Richard Gere health: ‘None of us are getting out alive’- actor, 72, on how to live longer

Italy: Richard Gere delivers supplies to migrants stranded at sea

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Nowadays it is commonplace to think of Gere as a silver fox. Although far from the devilishly handsome roles he portrayed in the 1990s Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride, many acknowledge that the Hollywood actor has aged remarkably well. With his health intact, what are the secrets that the once crowned “sexiest man alive” uses to age so well?

In fact, throughout his career, it has become clear that Gere has some interesting philosophies on life.

Speaking to Extra, an American news outlet, Gere gave a rare insight into his daily routine and his outlook on how to live longer.

He said: “My friend’s mom has eaten healthy all her life. Never ever consumed alcohol or any ‘bad’ food, exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor, never went in the sun without sunscreen and when she did it was for as short a period as possible – so pretty much she protected her health with the utmost that anyone could.

“She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis.

“My friend’s father eats bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat, never and I mean never exercised, was out in the sun burnt to a crisp every summer, he basically took the approach to live life to his fullest and not as others suggest.

“He is 81 and the doctors say his health is that of a young person.

“People you cannot hide from your poison. It’s out there and it will find you so in the words of my friend’s still living mother:

“If I would have known my life would end this way, I would have lived it more to the fullest enjoying everything I was told not to!”

Despite the seemingly long-winded story, what Gere was trying to say was ultimately to try and enjoy life, as no one knows what is going to happen, even if you try to stick to the healthiest of diets and routines.

He continued to say: “None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird.

“There’s no time for anything else.”

In addition to this debatable philosophy, Gere practises meditation which he says has changed his mind, brain and body.

After travelling to Nepal in 1978, Gere also became a practising Tibetan Buddhist, at which point he had already been studying Zen Buddihism for almost six years.

Back in 1996, he told USA Today that an hour-long meditation each day helped him “set up motivation” for the day.

As well as meditation techniques, Gere is a strict vegetarian. The vegetarian diet tends to be high in dietary fibre and low in saturated fat and cholesterol (thus reducing the risk of heart disease).

It also naturally means a healthy intake of fruits and vegetables, which are full of essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium and vitamin C.

The NHS explains that the vegetarian diet can be very healthy, but a diet will not be automatically healthier if you just cut out meat.

Like us all, vegetarians need to make sure that they do the following:

  • Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)
  • Include some dairy or dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options)
  • Eat some beans, pulses, eggs and other proteins
  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
  • Drink plenty of fluids – the government recommends six to eight cups/glasses a day.

If your diet isn’t planned properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients. The NHS goes on to say that vegetarians need to make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12, and vegans enough calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Women are thought to be at particular risk of iron deficiency, including those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Good sources of iron, apart from meat include pulses, nuts, dried fruit and dark, green vegetables. Good sources of calcium include almonds, sesame seeds, dried fruit and pulses. And good sources of vitamin B12 apart from animal produce such as eggs, include yeast extract, breakfast cereals and soya products fortified with vitamin B12.

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