Friday, 19 September 2008

Longevity, Negativity, and Positive Thinking

For this simple guide I was searching for references on stress and how exercise can help with it. I find some great articles but nothing really stood out to me. They either seemed to have too much depth or not enough. I'm thinking of stress because we're all busy. We have more to do than we have time to do it. So it's nice to think a little about how to deal with it all in a way that suits us.

Since I couldn't find anything I wanted to include I tried a different approach. I thought I'd go through sites and blogs I like and see if they've got a relevant article. What I came up with is something I've been looking for, for a while about how to live long and prosper (no it's not a start trek reference, they just got there first). This article looks into the life and times of a 114 year old guy with a 101-year-old brother, two daughters aged 81 and 77, and a nephew aged 85, all of them born and still living in a small town of the island of Menorca.

We get some insights into how they got so healthy at such an age and surprise, surprise, a lack of stress is cited as part of the reason. I'm not presenting these results as conclusive. there's a lot of data and questioning to be done until we get all the answers. I've just always wondered what I'd find out if I talked to a bunch of people who have lived a really long time and are really healthy and this is about the closest I'll get to that.

Added at 21:20
One theory I have that I'm unable to test is that people who keep their abilities and faculties as they age do so because don't believe that getting older means getting slower. I have known guys who are still in their prime at 60 and even 80, by prime I mean running marathons, going on ski-ing holidays, and doing all of it better than those younger than them. They don't do anything to excess but they also don't let their faculties waste away either.

I say this partly because it's very noticeable to me how similar the symptoms of ageing are to the syptoms of neglect both mental and physical. Kids these days are developing diseases more common in the elderly. Is it that they're ageing sooner or are they just showing signs of neglect sooner.

I also say this because it's the only answer that fits all the people I can think of who are fit and active way past any one else.their age. I can also think of the fundamental principle behind exercise which in this case is 'use it or lose it'. Once you start feeling you should slow down and give in to the ageing process by expecting less of yourself then that's eactly what you'll get. All I can see is that hile we're young our bodies don't need much of a push to stay healthy but as we age they need more and more of a push. So if you want to stay fighting fit then you'd better learn to fight.

I also wonder if another key factor is not just being fit through out life but having a high level of fitness. Stress is relative. If you're used to a lot of pressure then yu're preception of stressful times is going to be different to someone who doesn't ge much stimulation often The same goes for your mind and body. If you regularly push them close to their limits even just once a week then they'll maintain their abilities and not get stressed out very easily. If you don't challenge them often then they'll get stressed out much more easily because what was once easy is now near your limits.

As I said I can't prove this, but then again I can't disprove it either. The more I think about it the more it fits with all I know. We'll see won't we
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