Monday, August 28, 2006

Aging Well

The world's oldest human, a woman in Ecuador, died on Sunday at 116. Now the oldest is a lady in Memphis, Tennesee who is also 116, but just a little bit less so.

I'm always fascinated by the "secrets" people give for their longevity. According to the AP article I linked to, "She always ate three meals a day and never smoked or drank hard liquor. 'Only a small cup of wine with lunch and nothing more,' Irma told the AP in December.

"For the past 20 years, Capovilla had lived with elder daughter Hilda. Her calm disposition may have been the secret to her longevity.

"'She always had a very tranquil character,' Irma said in last year's interview. 'She does not get upset by anything. She takes things very calmly and she has been that way her whole life.'"

I've studied longevity since I was in college and tranquility, peace as well as a positive outlook seem to me to be one of the keys. Another is regular habits, as well as hard outdoor work and a meager diet of grains and vegetables that doesn't vary much. Not that these are universal, but most long-lived people seem to share most of these traits.

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