Keys to Longevity

Uncle Henry lived to be 102 years old. When he was 101, I asked him, “what’s the secret to your longevity?” He answered without hesitation, “manual labor.” Henry lived on a farm and he planted and worked his own garden way into his 90s. He was a devout follower of Jesus, who lived his faith daily.

Dr Ellsworth Wareham’s life was featured in “The Blue Zones, “by Dan Buettner.

Before he peacefully passed away at the age of 104, he was still happily mowing the lawn in this backyard. He went out for long walks and climbed the stairs rather than use the elevator. His wife and daughter said he was lucid and cognitively intact right up to his passing. He lived faithfully as a Seventh Day Adventist.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health show that the average Adventist in California lives four to 10 years longer than the average Californian.

Adventists live longer because they don’t smoke or drink and because they eat a healthy, low-fat, vegetarian diet rich in nuts and beans, according to researchers.

“We have good science that shows that Adventists who live in and around Loma Linda have a significantly higher life expectancy than Americans in general,” said Buettner, a Minnesota native who is not an Adventist.

Adventists’ extended life spans also are attributed to their religious beliefs. They tend to be faithful churchgoers and have cohesive social networks, he said.

“Because Sabbath is Saturday, they are a bit isolated, so they tend to hang out with each other,” Buettner said. “Who you hang out with has a profound impact on what your habits are.” The Saturday Sabbath in Loma Linda is a “subtly powerful habit” that contributes to improved health.”

For vitality and longevity, practice healthy habits and have healthy friends. Remember: it’s never too late to change.

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