Mrs. G., a Sequoia Living resident, exemplifies healthy aging. As a centenarian, she is a living testament to the power of a health-conscious lifestyle. At 100 years old, Mrs. G. radiates physical and mental vitality.
Secret for Living Longer
When asked, “What is the secret to living to 100?” she attributes her longevity to healthy habits established early on.
As a child growing up in New York City, her family instilled the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Her daily routine of navigating a brownstone, which involved climbing three flights of stairs to get to her bedroom, unknowingly contributed to her physical fitness. In the summers, she grew up swimming and taking long walks on the beach.
Then, marriage brought a stationary bike into her life, which she diligently used, accumulating over 10,000 miles. Her commitment to fitness continued as her children grew and life moved forward. She joined a gym and built a community of like-minded peers while balancing the responsibilities of raising six children. With each passing year, her dedication to a healthy lifestyle became a shining example for her ever-expanding family, including 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
In 2016, with the help of her adult children, Mrs. G. right-sized to a life plan community. Her dedication to staying active continued. She embraced the community’s fitness center and adopted a Japanese high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine known as Tabata. To get her heart pumping in the mornings and her muscles warmed up, she does 160 squats incorporating the Tabata method as soon as she wakes up. A Tabata workout consists of 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by a 10-second rest period for eight rounds in four minutes.
In the afternoons, she does daily workouts on a rowing machine and stationary bike, helping to keep her physically fit, strong, and balanced. She also enjoys walking through the community’s garden.
Another important aspect of her active, healthy aging is nutrition. Growing up in a health-conscious family, she learned the importance of a balanced diet early on. “We ate the Mediterranean diet before it had a name,” said Mrs. G. “So I’ve been eating that diet all my life.”
Wellness and Faith
Beyond the gym and chef-prepared nutritious options, community living has helped Mrs. G. live on her terms. “My eyes were never very good. I always had low vision,” said Mrs. G. At a Sequoia Living Life Plan Community, Mrs. G. lives independently with additional support. Her aids, pictured with Nooria, assist with reading and accessing information, getting around the community, and managing day-to-day life.
As one grows older, taking good care is essential, and one way to do that is by having support services and getting involved in activities that enhance well-being and bring you joy. “The community is beautiful, and it’s a lovely location, but I was most impressed with the number of activities,” said Mrs. G. As a devout Catholic, her faith is vital to her longevity. “I was very impressed that the community provides spiritual care.”
The spiritual element deeply resonates with her. Every Saturday, a priest visits to say mass, and on Sundays, residents are driven to their respective churches of choice. “I don’t think many retirement communities have this additional service,” said Mrs. G. The support of the community enables her to live independently without compromising her values.
Community and Longevity
Building connections, whether it is one of like-minded peers, faith-based congregations, or the “right tribe,” all contribute greatly to one’s longevity. According to Dan Buettner, founder of the concept of Blue Zones®, “The world’s longest-lived people ‘curate’ social circles around themselves that support healthy behaviors.”
Mrs. G’s story serves as an inspiration to be active and embrace healthy habits. Incorporating regular exercise, good nutrition, and social activities supports healthy aging. Prioritizing good food, friends, and healthful habits contributes to a longer, more joyful life.
Never Stop Growing at Sequoia Living. Access resources on healthy aging, and schedule a visit to harness the power of community.