Views #992 | Low Intermediate 4

Long Life

Monica and Todd discuss the secrets of having a long life.

Todd: So, Monica, a minute ago we were talking about Tai Chi and about how it helps longevity, helps you live a long life. One time when I was in Bangkok, I met a guy and he was doing Tai Chi and he looked really young, but he said the secret to his old life ... he said the secret to looking young, was Tai Chi and cold showers. He took a cold shower every morning.

Monica: Oh, wow!

Todd: Could you do that?

Monica: No, I don't think I could actually.

Todd: Yeah, you know, I actually tried it for awhile and I tried it for about a week and I did feel so energized and it was easy in Bangkok, cause it's really warm but I couldn't keep it up, especially not that I'm in the cold climate. There's no way.

Monica: Yeah, I remember when I was young, my mother used to teach me to splash my face with cold water in the morning because she believed that helped wake you up, and I remember as a child not liking that at all because I found it too cold. I preferred to splash my face with warm water.

Todd: So, have you heard about any other secrets to having a long life?

Monica: Yeah, I've heard of quite a few different secrets to having a long life. I guess one secret that a lot of different cultural groups seem to share is diet. If you take the Japanese as an example, and Japanese people do have a long life expectancy in comparison to other people from ofher countries. I think the Japanese eat a diet that's quite low in fat and reasonably low in salt as well, and I think their fluid intake is quite healthy because they drink a lot of green tea which has antioxidants in it, and a they drink a lot of miso soup which has a lot of vegetables in it, and is made from fermented barley, so I think that's very healthy.

Todd: I've also heard that people in the Mediterranean, they also often have a long life span in certain regions and maybe the combination of wine, just a little wine, not too much, but wine and olive oil, and then a lot of fish, seafood is also maybe beneficial to a long life.

Monica: Yeah, that's true. I've heard French people for example live a long life and that has often been said due to a glass of red wine a day, and I know people think differently about alcohol and it's affect on the body these days.

Todd: Right.

Monica: Yeah, because alcohol used to be considered quite a bad thing and discouraged in all forms but now people tend to think that a glass a day is actually quite beneficial to your health.

Todd: I've also actually heard that laughter, that people that laugh a lot tend to live longer.

Monica: Yeah, I've heard that too, actually, because laughing releases natural endorphins, and I think that helps you physiologically, and also I think psychologically you're happier if laughing so. Yeah, I think that long life is related to how you are feeling, and I think a lot of it is psychological as well as physical, for example, how much you are eating and what types of food you're eating.

Todd: Yeah, I guess, I'm kind of in the same boat, but I just don't know if I laugh that much. Maybe I'm in trouble.


Learn vocabulary from the lesson

keep it up


I couldn't keep it up.

To 'keep it up' means to continue doing something. Here, Todd could not continue taking cold showers because of the cold weather. Notice the following.

  1. I joined a fitness club and went almost every day, but I couldn't keep it up.
  2. Chin took a part time job at McDonald's, but she became so busy with school, she couldn't keep it up.

splash my face


I need to splash my face with cold water.

We usually splash water with a fast movement of our hands. The water hits us, someone or something. Here are two samples.

  1. I had no time to shower so I splashed some water on my face and ran off to school.
  2. Thais celebrate the Thai New Year by splashing each other with water.

life expectancy


Japanese people have a long life expectancy.

Life expectancy talks about how long people live. If you avoid smoking, get a lot exercise and eat healthy food, your life expectancy will probably be longer. Notice the samples.

  1. A recent study showed that smoking reduces life expectancy by 10 years.
  2. Regular exercise will not only increase your life expectancy, but also increase the number of years you are healthy.

fluid intake


Their fluid intake is quite healthy.

'Fluid intake' talks about how much water, or in this case tea, we drink. Here are some samples.

  1. During the summer, you need to increase your fluid intake.
  2. Correct fluid intake is an important part of distance running.

fermented barley


It is made from fermented barely.

Something that is fermented has been stored for a period of time causing a chemical change. This process is part of the production of alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer. Notice the sample sentences.

  1. Nearly all beer includes fermented barley as the main ingredient.
  2. Kimchee is a traditional  Korean dish made of fermented vegetables – mainly cabbage - and various seasonings.

in the same boat


I'm kind of in the same boat.

To be 'in the same boat' means we have the same problem or situation as others. The phrase is usually negative. Notice the following.

  1. Min Ho didn't get the classes he wanted. We both registered late so we are in the same boat.
  2. Though many nations disagree about climate change, the fact is, we're all in the same boat.

Vocabulary Quiz

keep it up • splash • life expectancy
fluid intake • fermented • same boat
  1. After a hard workout you need to increase your to rehydrate yourself.
  2. The fact that he was overweight dramatically decreased his .
  3. This schedule is fine for a week, but I don't think I could .
  4. My brother and I used to each other in the pool.
  5. Wine is made from grapes.
  6. With all of the decreasing in funding there will be many teachers in the .
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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