Dan Buettner, National Geographic writer and explorer who studies the world's longest-lived peoples, distilling their secrets into a single plan for health and long life, explains in his Ted Talk that only 10% of how long someone lives is based on their genes. The other 90% is based on our lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle will extend this time period, whereas living an unhealthy lifestyle.
Mr. Buettner points out a few myths, that we will go ahead an get out of the way:
Myth #1: You can live to be 100 if you try really hard. FALSE, only 1 out of 5000 people live to be 100 years old.
Myth #2: Treatments exist that can slow the aging process. FALSE. Many of these treatments are useless and can actually shorten your life and speed up the aging process! (see article here and here).
Looking at the longest-living cultures and people in the world, we not only find those who are living longest, but also those living active lifestyles the longest. We also see the same characteristics in all of them:
Functional, natural movement performed daily (see KMP article on exercise and functional movement)
Healthy outlook: they know when to turn-on and when to turn-off
Eat wisely: primarily plant-based diet, eat only until they're full (see KMP article on vegetarian protein).
The active pursuit of being healthy, following these guiding principals has come to be known as "Wellness." Below is what is referred to as a "Wellness Wheel," which talks about all aspects of wellness. However, all of these can be further reduced into the three points above.
If you want to live a healthy, long, meaningful life, you need to focus on achieving health in not just physically, but also mentally. As part of our efforts at Keep Moving Project, we begin hosting free wellness days. Stay tuned!