October 19

Four Keys to Living a Longer and Healthier Life

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

During his session at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living 2022 Convention last week in Nashville, speaker Dr. Dale Henry highlighted four keys to living a longer and healthier life.

  1. Never Stop Learning
  2. Never Stop Moving or you are likely to rust out.
  3. Love Laughter – five minutes of laughter is like walking a mile.
  4. Have Something to Live For – a purpose in life.

Many other pundits offer similar advice.

Learning

A story posted on the Harvard Business Review website indicates that learning is good for your health and social life. People who dedicate themselves to learning tend to be happier and more socially engaged. Being socially engaged is one of the keys to living longer and healthier. Learning new skills in older age can help improve memory and delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

https://hbr.org/2017/02/lifelong-learning-is-good-for-your-health-your-wallet-and-your-social-life

Movement

In his book “How to Keep Mom (and Yourself) Out of a Nursing Home, geriatric physician David Fisher says Move It or Lose It. You must keep moving or you will lose your ability to move. It is one of the keys he cites to maintaining your independence.

Laughter

Laughter is the best medicine, notes the Mayo Clinic. It is just what the doctor ordered. Laughter stimulates your heart, lungs, muscles, and circulation. It helps relieve stress, improves your mood and your immune system, and helps you cope with difficult situations and connect with other people.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

Something to Live For

As Dan Buettner, founder of Blue Zones, points out  “purpose can add years to your life and life to your years.” In the places he discovered where people are living longer lives with more vitality, they have a strong sense of purpose throughout their lifetime. They have a reason for why they get out of bed in the morning.https://www.bluezones.com/2011/08/the-right-outlook-how-finding-your-purpose-can-improve-your-life/

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