Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Secret To Longevity

Exercise provides an excellent strategy for controlling stress and eliminating worry.Just recently came across another article on aging. It seems that Edna Parker has just celebrated her 115th birthday this past Sunday, becoming the oldest living person in the known world.

What I found interesting is the observation that the author placed at the end of the article:

‘[Dr. Tom] Perls said the secret to a long life is now believed to be a mix of genetics and environmental factors such as health habits. He said his research on about 1,500 centenarians hints at another factor that may protect people from illnesses such as heart attacks and stroke — they appear not to dwell on stressful events.

"They seem to manage their stress better than the rest of us," he said. ‘

When I ran my first marathon in Portland OR in 1988, John A. Kelley, also known as Kelley the Elder, spoke at the pasta dinner the night before the race. He had a twinkle in his eye and a kick in his step. He even did a little song and dance on stage to get all of us runners motivated for our big race the next day. In my mind, it was the nicest gesture a 65-year-old runner could do for his young protégés.

The man was 81 years old.

He ran the full Boston Marathon for four more years after I saw him at the Portland Marathon and ran the last 7 miles of Boston for two years after his “retirement from running”.

I don’t know if Edna Parker ever ran a race during her 115 years on this globe, but she did work on a farm, a strenuous exercise program in itself.

In the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie identified 30 tactics and strategies for controlling stress and worry. A number of these strategies identify rest and relaxation as methods for controlling stress and eliminating worry.

Unfortunately, he wrote his manuscript well before the medical community and the public knew the physiological effects of diet and exercise.

We may have to add a 31st strategy to include diet and exercise as methods for controlling stress and eliminating worry.

But you only have to use it if you want to be a supercentenarian like Edna Parker.

Read the full Associated Press Article here.

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