you. Don’t hesitate to express your feelings, for suppressing them can sometimes lead to an abyss. Expressing your feelings can make your relationships “grow old” with you in a healthy direction. So don’t stay away from marriage, but be able to “jump out” of an unstable and unhealthy one. At the end, it is your life that matters most, and the lives of those you love.
3. Avoid stress! Yes, stress is the greatest silent killer, the modern “exterminator” of life force. Nowadays it is hard to ignore those stressful situations like hard working days, paying rents etc. but if you somehow manage to survive these modern obligations and complications, you should retire and slow down in some peaceful place, where you can reconnect with nature and try to live a calmer life.
4. Try to eat organic, natural food, and if you have the chance, grow it yourself. Maybe this is something you hear every day or even think of it often, but look at the Hunza people -they eat only what they grow, and they are healthy to the stadium they don’t even know what cancer is. They die old and happy, seeing more in life than anyone of us. Maybe they don’t know what pizza is, but they see the sunrise many years after your last sunset. They get to witness their great-grandchildren running and playing around. So think about that next time you reach for a fast food snack!
5. Don’t skip the physical activity! Even though it is hard, don’t give up! Think of all the working hours on the fields that Hunza people spend a day! It is hard but keeping your muscles “warm” can never be a bad thing. Clarice Emley (we mentioned before) exercises every day. And she is 105! So, if she won’t give up her working out for the program, why should you? You are never getting younger but you should try to get older!
Yes, getting older is hard. Sometimes we have to give up many things and change our lives direction, but we do it for ourselves. Why not try these things; maybe they will help you after all? Maybe you will live longer than anyone in your family. Maybe you will be the first one that can live for 200 years. And then, you will tell us your secret. But till then, let’s use the knowledge of all those people that are older than 100 and still happy and healthy.
Good luck, and have a long and healthy life!