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  • midlifelove 8:24 am on October 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventurous, , Farrah Fawcett, independence, living long life, Patrick Swayze, positive attitude, Queen's telegram, resilience, supercentenarian   

    Living Long and Healthy 

    old couples“If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”
    Hermann Doernemann, who at the age of 110 was the oldest man in Germany, speaking in 2003.

    Watching Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett lose their public battles with cancer makes us all feel vulnerable – and ask once again – what is the secret to living a long and healthy life?

    Living till you are 100 still earns a telegram from the Queen for those in the UK and Commonwealth. Live eve longer and you’ll receive another if you reach 105, and then one for every year after that.

    And it looks like more and more of these Queen’s – or King’s – congratulations will be sent in the next 30 years.

    That’s because according to the New Scientist centenarians are the fastest-growing demographic in much of the developed world. In the UK, their numbers have increased by a factor of 60 since the early 20th century. And their ranks are set to swell even further, thanks to the ageing baby-boomer generation: by 2030 there will be about a million worldwide.

    110 and Still Going Strong

    Even being a “supercentenarian”- over 110, is going to become more and more common. With medical advances, the number of centenarians is expected to reach the one million mark by 2030.

    According to the New Scientist, those who break through the barrier of age 90 are the “physically elite.” They somehow escape a full range of diseases that kill off their peers, and enjoy relatively good health. Only 4 per cent of centenarians die of cancer, compared with 40 per cent of people that die in their fifties and sixties. Curiously, centenarians have remarkably low rates of Alzheimer’s.

    “As a demographic group, they basically didn’t exist in the 1970s or 80s,” says Craig Willcox of the Okinawa Centenarian Study in Japan. “They have some sort of genetic booster rocket and they seem to be functioning better for longer periods of time than centenarians.”

    Resilience A Key

    A comprehensive study of those born in 1905 who are still alive, showed over one third of them were entirely self sufficient. The New England Centenarian Study (NECS) showed that even the supercentenarians – 40% of them, are able to look after themselves even after age 110. Clearly with so many “eldest of the old” managing on their own for nearly a century, one of the keys to resiliency is independence.

    Gerontologists point to four key factors for living a long life: diet, exercise, “psycho-spiritual” and social as key elements to survival.

    Thomas Perls, who heads the NECS, believes that up to 70 per cent of longevity is due to non-genetic factors. The old fashioned ways; simple foods, faith in a higher power, and close friends, will take us a lot farther down the road than promotions at work.

    According to the National Centenarian Awareness project: resilient Centenarians are known to have positive attitudes, an adventurous love of life, strong will, a keen sense of humour and an ability to renegotiate life when necessary.

    It is not enough to rely on good genes, or good circumstances, to enjoy a long and happy life. Often these elders withstood tremendous adversity, and learned positive coping skills that set them apart from the rest.

    • Rhea 1:18 pm on October 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Living long could be cool except all of your friends would be dead.

  • midlifelove 11:43 pm on August 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: assets, , , happy marriage, long-lasting, , resilience, richer, stick together, wealth   

    Top 10 Reasons Why Recession is Good For Relationships 6 – 10 

    recession1Perhaps recession is doing something the good times couldn’t – encouraging couples to stick together and face their problems as a team.

    As we mentioned in Part One of this Top Ten survey, one out of three people questioned in a Romance in Recession Poll in January 2009 feel that financial constraints have brought them and their partner closer together.

    There are a lot of good reasons to see the black clouds of recession as having a silver lining.

    Top 10 Reasons No 6 – 10

    6 ) Communication improved: 34 percent of poll respondents claim that over the past year, they haven’t argued with their partner about finances. A typical comment:
    “When my husband and I lost our jobs, we had to learn to really communicate with each other to figure out what to do next.”

    7 ) The relationship developed resilience: two key predictors of a resilient relationship, experts say, are mutual support and a willingness to sacrifice. A 2006 study by Scott Stanley, the director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, and colleagues found that the willingness to forgo personal interests and put a partner’s needs ahead of one’s own was directly linked to a long-lasting, happy marriage — provided that such sacrifices weren’t damaging or one-directional.

    8 ) Despite tough economic times you’ll be better off financially if you hang in there. Marriage is as important, if not more important, than education in determining a man’s wealth. Married men make, by some estimates, as much as 40 percent more money than comparable single guys, even after taking into account education and job history. The longer a man stays married, the higher the marriage premium he receives. Wives’ earnings also benefit from marriage, but they decline when motherhood enters the picture. Childless white wives get a marriage wage premium of 4 percent, and black wives earn 10 percent more than comparable single women.

    9 ) Did I mention stick together and you’ll be much richer? Married people not only make more money, they manage money better and build more wealth together than either would alone. At identical income levels, for example, married people are less likely to report “economic hardship” or trouble paying basic bills. The longer you stay married, the more assets you build; by contrast, length of cohabitation has no relationship to wealth accumulation. On the verge of retirement, the average married couple has accumulated assets worth about $410,000, compared with $167,000 for the never-married and $154,000 for the divorced. Couples who stayed married in one study saw their assets increase twice as fast as those who had remained divorced over a five-year period.

    10 ) Recession may encourage you to stay in the relationship for the long haul – and there is plenty of evidence for many people this is the best choice. What proportion of unhappily married couples who stick it out stay miserable? The latest data shows that within five years, just 12 percent of very unhappily married couples who stick it out are still unhappy; 70 percent of the unhappiest couples now describe their marriage as “very” or “quite” happy.

    Resilience evolves over time, as long as couples make it a mutual priority — and that takes patience. Keep in mind also that over the long haul, the health and mental benefits of marriage are countless. Says Diane Sollee, a marriage and family therapist and the founder of SmartMarriages.com: “You’ve got to know that you actually do better if you hang in there.”

  • midlifelove 10:53 am on August 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , commitment, , enduring, , , resilience, romantic meals, silver lining   

    Top 10 Reasons Recession is Good For Relationships 1 – 5 


    There’s an abundance of research showing that stressful events like job loss can be bad news for marriages – what with the ensuing stress, bad moods, and sex lives in the Ice Age.

    But the darkest cloud can have a silver lining, and there is also evidence that tough times can make relationships more enduring.

    One out of three people questioned in a Romance in Recession Poll in January 2009 feel that financial constraints have brought them and their partner closer together.

    So here they are, the Top 10 Reasons – Nos 1 – 5 – recession is good for relationships.

    1)      Economic adversity holds people together. Marriage expert John Gottman says data from the Great Depression suggests families were more cohesive, worked more as a team, and dealt with tough times together. The same seems to be holding true in this “recession”.

    2)      Divorce is down. Even divorce lawyers are feeling the pinch as couples decide to stick together rather than split their assets and separate, either because their jobs are less secure or their property has dropped in value.

    3)      Surviving misfortune together helps a couple solidify their commitment into an unshakeable us-against-the world resolve. Say the people who responded to the Romance in Recession Poll: “As a couple, we have confronted a lot of difficult problems over the past year and we feel it has made us closer.”

    4)      The sex gets better: In the same poll nearly 43 percent agree that they are spending more intimate time together and 20 percent feel that their sex lives have improved as a result of the economy. Typically they say “Our money concerns have made us closer, more loyal to each other and more supportive—mentally, physically and emotionally.”

    5)      Leisure activities became less dollar-driven and more family-based: Over half of all couples are spending more quality time together due to financial constraints “We go out to eat less often and we now enjoy special homemade romantic meals.”

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