Brandi Nik Kilbourne
9 Habits That Help People Live Over 100 Years
Coach Brandi Nik on 10/6/2022
It’s time to dye my gray hairs again!...Yep, underneath the wild hair colors that I love and adore, I have gray hair sprouting up like weeds. And since a lady never tells her age (*wink*), what I will say is that I am old enough to have been researching the habits that our longest living humans practice to stay healthy and happy, even in their 100s!
From the Danish Twin study (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10848141/), we now understand that the key to longevity doesn’t lie in a person’s genes (genes actually only account for about 20% of the longevity puzzle). So, what exactly helps people live longer, healthier lives?
The Blue Zones research team and National Geographic joined forces in 2004 to begin an ongoing longevity study. What they discovered was that there are 9 specific habits shared by healthy centenarians who were concentrated in 5 “blue zones” located all over the world.
Want to know what these “Power 9” habits are and how you can incorporate them into your life? I got your back!
Tip #1 - MOVE NATURALLY
You want to get up and move naturally on a consistent basis. This is NOT the same as getting up and going to the gym for an intense workout (although no shade if that’s what you like to do). Instead, incorporating movement into your daily lifestyle is the trick!
How To Do It: Consider living in an environment that causes you to move without having to think too hard about it. Grow your own food. Garden. If it’s safe, walk or ride your bike to work. Do yard work. By being physically active in this way, you don’t have to overthink your “daily exercise”. Instead, it just becomes a necessary part of your life.
Tip #2 - HAVE A PURPOSE
Knowing your purpose in life actually increases your life expectancy by 7 years! I think that’s amazing, don’t you? It’s important to understand why you wake up in the morning. One of our 8 Steps to Total Transformation introduced in my new mentorship program helps people just like you discover their purpose and learn how to monetize it!
How To Do It: Think about what you are passionate about. Our purpose in life oftentimes involves helping other people in some way, shape, or form. Consider what skills you’ve developed over your lifetime that qualify you to help someone else–and does doing that thing bring you joy? If you need help identifying your purpose, set up a STRATEGY CALL with me and I can help you figure it out.
"Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit." – B.K.S. Iyengar
Tip #3 - REDUCE STRESS LEVELS BY DOWNSHIFTING
Do you find that you are always on the go? Do you always have something to do? And you never seem to catch a break?!
What if I told you that taking a daily break to nap, pray, meditate, socialize, etc. is a life extending research backed strategy that adds years to your life? So, if you find yourself working through your lunch break, or that you’re neglecting your “me time” so that you can focus on everything and everyone else, you might be doing more harm than good.
How To Do It: Take what I like to call a “Wellness Hour” every day. No. Matter. What. This is one hour out of your day to dedicate to your well being. Preferably this hour would happen during your work shift to break up the most stressful hours of the day.
Tip #4 - EAT UNTIL YOU’RE 80% FULL
You know “The Itis”? When you are hit with this overwhelming need to sleep after you’ve eaten a good meal? Well, I’m here to burst some bubbles and tell you…(sorry)... that’s not healthy.
It’s actually a feeling that you should NEVER feel–because it means that your body is working OVERTIME to metabolize the food energy that you just ate.
In the geographic areas of longest living humans, they actually eat their smallest meal (dinner) in the late afternoon or early evening and don’t eat after that.
How To Do It: Practice mindful and intuitive eating. Pay attention to how the food you eat makes your body feel. How’s your energy level? Are you feeling full or not? Another tip is to measure your food using the Precision Nutrition Method so that you don’t overeat (no worries, I go over all of this in my Total Transformation Program).
Tip #5 - EAT MORE PLANTS!
As a vegetarian I love this one! Eat your fruits, vegetables, and legumes more than meat. If you do eat meat, 3-4 oz. 1-2 times per week is the longevity formula. Personally, I don’t eat land based meat…but I do eat fish and some other seafood about 1-4 times per month on average.
The point here is not to necessarily eliminate meat if you’re a carnivore, but to limit it significantly.
How To Do It: Start with eating a serving of fruit and vegetables with every meal. Slowly overtime increase the amount of non-starchy vegetables that you eat with your meals. Veggies at breakfast? YEP!
I do about half my plate with non-starchy veggies and one serving of fruit with most meals.
Tip #6 - DRINK YOUR WINE
Drink your wine, baby! But, don’t over do it! Believe it or not (and this again is coming from over two decades of research), moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. MODERATE, meaning 1-2 glasses per day with friends–not downing the whole bottle by yourself, okay?!
Resveratrol, the polyphenol found in the skin of grapes, is known to protect the body against damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease, and dementia. Red wine in general is thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits.
How To Do It: Do it with friends, family, and lot’s of laughter! Dry, red wines are better for your health than white wines. Try sipping a 3 oz. glass of Sardinian Cannonau (aka Grenache or Garnacha) or another dry, red wine for the health benefits.
Tip #7 - BELONG TO A COMMUNITY
This could be a faith based community or a community where you share the same values that meets on a regular basis. This one factor alone can add 4-14 years to your life!
How To Do It: Scope out local faith based communities (churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, etc.) or other communities joined together by values. Once you’ve found one that resonates with YOU, join and engage with the community members regularly.
Tip #8 - PRIORITIZE YOUR FAMILIAL RELATIONSHIPS
Doing things such as living in close proximity to your aging family, committing to a life partner, and being positively involved in your children’s lives, all add a few years to your life duration.
How To Do It: If you’re not already doing it, consider moving closer to your family members or finding a life partner to share your better days with. And while putting your family at the forefront is important, also understand that balancing that out with some space is equally as beneficial.
Tip #9 - GET INTO THE RIGHT SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS
It’s important that you surround yourself with the right people who have a culture of prioritizing their total wellness. We don’t think about it, but habits such as smoking, obesity, and loneliness are all contagious. Growing up I used to hear that if you got 9 rich friends, you’re bound to be the 10th! And that’s because you become most like those people that you are most around. That same concept applies to all 8 wellness dimensions.
How To Do It: Joining groups such as our Dollar Growth Club help decrease premature mortality rates because you are constantly around others who are cheering you on, praising your successes, and helping you grow into the lifestyle that you want to see for yourself.