As we start out on 2016 I hope you’ve absorbed some of the positive vibes that seem to be around us at present. Of course, we live in a world of extraordinary change and many many people are caught up in turbulence beyond their control – the 60 million refugees from global conflict and climate change come immediately to mind. It’s a mind boggling number, one I’m sure we struggle to really comprehend.

But in seeking to help others it’s important we keep our own spirits high so that we can spread a little goodwill around us as we go about the day. Where we choose to put our focus is very much a personal thing and I think it’s where we really do have control over our destiny.

I for one have been inspired by the heartening views I’ve been reading recently that living to 100 is a real possibility. Amid all the dire predictions of our affluent Western populations succumbing en masse to diabetes, obesity, arthritis and worse as the years go by, there are others who inspire an alternative vision of robust good health! Their message is that it’s not a given that getting older equates to getting sicker. Maybe even the opposite!

As you’ll read in “Eat Less and Live Longer” by health researcher and author Jason Shon Bennett, he suggests that it’s time we altered the old model of ageing to something along the lines of “1–49 is young, 50–79 is middle aged, 80–99 is elderly, 100+ is legendary, and 110+ are The Super-Centenarian World Champions”. Don’t you feel better already? There’s a catch of course and it seems to be as simple as eating less. Those amazing Okinawans, among others, provide us with the proof – they eat 30-50% less than we in the West and outlast us significantly. I’ve always remembered the comment of a lovely Japanese girl we had staying with us years ago who confided that while she liked our food (we were trying to impress) there was just so much of it! It comes back to bite me every festive season when I know she was absolutely right.

Peter Dingle, a bundle of energy himself, has made it his mission in life to inspire us to more of the right choices in food, exercise and managing stress. I think we’re immensely lucky to have someone of his commitment share his knowledge with us every month – and this month ”Get Physical” speaks for itself!

One appealing way to get started that offers some well deserved comfort along the way is the range of new Town to Town walking tours along the South West’s world class Bibbulmun Track. Who needs the Camino when we have spectacular beauty like this in our own backyard?

Vitality is such an attractive quality and I find myself drawn to people who seem to get a buzz out of life. And it’s so true that age has absolutely nothing to do with it. Some of my best friends these days are in their sixties and seventies and they’re a bundle of laughs. Food often features in our conversations and invariably they eat fresh, generally home cooked food and get out and have active fun. Many of these same people are those with the biggest hearts, too. There has to be a connection.

Enjoy your New Year celebrations and I hope 2016 brings you bountiful health and happiness.

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.