A Simple Healthy Lifestyle
Since I moved to Florida, I don't see any Amish. But when I used to travel to Pennsylvania years ago, it wasn't that uncommon to see a horse and buggy trotting down the road.
I couldn't figure out whether to envy that simple life, or feel sorry for what they're missing out on.
No cars. No computers. No phone. Not even electricity.
They are living without a whole lot.
But when you dig into it, some of the things they're living without include...
Obesity. Diabetes. Cancer. And early death.
At least compared to the rest of us in "modern society."
When you study the Amish, you find one thing they have in abundance, something we'd all like: good health, late in life.
Now, you can probably chalk some of it up to genes.
Amish tend to stick together in their own communities. There's only about 300,000 Amish in the whole country. And they marry in the community and raise kids there too.
Now this could be bad if the genes were bad. But if they're good, you’ve hit the genetic jackpot.
Amish tend to have longer telomeres, the caps at the end of chromosomes that shorten over time, and make us age faster.
But it's not all genes. It's the lifestyle too.
They work the soil and tend to their crops by hand. Amish men average over 18,000 steps per day. The women over 14,000.
Keep in mind, regular folks like us struggle to get to 10,000 steps when they fit themselves with a pedometer, and the Amish are leaving that goal in the dust.
Only 4% of Amish are obese. For the overall U.S. population that number is pushing 4 out of every 10!
They have half the diabetes the rest of the country does.
And 40% lower risks of cancer. Especially those cancers tied to tobacco, where the rate is 63% lower.
Now, the closest I'll get to becoming Amish is to re-watch "Witness" if I come across it late at night on TV.
But it does put things in perspective.
Staying active, simplifying your life, and steering clear of the conveniences that promise so much but have big downsides – it can all make you healthier, and live longer.
Whether you ever raise a barn or not.