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August 17, 2009




Deadlift 225/155
Ring Push Ups
Full Snatch 95/65

Okinawa and Longevity

The islands of Okinawa, Japan, were estimated to have nearly 740 centenarians in 2006—90 percent of whom were women—out of a population of 1.3 million. This represents about 50 centenarians for every 100,000 people, according to the Okinawa Centenarian Study, headed by Dr. Makoto Suzuki. In most developed lands, the ratio is thought to be between 10 and 20 per 100,000.

The ongoing study, said to be “the longest continuously running centenarian study in the world,” found that “an unusual number of centenarians [were] in extraordinarily healthy shape.” To find out why, Suzuki and his team examined the lifestyle and genetics of over 900 centenarians, as well as many other Okinawans in their 70’s or older. The researchers found that the subjects tended to be lean and fit, that their arteries were clean, and that they had remarkably low rates of cancer and heart disease. And of those in their late 90’s, fewer had dementia than comparable populations in other developed lands. The secret?

One major factor was genetics. But there were other factors too—the avoidance of tobacco, moderation in the use of alcohol, and a good diet. The Okinawan diet tends to be low in calories and high in vegetables and fruits, natural fiber, and good fats (omega-3, monounsaturated fat). And the people have the habit of eating only until they are about 80 percent full. “You should stop at the first feeling of fullness you get,” says Dr. Bradley Willcox, a coinvestigator in the study. “There’s about a 20-minute delay before the stomach tells the brain.”

Okinawans keep physically active through gardening, daily walking, traditional dancing, or other activities. Personality testing revealed the centenarians to be optimistic and adaptable. They handled stress well, and the women especially manifested “strong social integration.”

“There’s no magic pill” for longevity, says Willcox. As the study revealed, it is influenced by genes, diet, exercise, good habits, “and healthy ways of coping with stress.”
Another Article About Centarians

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  1. Richard Reply

    Wow, I am still physically, mentally, and spiritually drained from this WOD. I had to stop at a gas station on the way home and crush a 32oz Gatorade in order to get my act together enough to finish the drive to Yarmouth. Good luck everyone!

  2. Mark Lee Reply

    Rich-way to gut it out-Linda is merciless! (Gatorade?!)

  3. Richard Reply

    Yeah Dude, I needed the sugar and electrolytes. Needless to say, I was seriously hurting and drained from Linda, and needed to replace massive amounts of fluids fast!!!

  4. sarah lee Reply

    Wow Rich. I’m a little scared to do Linda now. If she wrecked you that bad I don’t want to know what’s going to happen to the rest of us.

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