Sunday, September 13, 2009

Healthy Lifestyles

Healthy Lifestyles
I always begin the day with a fresh outlook on how to become more physically fit. For me, this means walking the hound dogs, riding the horses, goat walking, and planting or picking vegetables and wild greens and fruit - all in a day. But of course, I have the luxury of time. When I take on major projects, like planting
5,000 tomato plants - minutes are crunched. But mostly I've learned that less is more.

Read this article when you get a chance from AARP. After I read it, I was amazed at how closely this resembles the philosophy and lifestyle that I have developed over the years. Living on a farm naturally opens the door for easy living and hard outdoor labor, both seem to really compliment and feed off of each other.

Here is the list taken right from the article of AARP Magazine, sept/oct 2009:
click on the link above to get to the original.

Graze on greens More than 150 varieties of wild greens -more than ten times the level of antioxidants in red wine.

Sip herbal teas Steeping wild mint, chamomile, or other herbs in hot water is a lifelong, daily ritual. Many teas lower blood pressure, which decreases the risk of heart disease and dementia.

Throw out your watch Ikarians don't worry about time. Work gets done when it gets done. This attitude lowers stress, which reduces the risk of everything from arthritis to wrinkles.

Nap daily afternoon siesta-science shows that a regular 30-minute nap decreases the risk of heart attack.

Walk where you're going every trip out of the house is a mini workout.

Phone a friend family and village support have been key to survival. Strong social connections are proven to lower depression, mortality, and even weight.

Drink goat's milk Most Ikarians over 90 have drunk goat's milk their whole lives. It is rich in a blood-pressure-lowering hormone called tryptophan as well as antibacterial compounds.

Maintain a Mediterranean diet Around the world, people who most faithfully stick to this region's diet—a regimen high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish—outlive people who don't by about six years. The Ikarian version features more potatoes than grains (because they grew better in the mountains) and more meat than fish (because the sea was a day's journey away).

Enjoy some Greek honey The local honey contains antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. (Unfortunately, the health benefits of Ikarian honey do not extend to American honey, as far as we know.)

Open the olive oil Ikaria's consumption of olive oil is among the world's highest. Residents drizzle antioxidant-rich extra-virgin oil over food after cooking, which preserves healthful properties in the oil that heat destroys.

Grow your own garden (or find farmers' markets) Fruits and vegetables eaten soon after picking are higher in compounds that decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Get belief or religion Ikarians observe Greek Orthodox rituals, and regular attendance at religious services (of any kind ) has been linked to longer life spans.

Bake bread The island's sourdough bread is high in complex carbohydrates and may improve glucose metabolism and stave off diabetes.

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