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Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by people who thrive later in life. Hearing about senior citizens running races, climbing mountains, or embarking on their first round-the-world trip makes my day every time.Since moving to France almost two decades ago, I’ve been surrounded by healthy, vibrant men and women beyond retirement age.
I meet them regularly, either because of our similar lifestyle choices, or because I’m on the lookout for them, and I always try (without being too pushy) to get details on how they live their day-to-day.One thing that I’ve learned about the French lifestyle is that it’s not only how you live when you’re older that makes the difference; It’s the choices you make throughout your life.
Aging well comes from living well. The French, in general, grow up with healthy habits (I’ve chronicled children’s eating here and here for example) that carry into adulthood. But experts and research have shown over and over again, it’s never too late to get healthy. Regardless of age, we can all learn from the thriving grandmeres and grandperes of France, so I’ve collected a few of the most impactful differences into this list.
If you want to study of the topic further, I suggest a trip to France.From the streets of Paris and Lyon to the mountains of the Alps and the beaches of the Mediterranean, you’ll see the difference in how people live — and have the chance to immerse yourself in it. And, after all, what better way is there to learn?
Movement is a way of life.
From birth to old age, the French are active. People of all ages are regularly hiking, swimming, skiing, walking, cycling, just moving. They might be playing sports, running errands, gardening, or cycling to the office. Movement permeates every area of life.