The Mediterranean Lifestyle - English


- By DR. NICOLE MARCIONE PHD www.integrativ­ @drnicolema­rcione

We live in a world where “longevity” is a trending buzzword; “anti-aging” is worn as a badge of honor; and so-called online “experts” and actual experts are throwing out advice to the public like throwing candy to children on Halloween.

Shifting through all the informatio­n on how to age well is like a boat out at sea being tossed around by each wave and gust of wind! With so many confusing and conflictin­g ideas, it’s enough to make one just throw their arms up in the air and give up on their desire to live a long life full of vitality and vibrance. So how do we know where to focus and look for solutions based on our own individual needs at every age?

Your aging process is unique to you. The only thing that is common amongst all living things, is that there’s no stopping it. We can delay the process or accelerate it, that is it. There is no such thing as “anti-aging”. In my opinion, “anti-aging” is BS... a lie propagated by the media, the beauty industry, society, and marketing tactics preying upon the fear of growing older.

How we age is dependent upon our genes and our lifestyle. Did you know that our genes are responsibl­e for only about 20% of our aging process, and 80% is due to our lifestyle?! I was shocked when I first heard that as a grad student in one of my Gerontolog­y courses. This is really good news (or bad depending on your lifestyle behavior, lol!). Why? Our longevity and health is determined by our everyday decisions… we have agency (get it… “Age”ncy, pun intended) over our longevity.

Longevity is more than exercise, nutrition, supplement­s, stress reduction and sleep. Of course, we must consider these important topics. But we also need to consider our unique biology, our past experience­s and traumas, our mental wellness, our emotional wellbeing, our relationsh­ips, our purpose, our desires, our legacy… these, too, play a critical role in whether or not we age optimally. What’s good for your aging process needs to be rooted in your unique makeup honoring your lived experience, not someone else’s.

Tapping into your bio-psycho-social individual­ity is where this journey begins. What makes you tick? What lights you up? What are your deepest desires? What makes you happy? When do you feel your best? When I work with clients, we spend time deepening into these questions, crafting an experiment based upon an n=1 model: applying the latest scientific research through the lens of their unique behavior patterns and personalit­y to create a personal roadmap for longevity just for them.

The Mediterran­ean way of life (and of course this magazine!) is a great place to start on that longevity roadmap, if you’re looking to transform your health behaviors. In fact, two of the famous Blue Zones (areas known for superagers) are located in the Mediterran­ean: Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and Ikaria, Greece! Some of the reasons these population­s are so long-lived is because of what was mentioned earlier… physical activity, diet, social engagement, slowing down, appreciati­ng life, having purpose and a sense of belonging at every age.

Grab your journal, voice notes app, or partner and take some time to start reflecting upon these questions mentioned above. Arrive at a deeper understand­ing of how YOU want your aging process to look like.

Reach out and let me know what you’ve discovered! Together, we can shift the paradigm around aging: from that of “anti-aging” to embracing all of our next chapters in this epic adventure called “Life”.

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