Health & Longevity|
'The Okinawa Program': The Island's Guide to Healthy Aging|
There's no Shangri-La, but Okinawa comes pretty close to being that mythical land of perpetual youth. Okinawans are the world's longest-living people and among the least likely to suffer from the chronic diseases of aging, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and dementia. How they do it -- and how you can duplicate it -- is the focus of "The Okinawa Program: How the World's Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health - And How You Can Too," a book by scientists on 25 years of research into the Okinawan longevity phenomenon. The good news from researchers is that lifestyle, not genetics, seems to be the key to a healthy and active old age.
Did YOU eat your goya today? Your whole grains? What about your tofu? Fish? Seaweed? Jasmine tea? You should if you want to live long and well, say researchers. Plus throw in a little martial arts, like karate or tai chi. Walk more. Tend a garden. Explore your spirituality. Slow down to Okinawa time and get the "yuimaru spirit" by weaving a web of friends and relatives for support. If you follow this advice, you should be well on your way to everlasting health. It certainly seems to work for the Okinawans.
The statistics are impressive. All Okinawans are registered in a koseki (family registry) that possesses reliable age verification information dating back over 120 years. Life tables calculated from these data show that Okinawan women have the world's longest documented life expectancy at 86 years and 78 years for men, most of which can be attributed to an extended health span. Not surprisingly, they also possess the highest concentration of centenarians ever reliably documented - 39.5 per 100,000 versus about 10 per 100,000 in the United States.