The Secret to a Longer Life – Methodist Style!

A 1960 report published by Together magazine noted that American Methodists lived longer than others because they followed a certain regimen prescribed by their founder. John Wesley, Methodism’s patron saint, had lived well into his 80’s. And, if persistent, 20th-century Wesleyans could do the same.

To become a Methodist octogenarian, it was important to consume proper meals with simple foods while remaining “cheerful” at the dinner table. For a long life it was also essential to wear clean clothes and to keep a clean house. Or, as the article noted, to “let none ever see a ragged Methodist.” Further, daily exercise was essential as was keeping in touch with one’s friends – perhaps an early version of Facebook (Methbook?).

So, a proper diet, keeping one’s clothing and home tidy, daily exercise, and connecting with friends are all essential ingredients to a long, robust life. Many of these approaches are still being marketed in 2010. If John Wesley were alive today shoppers might find his formula for a long life at their local Barnes and Noble bookstore. Or, they might even receive a friend request from the Oxford don on their favorite social networking site.

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