Secrets from Centenarians

Secrets from Centenarians

This week I sat down with an energetic and engaging woman who turned 100 in May. She greeted me at the door with perfect posture and effortless mobility. Her skin was smooth and her memory sharp (better than mine as I called her a centurion instead of a centenarian). Maybe centurion is a good word for Marie. She is a fighter and shares beautiful ideas for longevity worth following. 

To watch click on the link below:

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Marie attributes her longevity to 3 things:

1.   Exercise or movement. Marie does not go to the gym everyday but keeps moving by working outside and walking. Dr. Valter Longo, author of The Longevity Diet, says the best exercise for longevity is the one you enjoy and can easily incorporate into your daily schedule. I lift weights five days a week not because I am more disciplined than you, but because I love it. Whatever you do, exert enough energy that you breathe rapidly and break a sweat. Muscles grow only when challenged.


A friend is a looking for a work truck with low miles. Why low miles? In the past he bought a truck with a great body and high miles and not long after the purchase many “overworked” components started breaking down. If we overtrain our joints break down prematurely. On the flip side, I am leery of buying a vehicle that has low miles because it has been parked for months or years. Lack of use can cause mechanical problems as well. Balance and commonsense lead to longevity. 


2.   Locally sourced whole foods. We age prematurely by consuming highly processed foods. They are typically high in sugar, artificial ingredients, refined carbs, and trans fats. This leads to obesity, an inferior immune system, and a plethora of other health related issues. Some examples are frozen meals, baked goods like pastries, processed cheese products, chips, candy, instant noodles, and sodas. Increase your servings of processed food and increase your mortality risk significantly. Marie eats food locally grown such as lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

3.   Faith and friends. Marie knows she was created for a purpose and blessed with loving relationships. Loneliness and stress rival smoking when it comes to taking a toll on our health. According to the American Psychological Association, ongoing stress increases the risk for hypertension, heart attack, or stroke.


What about Faith? Dr. Koenig from the Duke University Medical Center reviewed research articles on spirituality and health and found a positive association. Faith leads to a greater sense of hope, purpose, optimism and self- confidence. Although Dr. Koenig’s research is not focused exclusively on the Christian faith, how many times have you heard a person facing a battle quote the verse in the Bible that says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Mental health impacts physical health.

I was in a local grocery store this week and a lady behind me had a cart full of sodas and doughnuts. I did not say a word and was not judgmental in any way. Out of the blue she says, “All this stuff is not good for my diabetes, but something is going to kill me. Might as well die doing what makes me happy.” As hard as it is for you to believe, I was speechless. Didn’t seem the appropriate time to say, “My fitness plan is giving me incredible energy to liberate greatness in myself and others. I was created for a purpose and will die fulfilling that purpose as a happy man.”


Celebrating life,

Sam Bartlett


William S. (‘Sam’) Bartlett is a leadership practitioner who has guided both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations to high levels of success. Sam’s diverse experiences have made him a sought after motivational speaker and consultant to results driven companies. He is a noted authority in the areas of team building, employee engagement, customer service, conflict management, leadership, and what it means to “live inspired.” Sam has a love and passion to help others succeed. At 62, he compet

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