The Creation-Based Keys to Longevity

Okinawan Elderly WomanOne of my friends recently shared a TED talk video with me that takes a look at the keys to longevity.  The TED talk was given by Dan Buettner, an explorer, educator, and cyclist.  Buettner was commissioned by the National Geographic to find out what the world’s longest lived people have in common.  His findings, as presented in the video, basically summarize and provide scientific evidence for some of the key foundations of CREUS.  I recommend watching the video first, but once you have, read the keys to longevity below and reflect on how these foundations for health and wise living relate to your own life:

The three cultures with the highest amount of 100-year-olds with an excellent quality of life (Okinawans, Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Vista, CA, and Sardinians from the mountain-region of the island) have the following things in common:

Natural Movement – While a few of the people from these cultures intentionally exercise (like the Seventh Day Adventists),  they all move and stay active naturally, in the daily course of life.  Natural movement is essential to living a Creation-Based Lifestyle, it’s part of what we call “play” (like running, golf, swimming, surfing, etc) and “creating,” or doing meaningful work with one’s hands (such as gardening, chopping wood, cooking).  Automobiles, television, and office jobs can put a major damper on natural movement, but there are ways to reverse these trends: walk or ride your bike to destinations whenever possible, turn off the television and enjoy an evening picnic instead, and as an alternative to sitting at a desk, look into using a standing desk or an exercise ball for a chair.

Right Outlook – Each of the cultures with a high rate of longevity put a daily emphasis on  purpose.  They also make time for relaxation.  The Okinawans, for example, can readily recite their “ikigai” or “reason for living.”  Genetics account for only approximately 10% of health; the majority of one’s health is based on lifestyle and outlook.  What are you living for?  Do you feel like you’re part of a larger purpose?  Do you have meaning in your life?  Creation-Based living takes in to account the truth that God created us for a purpose.  Good health is just the beginning.  

Wise Eating – The longest lived people eat diets that are plant and whole-food based.  They tend to drink wine in moderation, and when they eat, they stop eating when they feel about 80% full.  Basically, healthy people eat the foods that God created.  With all the industrially manufactured foods being marketed to us, eating whole foods is often easier said than done, but with the right mindset healthy eating can quickly become a lifestyle!

Community – One of the most important things the healthiest people have in common is community, which I think is closely related to having a purpose.  People who are part of a loving community are healthier!  We are relational beings, created for relationship.  Sadly, many people in our culture are isolated and have very few friends or have an unhealthy family environment.  The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case; healthy relationships are available to anyone willing to make the effort.  The keys to building healthy relationships are: a positive self-identity and self-sacrificing love (with healthy boundaries).  Relationship building also takes intentionality, we can’t spend our time on Facebook or at home watching TV and expect to make friends.  We have to get outside where people are (church, clubs, parks, etc) and be friendly.  From there it’s important to verbally express our commitment and the things we appreciate about our friends!  Expressing commitment reinforces community and emphasizes the value placed on the relationships.

Eat.Play.Rest.Create! 

Originally posted 2013-07-12 01:07:46.

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