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How Do You Put Long In Longevity?

Jul 12, 2008
In my search for longevity I read The Blue Zones - Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest. According to this best seller, there are four areas of the world where lifestyles have enabled people to live to be over one hundred - Costa Rica, Okinawa, Sardinia and Loma Linda, California. The book's author, Dan Buettner, attributes this longevity to things like diet, exercise, close relationships and personal mission statements. Although I'm sure he came to these conclusions after lengthy research, I attribute longevity to other things - like having a reliable babysitter.

Saturday night is my husband's and my night out. It's our night to remember why we got married in the first place. We enjoy seeing movies that are alphabetically more advanced than "G" and eating meals that are happy without being served with a toy. When a sitter cancels, are escape plan is canceled too. Not only are we disappointed, but so are the kids. They look forward to having the attention of someone who's paid to pay attention to them. The solution to this parenting predicament is to cook the frozen pizza yourself, hand the TV remote to the kids and pay yourselves whatever you would have paid the sitter. This won't change the stressful fact that you're stuck at home, but it will change your perspective. You'll get to profit from your experience.

Fear, another longevity-limiting stressor, is part of everyone's experience; but who knew more people are afraid of thunderstorms than death? Who knew more people are afraid of vomit than cancer? According to other statistics, social situations frighten more people than flying, being in small places or being in high places. What most people are afraid of - most being 50% of women and 10 % of men - is spiders. Although this fear is called arachnophobia, we who have it think it should be called arachyesphobia.

Fear reduces longevity, but laughter promotes it. Laughter exercises muscles, stimulates the immune system and reduces stress. The bad news is that making people laugh doesn't have these same life-extending benefits. After studying extensive sets of biographical data, researchers at Florida International University determined that people with the ability to generate laughter - such as clowns, comedians and joke writers - don't live longer. In fact, entertainers in general don't live as long as the average person. This must mean that making people laugh is not a laughing matter.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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