Healthy Living Blog

The Secrets of a Long Life

Since the age of 25 I became captivated with the concept that YOU can determine how long you live with exercise, nutrition, and ‘community’.

I had met a lady, older than myself, by the name of Mara who coached people in nutrition. Mara introduced me to her study of the people of the HUNZA Valley (pictured). Their towns were situated high in the mountains of Himalaya. Importantly, these places were only accessible to ‘outsiders’ for a portion of the year. The un-spoiled Hunza’s were known for their long lives, living in steep terrain, hard exercise tending their crops was a way of life. And the couples were renowned to be still sexually active late in life. Quite likely, following my own later research, these people also benefited by having their crops fed by what American Dr Joel Wallach termed ‘Glacial Milk’.

What is Glacial Milk? It is rain and melted ice and snow that over the millennia has trickled down from high up in the mountains, taking with it the priceless minerals from rocks. Later embedding these into the soils and gardens of the Humza’s, along with other mountain dwelling populations. Dr Wallach himself was commissioned to solve the mystery of why expensive Zoo animals and essential farm animals died prematurely. Because farmers depended on their animals for their own livelihood, Dr Wallach’s work was of vital importance. Farmers would typically care for their animal’s health, better than they did of themselves. Having later completed over 20,000 autopsies, Dr Wallach became astounded with his discovery that more than 80% of these animals died due to a mineral deficiency.

Wallach went on to repeat this research by conducting human autopsies and was amazed to find the same result. Most humans have been living less than their potential years due to mineral deficiencies. For a well-known local example, New Zealand soils are known to be lacking in the mineral Selenium. If you own a horse like my wife Tina, you probably supplement the animal with Selenium. Wallach later discovered areas on our planet that have a higher density of minerals. A decade ago, on a rare visit to New Zealand, Dr Wallach accepted an invitation to share his insights with a seminar at Club Physical Te Atatu.

Reading studies highlighted in the book THE BLUE ZONES, we find that many of the disciplines that have resulted in the World’s longest living populations are repeated in places like the Islands of Sardinia and in Okinawa, Japan. These populations don’t overeat. In fact, the Okinawan’s eat only until just satisfied, nothing more. They eat very simple foods, rice, and plenty of vegetables. They work well into old age just as the Sardinians do. Again, many from Sardinia farm on steep land which automatically adds plenty of daily cardio to their existence.

One important factor common to all these groups was their sense of community. In each population, the gathering and sharing with their community had become a vital ingredient of their culture. Other studies had since shown that individuals worldwide, tend to enjoy longer, happier lives if they continue to have an active role within their communities.
And that is why, eating right, exercising regularly, and enjoying being part of the gym-community should lead to a healthier, happy life.

Great HUNZA short-doco

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