Happy is Healthy

dorothy1Today a friend on Facebook shared a very special video that I’d never seen.  So special that it more than deserves a blog post.  This particular video captures Jay Leno interviewing Dorothy Custer.  No, she’s not some new pop singer, or actor, or someone who’s done anything notorious enough to warrant the all too familiar “instant celebrity” nonsense that somehow seems to be able to stimulate multi-million dollar undeserved paychecks.

Dorothy Custer’s claim to fame at the time of this video is that she’s 100 years old – but living to 100 in and of itself isn’t what makes this woman special.  What makes her special is her approach to living

The reason why I’m posting on Dorothy is because what Fitegic Planners is all about isn’t “getting skinny” because a “skinny life” isn’t necessarily a happy – or healthy – life.  Fitegic Planners is about living a meaningful life.  A joyful life.

And Dorothy Custer is an exceptional example of how that’s done.

Jay Leno asks her what her secret to a long life is.  And certainly the fact that she “doesn’t leave her bedroom” in the morning before she exercises is an important factor.  Staying active as we age certainly contributes to our ability to keep moving at all.

Dorothy5But that’s not what caught my attention.  What caught my attention was this 100-year-old woman’s sense of humor.  I dare you to watch this clip and not laugh at loud.  I came away thinking that this woman’s ability to laugh out loud is what keeps her life meaningful.   The kind of meaning that not only “keeps you alive” but makes you look forward to being alive – no matter what your age.

I mean, think about a day that you thoroughly enjoyed — a day that made you feel happy to be alive — A day that made you look forward tomorrow.  I’m going to bet that day was a day you laughed out loud.

I decided I wanted to find out a bit more about this lovely lady.  And I’m glad I did.  Turns out Dorothy also embraces the value of living outside your comfort zone.  A life of trying new things.  A life where you give yourself the gift of looking at life from a different perspective. For example, she celebrated her 102nd birthday by base jumping off a bridge in Idaho where she shared that one of her secrets to a long life was “action.”  But, from what I can see action with a smile on your face is perhaps her true secret.

Dorothy2The Leno video clip definitely introduced me to one happy 100 year old lady.  And, at the time I’m writing this, she’s one happy 102 year old lady. And I’m going to bet it is her sense of humor and appreciation of adventure that motivates her not only to exercise every morning, but look forward to every morning, because a life lived with joy, laughter, and new things is a life worth living.   Science tells us that being happy able contributes to living a longer life (35% longer) – but living longer doesn’t mean anything unless you can find something to smile about – better yet laugh out loud – every single day.

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