30 Secrets of Centenarians

Centenarians are the fastest-growing section of developed countries’ population.  In the year 2000, the United Nations estimated that there were more than 180,000 people over the age of 100 throughout the world, a figure that will jump to 3.2 million by the year 2050.  According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the centenarian population has grown more than 65% nationwide over the past 3 decades. In Britain, there are more than ninety times as many as there were a hundred years ago.  In Australia, for example, nearly 3,000 people were over the age of 100 in 2009 and this number is predicted to explode to 78,000 by 2055. And even if you don’t actually reach 100, these secrets will make your life a full, fun and longer one.

  1. Exercise regularly for fun and pleasure
  2. Community is key: Stay in touch with friends and make new ones
  3. Pursue creative expression
  4. Stay in touch with youthful exuberance
  5. Be optimistic and maintain a positive outlook on life
  6. Practice altruism
  7. Take risks, prudently
  8. Live in the present; contemplate the future
  9. Never functionally retire
  10. Keep a calm temperament
  11. Maintain a sense of humor
  12. Be disciplined about keeping a daily schedule
  13. Be extroverted
  14. Be interested in everything
  15. Eat and drink in moderation and put good things in your body
  16. Maintain a healthy body weight
  17. Keep a light emotional load and embrace happiness
  18. Achieve financial security
  19. Maintain self-esteem and positive self-image
  20. Constantly challenge your brain for lifelong learning
  21. Strive for the highest level of life and work satisfaction
  22. Be spiritually connected
  23. Sleep well
  24. Have at least one habit that you’ve done most of your life
  25. Don’t smoke
  26. Minimize consumption of pills (both pharmaceuticals and supplements)
  27. If possible, maintain your own garden
  28. Keep music in your life, in some fashion.
  29. Know how to relax and enjoy yourself
  30. Listen to your body and, most importantly, your gut.

And here’s one final newsflash.  In February 2018, a University of California investigator, Dr. Claudia Kawas, presented findings from The 90+ Study at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference this past weekend, highlighting the link between moderate alcohol consumption and longevity. In an observational study of participants age 90 and older, Dr. Kawas and her team found that consuming about two glasses of beer or wine daily was associated with 18% reduced risk of premature death. In fact,   seniors who drank a moderate amount of alcohol each day had lowered their risk of premature death more than those who exercised daily.  Her findings also suggest regular exercise, social and cognitive engagement, and a few extra pounds in older age are associated also with longevity.  But it looks like alcohol and coffee are associated with longevity.  Who woulda thought?

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