Secrets of the World’s Healthiest People

Secrets of the World’s Healthiest People

Some people seem to be walking commercials for good health. They’re strong, vibrant, and energetic­–exactly what we’d all like to display (but often can’t). How do they do it? Steven Bowers, DO, Medical Director for St. Luke’s Wound Management and Hyperbaric Medicine Centers, wondered, too. After interviewing over 30 very healthy and active people ranging in age from 33 to 99 years, Dr. Bowers and his wife Elizabeth discovered several recurring themes. Their new book, Secrets of the World’s Healthiest People (available on Amazon), presents their findings. Luckily, he was nice enough to share some of these “secrets” with us.

Wake up with a purpose.

“My subjects looked forward to getting out of bed each morning. Some were running their own businesses; others were doctors in their 80s; still others were active volunteers. But they were all excited to wake up and get into the things they love to do.” He adds that some people see retirement as “the end,” and go downhill quickly; those that see the coming years as “phase two” tend to thrive.

Live in the moment.

“It’s been said that people who live in the past are depressed and those who live in the future can be anxious. My subjects were neither. They were really living ‘in the moment,’ and that can lead to reduced stress and reduced levels of depression,” he says.

Keep in touch.

“It’s easy to get caught up in daily life and neglect our social network, but having a good support structure really benefits people. Good socialization can lead to lower levels of the inflammatory chemical IL-6–and that can lead to decreased risk of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers.”

Moderate alcohol use can help.

“Several studies have shown that having a daily drink may lead to decreased mortality. But my subjects made their drinking part of their socialization process. They might have some wine at a family dinner or drink a couple of cocktails with friends during happy hour.” But that rule applies only if you already consume alcohol, Dr. Bowers cautions. 

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