Prather’s Pick: ‘The Longevity Plan’ outlines 7 steps for successful life
This week’s book was recommended to me by Chuck and Ginger Osborn, of Craig. I had to put my name on a waiting list at the library to get the book, so it took awhile. Now, I can see why. It’s a great book.
“The Longevity Plan: Seven Life-Transforming Lessons from Ancient China” was written by Dr. John D. Day and Jane Anne Day, with Matthew LaPlante as collaborating writer.
John D. Day is a cardiologist and medical director of heart rhythm specialists at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. His impressive resume includes lecturing throughout the world (he is a Mandarin speaker), publishing more than 100 medical studies and serving as the Utah governor of the American College of Cardiology.
His wife, Jane Ann Day, has traveled throughout Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, where she has empowered communities in need with self-reliance and entrepreneurial tools. She is a facilitator of executive strategy sessions and seminars.
In the book, John D. Day recalls morning breakfasts of the past that consisted of a doughnut, bagel, a Diet Coke, followed by another bagel for later. Lunch was a slice of pizza (or two) or a cheeseburger and fries, a Diet Coke and a chocolate chip cookie. He always figured he would make up these meals by working out.
He writes that he was overworked, took too few vacation days and didn’t spend enough time with his family. As a result, he was overweight and suffered from insomnia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and degenerative joint disease, conditions for which he took six medications.
Then, in 2012, he read an article about the Bama County Centenarian study, which had been published in a Chinese medical journal and dealt with the remote village of Bapan, which had come to be known as Longevity Village. People there lived into their 80s, 90s, and 100s. Day conducted research to learn more about the village, and his wife suggested they visit. They took their 9-year-old son, Joshua, with them.
As they entered the village, they were greeted by a sign with pictures and biographies of the village’s seven centenarians. The Day family’s first stop was to meet Boxin, the oldest man in the village, who was reported to be 114. It’s fascinating reading.
After several visits to the village, Day came up with seven life lessons for health and happiness. Three of them are eat good food, master your mindset and be in motion. Each of the seven lessons comprises a chapter within the book.
In 2014, Day began a series of four-month support groups with his patients, who agreed to apply the seven lessons of Longevity Village to their lives. Ninety-two percent of them stayed with the plan and reached amazing health goals.
This book is a must read, for a couple of reasons. First, it didn’t seem as though I was reading nonfiction. It’s more like a story. Secondly, even if you decide not to follow the seven steps to health and happiness, there is a lot to learn. I found the chapter about food interesting, especially what the author wrote about water and bread. It wasn’t that I didn’t know the information; rather, it was presented in a way that caused me to think about these topicws in a different light.
“The Longevity Plan” is published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers (2017). The hardcover book costs $25.99. You can find it at Downtown Books or at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.