Let’s face it, we all want to know how to live longer. And 92-year-old Deborah Szekely, who founded the first destination spa 74 years ago, knows a few things about living to a ripe old age. Don’t fret if you can’t spend a week at Rancho La Puerta, her 3,000-acre wellness retreat in Tecate, Mexico. The forever-young Szekely has tips that you can incorporate in your life—starting today.
Eat fresh. Rancho La Puerta is all about seasonal eats, with more than 32 acres of gardens and an organic farm. “Fresh local food has vitality, and your body will thank you,” says Szekely, who has a huge salad for lunch every day.
Make exercise a priority. Anyone who has visited knows exercise is a priority at Rancho La Puerta, which boasts 11 gyms and 70-plus fitness classes. Szekely takes an 8 a.m. Pilates class five times a week. “It needs to be first, or the day gets away from me,” she explains. “Even if I’ve been traveling and my plane lands at 2 a.m., I don’t skip.”
Manage your time well. Szekely has a time-management technique that’s, well, genius. And free. All you need is your planner and five markers. Every Sunday, look at the last week and underline activities in different colors: blue for things that absolutely had to be done; black for anything that could have been a better use of your time; red for anything that was for your health, like exercise; green for anything that helped you grow, like volunteering or reading; and your favorite color for anything that was fun. Now, look at the colors and think about how you can do better next week. That may mean canceling stuff that doesn’t enrich your life.
Make time for your friends. A strong support network doesn’t just happen. “It takes effort,” explains Szekely, who makes sure she always has an inner circle of two pals who she could call in the middle of the night. If one of them falls out of that inner circle, she works to cultivate a new relationship to take its place.
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