Living Longer and Living Well

From the Grecian island of Ikaria where people “forget to die” to a sunny Californian community in Loma Linda, people are growing older – in “blue zones” where reaching 100 isn’t that unusual. Together, these groups of centenarians offer the rest of us nine insights into living longer, better lives. And chances are we will live longer. For the first time ever, there are now more people in Canada aged 65 and over than there are under age 15, according to Statistics Canada. There were 5.9 million people aged 65 and older in Canada in 2016.

Only about 20% of how long we live is dictated by our genes. That means there’s a lot within our control – and the nine commonalities below may lead to a longer, healthier and happier life right where you are.

Nine tips to live a longer, healthier and happier life

Put Family First
For many centenarians, aging parents and grandparents live nearby, and children receive plenty of attention and love.

Have a Sense of Purpose
Having a reason to get up is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.

Find the Right Tribe
One long-term study showed that healthy habits are “contagious.” The world’s longest-lived people are born into, or choose, social circles that support healthy behaviours.

Use Your Body
Set up your life to spur moderate physical activity, including house and yard work, walking and gardening.

old woman harvesting olives in olive garden

Shed Stress
Use downtime to help ward off nearly every major age-related disease including Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease

Eat Slowly
Give your brain time to get the message that you’re full. People in blue zones tend to eat their smallest and final meal in the late afternoon or early evening.

Choose a Diet with a “Plant Slant”
Centenarians eat plenty of vegetables and beans. Meat – mostly pork – is eaten just five times a month.

Sip Some Wine
People in most blue zones enjoy one to two glasses a day.

Belong and Connect
All but five of the 263 centenarians studied belonged to a faith-based community and attended services regularly, adding four to 14 years of life expectancy

Taken from Raymond James – Planning Perspectives

For more insights on life and success, check out our blog post on how to get ahead in life.


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