Friday, September 11, 2009

Living long, living well

"She told me that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and she never did fool around," Witt said at a party marking her 115th birthday.

I caught site of this amazing article today while browsing around Gertrude Baines lived alone until she was 107; her favorite things to do was to eat crispy bacon, fried chicken and watch Jerry Springer.

This article comes following the announcement this week about Albert Lea Minnesota being named the national model for applying the principles in the Blue Zone, a study of longevity and centenarians around the globe.

Here's a quick overview of the project - check out the program in its entirety at the AARP's website.

During the six weeks, participants in project will learn the key themes of the project:

• Week 1: An introduction to Blue Zones and the Vitality Compass

• Week 2: Creating and improving social networks

• Week 3: Rethinking how you eat: Making food choices that will extend longevity

• Week 4: Building physical activity and movement into everyday life

• Week 5: Identifying life’s purpose

• Week 6: Making your community healthier through changing the walkability, bikeability and food options.

I think that too often those of us who have come to that place in life where we can wear that badge of honor and carry the title "survivor" we may have lost sight of what we can do ourselves to improve our lives and lifestyles. We've been living in "Survivor" mode and forget that there is more to life than managing symptoms and fighting flashbacks.

These articles about Gertrude Baines and the Vitality Project are great reminders that there are plenty of choices to be made and actions we can take. Every day we have choices and opportunities to create the world and life we choose to live every day now, in this moment.

Maybe this is a good time to remember that we are survivors and take a minute to look at what our focus is and what we could do today to take back our lives...and start to enjoy the ride again.

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