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Health and Fitness News

You Can Live Longer

Secrets to living the long, healthy life you want.

An increasing number of people are reaching the age of 100 each year in developing countries. Currently, nearly half a million people around the world are 100 years old or older. The United States alone has almost 100,000 centenarians, but that’s nothing compared to Japan. There, an amazing 0.06 percent of the population is over the age of 100, making Japan home of the most centenarians per capita in the world.

Longevity is a goal shared by many people. Worldwide, the average life expectancy in 2019 was 72.6 years, well below 100. So what are the health and lifestyle secrets to living to triple digits?

Scientists have studied the lives of centenarians to discover what they did or didn’t do to live so long. In some cases, people seemed to do exactly what you’d think they shouldn’t. They didn’t exercise, ate a poor diet, and had other bad habits. Yet they somehow still lived to 100. Must be the genes. But what about other centenarians? Here’s what most of them have in common.

They Live an Active Lifestyle

Most centenarians maintain an active lifestyle. This doesn’t mean they hit the gym everyday for an intense half-hour workout. It means they don’t stay still. They get up and move throughout their day. They may not have gym memberships, but exercise remains a regular part of their lives. They do their own chores, weed their own gardens, walk to get where they’re going, and enjoy active hobbies like birdwatching.

They Don’t Smoke

Living to 100 or beyond is much more likely if you never smoke. People who smoke are at a greater risk of disease and early death. In fact, those who smoke shave an average of 10 years off their lifespan. Quit smoking at any age and you’ll add years to your life.

They Reduce Stress

Chronic stress and anxiety take their toll on health and wellness. Both put you at risk for disease and early death. Want to live longer? Learn how to relax. Slow down and smell the roses. Stop focusing on the negative and be optimistic. Enjoy life, and relax your way to 100.

They Eat Plants

Many centenarians are known to eat a healthy diet. A big part of it is a variety of plant-based foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds take center stage. Meat and processed meats, on the other hand, are eaten sparingly. Such a diet is associated with a lower risk of disease, increased longevity, and a healthy weight.

They Drink Red Wine

Centenarian communities around the world are known to drink alcohol on a regular basis. They just don’t go overboard. When they drink, they stick to one or two drinks a day. Red wine, known for its high polyphenol antioxidant content, is usually the drink of choice.

They Have Purpose

For many people, the end goal of life is retirement? You’ll need to change your perspective if you want to reach 100. One reason people live to 100 is because they never slow down. They know their purpose, and they stay busy to live it out. Laziness and boredom aren’t in their vocabulary. Instead, you’ll find these older folks volunteering, babysitting their grandkids, working, or using their talents to bless others.

They Have Community

Loneliness is a major risk factor for premature death. People who are a valued part of their community, maintain close ties to family, and who have a strong network of friendships are known to have a better quality of life and to live longer. Find ways to connect with the people around you. They may just help you reach 100 years of age.