This New Year's, make your resolution to live to 100. Is it possible? Yes! Your body wants to live to be 100 -- you just have to get out of its way. This means taking an honest look at your lifestyle as it is today and noticing what habits are limiting your true health potential. Knowing is half the battle; once you see bad habits for what they are, it is much easier to create new healthier habits that will eventually replace them.
Here is the formula for true success: start slow, start small, and start now. For the year 2011, I have compiled a Longevity Program, a yearlong plan of activities, month by month, that come from the habits of centenarians from around the world. I have spent 25 years studying the lifestyles of centenarians, and the monthly habits in this longevity program are the most simple and powerful ways to boost your longevity and improve your health.
For a more formalized longevity program, check out my new book Secrets of Longevity 8-Week Program, which will transform your health and lengthen your years.
The 2011 Longevity Program
So how does this 2011 program work? You will slowly, over a period of 12 months, address 12 different areas of health that are essential for achieving longevity. Each month, you will work on one small activity to the best of your ability. By the end of the month, it will become a new healthy habit that will serve you for the rest of your life!
It takes about 14 to 21 days of consistent practice to cement a new habit, as long as the activity is fairly simple. So, for example, the habit for one month is to do a simple breathing exercise every day, which may take you between 5 and 15 minutes every day. If you do it nearly every day, and especially if you do it at almost the same time every day, it will become automatic, like how you brush your teeth before bed every night.
Go easy on yourself. This longevity program is designed to fit into your life as it is now with small incremental changes that you gradually work into your schedule. You don’t have to change everything over night! If staying motivated is the issue, here’s a trick: Keep track of progress. Seeing positive results is a powerful motivator. Feel free to keep a written record of your progress every day. When you notice an improvement in your health and general outlook, there is a very good chance you will be motivated to repeat the activity again and again, helping you integrate it into your life as a new longevity habit that will stick -- for years to come!
This program is not just about living to 100. What would be the fun of that if you were suffering from health issues? This program is about quality and quantity of years: expect to gain energy, lose weight, reduce stress, sleep better -- and the list goes on. Are you on board? Stay tuned! Every month I will be writing a complete article that goes into further detail about each area that includes motivational tips and questions to help you track progress.
Here is the yearlong 2011 Longevity Program at a glance:
January: Start anew with cleansing exercise. January is about starting the year fresh with a simple daily walking practice, or another indoor fitness option if the snows are blocking your path. This will balance and cleanse your body from harmful toxins that you may have accumulated in 2010.
February: Restore and replenish. Indulge your urge for hibernation. Every day you will perform a practice specially designed to improve the quality of your sleep and release your stress. February will be your rest and relaxation month to restore your energy.
March: Boost your energy. Now that you’ve restored yourself, this month is time to energize. March will focus on when and what to eat to increase your energy level.
April: Power up your immunity. This month you will get your immune system in tip-top shape by eating a rainbow of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies every day.
May: Keep digestion on track. To live like a centenarian, one of the key ingredients is to maintain healthy digestion. When your digestion runs smoothly, you get the maximum nutrients from your food, which keeps your body functioning in peak condition. May gives you the secrets to keep your digestion on track.
June: Get heart healthy. To keep your heart pumping strong, you have to minimize plaque buildup. With a few simple dietary changes that you will learn this month, you will dramatically improve your heart health.
July: Brainy basics. Keeping your brain in shape is a key factor in longevity. During July, you will practice mental exercises that will stimulate your memory and mental acuity.
August: Stay hydrated. Most of us just aren’t getting enough water everyday, which has a negative impact on all our body’s functions. This month focuses on getting hydrated in the heat of summer to improve cellular function, metabolism, and organ function.
September: Get mindful at meals. This month, you will learn centenarian secrets for eating in a way that promotes weight loss and makes the most of your meals.
October: Don’t be tricked by treats. October offers simple and near-painless strategies for cutting back on the simple sugars that make our energy levels crash, pack on unwanted pounds, and even put us at risk for diabetes.
November: Give thanks. This month is all about counting your blessings! An attitude of gratitude is a proven way to live a longer and happier life.
December: Take a breather. The hurried holiday season is the perfect time to remember to breathe. Deep breathing can have a profound affect on your heart, brain, digestion, immune system, and longevity. You will learn a simple breathing practice that will come in handy during times of stress.
Look for my monthly articles to guide you through a healthy and happy 2011. You can find many more ways to live to 100 in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle.
I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
This blog is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.
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