I was part of the audience recently when Dan Buettner came to Kelowna as a guest of UBC in the Distinguished Speaker Series.
There were many of us aging baby boomers in the audience to listen and learn from his words of wisdom.
Buettner has traveled the world in search of answers on longevity and happiness, working on assignment for National Geographic.
His research shows there are pockets of people in the world who are considered the happiest and they live the longest.
There are key traits to live a long and happy life.
We should remain close to the people we love. If possible, we should stay close to aging parents and keep them involved in the daily routine of family life. They will live longer when they feel they are needed and loved.
The happiest people in the world do a lot of socializing. Married people are three times more likely to be happy. Having friends will boost your happiness level. A new friend can boost your happiness level many times over.
Job satisfaction provides daily mental challenges and social activity. You spend many hours each week at work; you want your career or job to provide certain levels of satisfaction and contentment in life.
Have a positive attitude about the people around you at work, hang out with a friend at work, be part of the organizing social committee. Be involved.
If you are no longer working, find a place to volunteer. There are many worthwhile organizations that need volunteers. In retirement, you now have more time to be active.
Go for daily walks, learn a new exercise routine. Find a good substitute to replace your job to ensure you stay busy after you retire.
Exercise daily. Being physically active is as important as maintaining a healthy diet. Cycling, walking and hiking increase your cardiovascular endurance. Stretching improves our range of motion in muscle and joints.
Weight training fights against brittle bones and increases muscle strength.
Exercise your brain. Do crossword puzzles, Sudoku, learn a new language or a new instrument.
Keeping the brain moving is as important as keeping our body moving every day. Keep challenging yourself.
Eating the right foods will add years to our lives. Antioxidant foods are really good for us; they include walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, sunflower sees, pomegranates and red wine.
Fibre is important to ensure proper digestion. Eat lots of whole wheat, vegetables, flax seed and corn bran. Moderation is the key in eating. Avoid over processed foods. Watch your caloric intake. Maintain your optimal weight.
Check our Dan Buettner and take his “Happy Test” and “Vitality Test” at www.bluezones.com.
In a few minutes you can check our your life expectancy and are given tips on how to live longer and be happier.
Financial security has a great impact on our happiness. Taking care of our finances, planning for retirement and buying insurance to take care of those we love provides peace of mind. Financial security lasts a lifetime.
The excitement of a new consumer purchase wears off in nine months to a year.
It is tempting to keep spending money on consumer goods, but the good feeling may only last a couple of months.
Longevity is increasing, so plan to spend your days as happy days.
Doreen Smith is a Certified Financial Planner with Capri Wealth Management Inc.