While writing his book, Healthy at 100, John says he researched four cultures from around the world, where some of the oldest and healthiest people live. From Central Asia to South America, John discovered people living beyond 100 often follow healthy diets, engage in daily exercise and enjoy meaningful, loving relationships.
John says a diet rich in whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, while low in sugar and calories, is common among the cultures he researched. Also, the eating habits of those he studied often relied on beans as a main source of protein instead of meat.
"They are not on 'diets;' they are not counting every calorie," John says. "They make every calorie count. Their cells are nourished fully by the nutrients their food is filled with."
When it comes to exercise, 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity a day, along with some weight training and yoga, can increase your health now and in your golden years. John explains that finding an exercise you enjoy, or working out with a partner, can help you stick to a healthy fitness routine for life.
John emphasizes the level of love and the quality of the relationships in your life is the key to being healthy at 100. "If you are feeling put down, if you are feeling disrespected in a relationship, particularly if it is persistent, that is undermining your health," John says. "If you can create relationships where you feel recognized, upheld and cherished, you will bring out your optimum health functioning."
According to John, incorporating these ancient, good health practices into daily life could help prevent common "old age" aliments like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.