Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Gardening Leads to a Longer Life

Back when The Fonz was still blogging, he ran this free test from REAL AGE which I took, full of pride because I lead such a healthy life. Man, did I get a bad surprise, the first of many. First the REAL LIFE people told me my body was one year OLDER than my real age because I don’t like to exercise, and then at my annual physical, my doctor looked me in the eye and said I had to make some changes.

I have. I’ve made some changes. One of the changes is I don’t take tests like that any more!

But REAL AGE doesn’t give up on me. They send me helpful newsletters every week, and I have to admit, they really are interesting, and they really do help me stay on track, like eating oatmeal and drinking green tea.

Today they talk about a hobby that lengthens your life – gardening:


The Hobby That Leads to a Longer Life

A hobby is more than a way to pass the time. It may be a way to get more of it.

Know which hobby has probably added years to the longest-lived people in the world? It’s gardening. Okinawans — whose men typically live to age 78, women to age 86 — have a long tradition of working with soil.

Flex Your Green Thumb
The benefits of gardening reach body and soul, according to Dan Buettner and his book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. “It’s a source of daily physical activity that exercises the body with a wide range of motion and helps reduce stress,” he writes. So, as the ground thaws and the seed catalogues start arriving, make a pact to plan — and plant — a plot this year.

Grow for Years
It’s not a coincidence: There are lots of other wonderful side benefits to gardening besides the body and mind boost. Here are the other garden goodies Buettner notes in his book:

A veggie-packed life. Okinawan centenarians eat a plant-based diet, often incorporating vegetables that they grow.

A bit of sun. Vitamin D, produced by the body when it’s exposed to sunlight, promotes stronger bones and better health. Vitamin D also helps your body fight cancer.

A dash of spice. Mugwort, ginger, and turmeric are staples of an Okinawan garden, and all have proven medicinal qualities.

Older Okinawans are active gardeners and walkers. Walk your way to a healthier, fitter life.

March 31, 2009 - Posted by | Aging, Cultural, Diet / Weight Loss, Exercise, ExPat Life, Experiment, Health Issues, Kuwait


  1. Does watering plants count? I do that sometimes 🙂
    When it comes to gardening, I’m all thumbs… green thumbs 😛
    I hope you dont mind if I add a link to my post on some new flowers I got last weekend. [link]

    Comment by mathai | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  2. I want a garden, but I want it to look perfect and someone to do it for me in the depths of darkness so when I awake, voila…………..tulips,dahlias, pampas grass and lemon trees. Will I gain their extended life through osmosis and wishful thinking?

    Comment by bathroompoet | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  3. Watering plants counts, Mathai. I think we all need to go gather at Bu Yousef’s house and he can show us what REAL gardening is all about. 🙂

    LOL, BR! No, it takes a little blood, sweat and tears – just as most relationships do! Ahhh, tulips – they must be coming into bloom around now in Maduradam . . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 1, 2009 | Reply

  4. Take care of plants

    Comment by Atul | April 1, 2009 | Reply

  5. And so does masturbation and eating dark chocolates, my dear.

    Comment by flyDubai with Wataniya | April 1, 2009 | Reply

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