Community Lost, Community Found

JapanCommunityTsunami

No doubt you were as moved as we were by stories of loss, survival, and rebuilding in earthquake- and tsunami-stricken Japan. This story illustrates the incredible efforts to re-establish social networks and communities in the challenging setting of evacuee shelters set up in school gyms. A sense of community is a crucial underpinning to life in… [Continue Reading]

The Other 15.5 Hours

SittingInOfficeCubicle

We’ve blogged before about how harmful sitting can be to your health and longevity. Everyone knows a sedentary lifestyle is no good. But recent studies create an even clearer picture of how negatively hours of sitting each day affect health—even in people who get the recommended amount of physical movement each day. To review, men… [Continue Reading]

A Group to Keep You Honest

Teamwork

Simply because you’re part of the Akea community, it’s likely you set goals for yourself—and are fairly determined to realize them. There are so many ways the Akea lifestyle can help you in that endeavor, from helping you feel better and more energetic to nurturing the support of your social network. Here’s a tool you… [Continue Reading]

The Fun of Family Meals

FamilyMeal

One of the most consistent images across all the world’s Longevity Hot Spots is that of groups of people—families, friends, neighbors—sitting down to enjoy meals together. Eating is a social event, done on a regular schedule and given ample time for everyone’s enjoyment. Talking and laughter abound. Everyone leaves the table satiated both physically and… [Continue Reading]

That Magic Touch

HoldingHands

Why hold hands? Why does it feel good to get a hug? And what’s behind the highs you feel after a massage? It’s all about touch and the cascade of beneficial effects it sets off in the body and mind. CNN’s health section has a lengthy feature on the benefits of touch, saying that “touch… [Continue Reading]

Massage Shows Real Results

Massage

Have you ever left a session of massage therapy feeling like you got not just some welcome relaxation, but true health benefits? A recent study confirms your suspicion. Researchers recently found that a single session of massage therapy caused healthy biologic changes. Sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of… [Continue Reading]

Furry Friends Count, Too

DogAndCat

At Akea, we talk frequently about building Connection, the sense that you’re part of (and supported by) a strong network of social contacts. Connection is one of the key features of the Akea community, as well as one of the five foundations of the BluePrint for Life. Connections can form between all kinds of people—friends,… [Continue Reading]

Marriage – the kiss of longer life?

WeddingRings

–by Sally Beare As a single parent who felt I had no choice but to leave my unhappy marriage, I find all these reports about how marriage is so good for you and the children rather galling. I have no doubt that it’s true, but we aren’t all lucky enough to be in happy or… [Continue Reading]

Connection in the City

Cityscape

It’s a chicken-and-egg kind of question: Do the noise, chaos, and disconnection of urban life contribute to mental disorders such as depression? Or do people more likely to suffer from those disorders naturally seek out the thrill of city life? Researchers recently found that it’s a little of both. Most true psychoses stem from individual… [Continue Reading]

Give Gratitude This Year

HollyAndBerries

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘thank you’, that would suffice.” — German philosopher Meister Eckhart This year, why not take a different tack with your holiday greeting messages? Whether you’re sending traditional cards through the mail, or elfing yourself, try crafting a message of gratitude. Here’s the thought: Instead… [Continue Reading]