Living to Be 100 Is More Realistic Than It Seems

According to the 2010 Census, there were more than 50,000 people living in the United States who were at least 100 years old. That represents a significant jump in centenarians from previous generations. Although many have ailments commensurate with their age, surprisingly, many are still fully functioning adults. About one-third still live at home and roughly one in four were described as “cognitively intact.”

That bodes well for seniors who have set living to 100 as a goal, because maintaining a good quality of life makes all the difference in the world.

While some of living a very long life is tied to genetics, and another part is just good old fashioned luck, there are several things youngsters who have just reached 65 can do to improve their odds of seeing 100 candles on their birthday cakes.

Steps To Get There

Eat right. May sure your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables.

Don’t forget the nuts. Nuts in general, and walnuts, in particular, offer a variety of life-extending health benefits.

Exercise. More is better. Target workouts for five days a week if possible. On top of mental benefits, exercise and avoiding obesity can help you avoid a variety of other problems that can often shave years off someone’s life. Jack LaLanne, who passed away at 96 was once quoted as saying “Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you have a kingdom.”

Spend time with a hobby. Doing what you love reduces stress and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Laugh. Find a reason to do it often. It really is the best medicine.

Go shopping. Even if you don’t buy anything, the ritual of going out into a retail environment can lower the risk of death by about 25% for men and women.

Get cooking. People who cook at home at least five nights a week have a higher propensity to live longer.

Practice yoga. It’s not for everybody, but it does improve your longevity.

Practice optimism. When you see the glass as half full instead of half empty, your optimism will translate into a more outgoing and easy way of life.

Marriage is the best medicine. Married couples tend to live longer according to a Duke University Medical Center study.

Make it a happy marriage. The more arguments you have with your spouse, the more likely your health will suffer.

Brush. And floss. Good dental hygiene reduces risk for heart disease, strokes and dementia.

Don’t smoke! This one is so obvious it barely needs to be stated. One study showed that women who smoked and gave it up lived as much as ten years longer than their counterparts who continued with the habit.

Become a parent. Contrary to what some folks might think on those days when you want to pull your hair out as a mother or a father, being a parent can actually extend your life.

Get smart. Staying in school to get at least a high school diploma will help you live longer according to a Harvard University study.

Go to church on a regular basis. It can add up to three years to your life expectancy.

Volunteer. When you give your time to help someone else, it may actually be you who benefits by living a longer and more purposeful life.

Make some whoopee. Having sex two to three times a week may reduce the chance of heart disease by as much as 45 percent for men. Women who have sex on a regular basis may live as much as eight years longer than those who do not.

Drink coffee. It’s rich in antioxidants, but the trick is to keep your consumption to four cups or less a day.

How does your garden grow? – Gardening is a calming activity that can also give you a great source of delicious home grown vegetables.

Turn off the tube. Research from The University of Queensland, Australia showed that every hour of television watched after age 25 reduced a person’s life by 22 minutes. That can really add up, especially during football season!