As I continue to leaf enthusiastically through Ilchi Lee’s book titled I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, I can’t help but share more of the longevity tools he promises will support vibrant health in the second half of our lives. If you’ve read our first blog post, you’ll remember that this second half begins around age 60. And, according to Lee, your intention to live a long, fruitful life can be a choice. But, it takes some lifestyle changes to support such a journey.
One of those lifestyle changes is something he refers to as Longevity Walking. Lee developed Longevity Walking in response to a horseback riding accident he had in Sedona, Arizona back in 2006. He was 56 years old at the time, and suffered injuries to his lower back. During recovery, he realized that his gait had changed. It was no longer characterized by the vigor of his younger years. He noticed that most of his weight fell on his heels when he walked. What followed was a foray into researching various ways of walking.
He payed attention to the gaits of others—noticing that youngsters walked in a different manner than elderly. He played around with his posture, angles, and gait, while paying attention to how he felt in different positions. He felt best when he was doing what he calls Longevity Walking.
Walking is man’s best medicine. —Hippocrates
Longevity Walking consists of walking with your feet parallel to one another, while pressing down on the yongchun while flexing all the way through the tips of the toes. The yongchun is an energy point beneath the balls of the feet. The weight then falls toward the front of your feet, rather than the heels. As you practice this way of walking, cultivate a mindset of gratitude for the ability to move with such grace. This is an important aspect of Longevity Walking—to realize that health, happiness, and even peace can be found through the art of conscientious walking.
According to Lee’s book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years, those who practice Longevity Walking report better sleep, decreased chronic pain, less stress, a more lighthearted outlook on life, and even a better complexion. Lee encourages us all to view walking as a form of enjoyable exercise, rather than just a mindless way to get from point A to point B. In turn, walking becomes a form of health and happiness, as well as a low-impact way of moving the body no matter what age.
What’s more, Longevity Walking helps improve circulation in the legs, boost metabolism, and train lower body muscles to keep the legs from atrophying in old age. Because walking increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, it’s a necessary mind-body exercise. This means that walking prevents cognitive decline. As such, it’s an absolutely essential part of a longevity exercise plan.
In fact, studies have shown that not only does walking delay brain-related aging that often results in brain shrinkage and a decline in brain function, it even increases the size of our brains! How’s that for yet another reason to commit to a regular Longevity Walking practice?!
To read more about Longevity Walking, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Ilchi Lee’s inspiring work, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years, and then collect a bonus guide with book purchase on Longevity Walking at Live120YearsBook.com. It will no doubt change your perspective on aging—from one filled with stress and worry, to one of optimism, inspiration, and even sheer wonder.