three keys to a long life

(Video link here.) A reader sent us this lovely little video her friend Julia Warr made. It is about 95-year-old Maia Helles, a former Russian ballet dancer who she met on a plane four years ago. Warr became convinced that Maia “remains resolutely independent, healthy as a forty year old…through the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented.”

Towards the end, Maia reveals the keys to her long life:

“My secret for a long life is simplicity and work and enjoyment.

And we would love to know her exercise routine.

Related posts: role model: lucien freud, 82, painting
advanced style: doing your thing at any age
aging as an invitation to reinvent oneself
m.f.k. fisher’s “mystic materialism of a hungry woman”

7 Responses to three keys to a long life

  1. Noreen Sullivan 01.25.2012 at 7:01am #

    simplicity and work and enjoyment – sounds like a plan! the work includes the workout routine. simplicity is the hard one right now, but still worthwhile. joy to you!

  2. maria robledo 01.25.2012 at 9:18am #

    absolutely 100 inspiring.

  3. evie 01.25.2012 at 10:24am #

    my guess is that it doesn’t matter as much what the exercise routine is, it’s the fact that she does it every day and enjoys it that counts. watching this snippet of her life is like watching a meditation. so lovely, so mindful, so peaceful, so much quiet joy. thank you for sharing this wonderful way to start a day.

  4. liz 01.25.2012 at 12:08pm #

    thank you so much for this. i aim for a lifestyle (and home!) like hers. blissful.

  5. Cynthia A. 01.26.2012 at 7:40am #

    Wonderful! Her exercise routine looks like it contains many elements from a Pilates matt class. The fluidity she has is a testament to her daily practice.
    Lovely.

  6. Rich-mrantiaging 01.27.2012 at 4:25am #

    Truly a great example for all to follow who want to live a fulfilling, healthy life. Daily disciplines yield huge rewards. Attitude & Graceful Living! Simplicity, Work & Enjoyment! Thank you for sharing this beautiful message!

  7. anca 05.02.2012 at 2:16pm #

    I keep coming back to it every so often; it exudes such a wonderful feeling of peace and well being; I truly hope that all involved, Maia — this was my grandmohter’s name also, Julia and yourself are doing well. I am wondering if anyone transposed the routine in words, like a set of instructions to follow; I keep meaning to write it down, but I also believe there is more to the routine then captured in the video. If possible, I would be indebted to have it.

    Thank you, Anca.

Leave A Comment

Feeling Inspired?

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.