Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds
How to Live Past Age 100
Across the globe, life expectancy has gone up dramatically in the the 21st century.There are more than 72,000 centenarians, or individuals who are 100 years old or more, in the United States. If the current trend continues, there could be close to 1 million people who are 100 or older by 2050 in the U.S.However, aging experts are not certain why individuals live past 100 years old, noting it could be a combination of good genes, a good lifestyle and diet, and a positive perspective on life that helps some live decades longer than others.
Adjusting Your Lifestyle
Maintain a healthy body weight, especially in your teenage years.According to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics, being overweight at age 14 can increase your risk of diseases and disorders, such as Type 2 diabetes. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease. Try to maintain a healthy body weight throughout your life, starting in your teenage years, to increase your chances of living past 100.
- You can determine if your body weight is healthy by looking at the estimated body weight for your height and gender. Use an online body weight calculator to determine your ideal body weight.
Make sure you do cardio exercises at least once a day.Research has found that individuals who do cardio exercises for forty minutes at least once a day have a lower risk of disease and cancer. Schedule in a forty minute walk around your neighborhood or a forty minute run on the treadmill once a day so your heart and your body stay healthy.
- You can also integrate cardio activity into your daily habits by walking to and from work every day, rather than driving. You can also get your cardio activity in by doing housework where you sweep, vacuum, scrub, or wash around the house for forty minutes a day. This can act as a workout that does not necessarily feel like mindless exercise.
Do strength training as part of your weekly workout routine.Reduce lower belly fat, which can lead to a shorter life expectancy, by doing strength training several times a week.
- Strength training your lower body, in particular, can also increase your balance, your flexibility, and your endurance. A strong lower body will help to prevent hip issues or injuries later in life and lower your risk of falls which can lead to health issues that cut your life short.
Take up a relaxing hobby or activity.Studies have shown that taking time out of your day to do a relaxing hobby or activity can greatly increase your physical strength and your mental strength. Your hobby may be knitting, sewing, or painting, or you may enjoy doing a sport with other friends or teammates. Focus on an activity that you can do once a day to de stress and unwind.
Commit to a small walk outdoors every day.Being outside can increase your life expectancy, especially if it becomes a daily habit. Take time after work or in the morning before a busy day to go outside and walk around your neighborhood or on your favorite hiking trail. Fresh air, exposure to the sun, and moving your body will all help you stay healthy.
Talk to your doctor about any sleep issues you have and get treatment.Sleep issues like snoring, sleep apnea, or insomnia, can lead to high blood pressure, memory problems, weight gain, and depression, which can all contribute to shortening your lifespan.
- If you have sleep issues and struggle to stay awake during the day or experience mood changes due to your lack of sleep, you should speak to your doctor about treatment options. Your doctor may recommend that you adjust your sleep habits and your sleep schedule. He may also suggest that you try getting treatment at a sleep center.
Consider having children later in life.According to a recent study, if you conceive naturally after the age of 44, you’re 15% less likely to die during any year after age 50. This is because if your body is capable of having children when you are older, you may have genetic markers that will help you to live longer.
- As well, if your mother had you when she was 25 years old or younger, you are twice as likely to live to 100 than someone who has an older mother. This could be because a healthy young mother’s best eggs go to fertilization first, leading to healthier offspring.
Adjusting Your Diet
Have omega-3 foods at least once a day.Omega-3 rich foods, such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed, contain disease fighting antioxidants that can help you stay healthy and live longer. Try to integrate omega-3 foods into your diet so you are eating one omega-3 food at least once a day.
Consume more high fiber foods.Food high in fiber, such as bran cereal, lentils, black beans, or sweet potatoes, can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Try to integrate high fiber foods into your diet so you consume 24 to 27 grams of fiber a day.
Consider a plant based diet.Studies have shown that a plant based diet, with high levels of vegetables, fruits, legumes, can help to keep your body healthy and free of carcinogens. While it is fine to consume a small portion (2 ½ ounces) of beef, pork, and lamb every now and then, having more than 18 ounces of red meat a week can increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
- If you do prepare red meat, make sure you marinate it first, grill it in small pieces (such as on a kebab), and flip them often to keep the level of carcinogens on the meat down. Only bake or roast meat in the oven at temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
Avoid overeating at every meal.Overeating can lead to health issues and an unhealthy diet, thereby potentially shortening your lifespan. Instead, control your portions by serving food on smaller plates and eat healthy snacks between meals to avoid overeating at mealtime.
Drink black or green tea instead of soda or coffee.Black and green tea have concentrated doses of catechins, which help your blood vessels relax and protect your heart. Drinking one to two cups of tea a day can help your heart stay healthy and reduce your risk of stroke.
- Make sure you brew tea fresh every time you drink it and try to stick to adding only lemon or honey, rather than milk.
Adjusting Your Perspective on Life
Maintain strong social ties to family and friends.Studies have shown that maintaining strong ties to your family and friends can improve your mental health and provide a sense of security and comfort. This can be very important later in life, especially as a motivator to stay healthy and active.
- Try to live close to your family and visit them often or spend quality time with them. You should also cultivate friendships with individuals and work to maintain these friendships over a long period of time. Healthy social relationships can help you maintain a sense of purpose in life and keep you happy in your old age.
Join a social group or a spiritual group.A social group that meets on a regular basis, such as a running group or a knitting group, can help you destress and provide a sense of stability in your life. As well, a spiritual group, such as a Bible study or a church group, can provide emotional support that will keep you mentally healthy. Maintaining strong ties with others in a group setting will also help you to stem off feelings of depression and anxiety, which can potentially shorten your lifespan.
Use positive affirmations and positive thinking.Focusing on positive thinking can improve your outlook on life and reduce your stress levels, both key elements to a long lifespan. Tape positive affirmations on your front door so you are reminded to stay positive before you head out for the day or repeat affirmations to yourself when you need a little pick me up.
- You can also embrace positive thinking by only staying in contact with positive influences, including friends and family who contribute positively to your life. You may want to consider reducing your contact with negative individuals or individuals who have a negative influence on your life choices.
Video: Best Advice to Live Past Age 100!
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