New This Month

Secrets to a Long Life

Body+Soul, July/August 2006

A 38th-generation doctor of Chinese medicine, Maoshing Ni spent 20 years studying centenarians' habits. His new book, "Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100," turns his findings into everyday advice. A few of our favorite entries:

Weekday Vegetarian, Weekend Carnivore
Vegetarians generally suffer fewer degenerative diseases and cancers than their carnivore cousins. You don't have to give up meat entirely to enjoy longevity -- limiting your intake or eating meat only on weekends is a perfectly balanced and healthy approach.

Long Walks Beget Long Life
Every centenarian interviewed walked for at least 30 minutes as a daily activity, and most walked for more than an hour. It's no wonder: Studies have shown that walking can substantially reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease and raise levels of good cholesterol.

Bend, Don't Break
Bamboo is prized in Asia not only for its usefulness as food, medicine, and construction material but also as a symbol of flexibility; it is able to survive devastating storms. Studies from China show that patients possessing flexibility as a personality trait often recover 50 percent faster than those who stubbornly cling to their ways.

Simple Living
All centenarians studied led simple lives with little extravagance. Fiercely frugal, obtaining the most from the least amount of resources, they seemed to take pride in self-reliance. Those past 100 were still performing their daily chores. Conserve resources, and do not let others do what you can do for yourself.

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