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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Rules for living longer, happier lives inspired by 94-year-old track star Kotelko

TORONTO - "What Makes Olga Run?" author Bruce Grierson has written nine rules for living a longer, happier life which were inspired by his book's central subject, 94-year-old Canadian track star Olga Kotelko.

"We're all individual and there's so much variation between people. But there's enough things that Olga does that the science backs up that I felt comfortable about saying: 'These nine things most people will benefit from,'" he said.

1. Keep Moving

Move continually, even when you're not exercising. "When we move, our bodies and brains both work better. We think faster, process information more accurately, and remember more."

2. Create Routines (But Sometimes Break Them)

"Committing the more mundane parts of our life to habit and routine frees up RAM for the things that matter to us."

3. Be Opportunistic

"Spend your precious energy wisely." Conserve energy when you can, but when you need to go for it, go for it.

4. Be a Mensch

"Doing good doesn't just feel good, it works. It's healthy for the tribe and healthy for us."

5. Believe in Something

"Belief is a trait of temperament." People who embrace life's puzzles as opportunities for problem-solving because of larger beliefs tend to thrive.

6. Lighten Up

"Managing stress is staggeringly important in terms of flipping genetic switches."

7. Cultivate a Sense of Progress

According to studies of life satisfaction and human motivation, we all need to feel like we're improving. Identify your expectations, adjust them to allow for "small wins," then improve upon them.

8. Don't Do It If You Don't Love It

"If it's not fun, don't do it. That's easy — because you won't if it isn't. People can't be guilted into lasting healthy behaviour change. Should doesn't work."

9. Begin Now

"Not only is midlife not too late to embark on this, providing we rev back up slowly, in some ways, it's the best time for it. We're rested, we're restless, we're ready."

Source: Random House Canada

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