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.

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Kevin McClintock - August 12, 2021

I wish we had Amish community in Hawaii. I’ve studied them for years and often imagined having an “Amish” principled community here in Hawaii. The Hawaiians thrived for years on very isolated islands prior to western contact primarily due to sound resource management and a “Kapu” system of laws much the way Amish maintain their independence and traditions. As with the Amish “shunning (i.e. shaming)” was an enforcement principle that worked well as a consequence to social norm non-compliance and is very evident today in Hawaiian society along with the virtue of humbleness which the Amish promoted thru the practice of mutual foot washing. Oh for the simpler days……

Ed Connie Schierling - August 9, 2021

I am 74 yrs old and can relate to my mother’s Amish grandmother and her parents. My father’s parents were called Old Mennonites but they were more modernized; no horse and buggy. My bringing up was conservative and based on faith and freedom. I had a good childhood.

Miss Molly C. - August 9, 2021

Oh for the simpler lives. We’ve lost so much by not living clean, simple lives. I’m sort of an oddity by not watching any TV. (But notice I’m here on my cell tapping away…)
Most of all I am jealous for their deep family values of sticking together. So many of our modern families are fractured.
God bless us all,

Carol - August 9, 2021

Thanks for this article. We live in a rural area on a road that is 1/2 Amish. Our neighbor is Amish and we are friendly and help each other out regularly. Another healthy habit: they all walk barefoot in the summer, even to church when they’re wearing their Sunday finest, and working the fields, walking down the road, etc. They are grounded to the earth. If we have items we don’t need, we always give it to our neighbor. He says if he can’t use it, someone in his community will. They are peaceful. If challenged, they will not fight. This could be good or bad, depending upon the situation. The children only go to school to the 9th grade. They’re needed at home to work the fields and tend to chores. People have asked me if the Amish are envious of what we have. Maybe, but from what I’ve seen, they are very happy in their families, communities, and daily life. The youth have an opportunity to leave at a certain age, after testing the waters for a year. Very few leave. We feel very fortunate to see how they live every day, and in every season. Their life is simple, but they appreciate their families and everything the land offers them. They adapt to the changing environment. We have learned good lessons from them.

Jerry - August 9, 2021

Yes there a healthy group unlike some of us

Clifford Johnson - August 9, 2021

There is a small Amish community in or near Sarasota, Fl. There was a restaurant in Sarasota that made pies and I used to order pies from them every Christmas.

Ina Gravely - August 9, 2021

Looked up Amish in Florida . There are Amish communities in Pinecraft, Florida and Sarasota, Florida. You may want to check out these 2 areas.

Connie - August 9, 2021

I do agree we live so much things that we have become lazy. People eat fast foods not healthy like growing fresh veggies, eating meat without hormones or processed food. They put so much junk in our food these days. We have left God out of things and to. We try to eat as healthy as we can

Zee - August 9, 2021

The article about the Amish brought back a lot of fond memories of when I used to live on the East Coast and made a number of trips to Amish country. The food was fabulous, the crafts were awesome, and the Amish attire brought back memories of schoolbooks I used to read of a bygone eras. Thanks!

Linda Brown - August 9, 2021

You are so right! There is a lot to learn from the Amish. I visit the Amish community when I see my Iowa relatives.

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