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What's the Secret to Living Longer?

What's the Secret to a Long Life?

Old people have been in the news lately, and everyone wants to know their secret. There are the "World's Oldest Siblings," the eldest of whom, at 108, has been smoking "for more than 80 years, all day long, every day" and enjoys the regular cocktail. She's not the only one; doctors who've studied the siblings, along with others eligible for a Smucker's birthday celebration, found that many of the centenarians were overweight, smokers, and non-exercisers for most of their lives.

There's also the recent study that says the secret to a long life is getting enough sleep; women who slept fewer than five hours every night were less likely to live as long as those who got five to 6.5 hours of sleep. And then there's the new finding that those with a high level of the DHEAS hormone tend to exercise more, have better relationships, and live longer; the hormone — also called the "wealth" hormone because those who have the highest levels of it tend to be rich — helps regulate stress levels in the body.

With all the speculation about how we can live longer, what do you believe is the secret to a long life? Can we prolong our lives by getting enough sleep, practicing a healthy lifestyle, and limiting stress, or is it all in our genetics?

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Spectra Spectra 5 years
I think genetics has a lot to do with how long you end up living, but you can affect how effective your good genes are or aren't. My grandpa's side of the family on my dad's side had terrible genes--my grandpa had 4 heart attacks in his life, diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, hypertension,etc. He died early at the age of 70. But my mom's grandpa lived to be 97 and smoked, chewed tobacco, and ate sausage and gravy his whole life. I personally don't care how old I get to be as long as I don't get decrepid and immobile the last few years of my life. Quality is much more important than quantity, IMHO.
snapperdoodle snapperdoodle 5 years
I don't think the question is how to live longer, but how to live better. Sure, genetics may allow me to live to the age of 105, but if that means having hip fractures, strokes, emphysema, etc., I don't know if that would be such a great thing. I'd rather live to 80 and enjoy every year than live 25 years more in pain or unable to take care of myself.
danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
Lol, no kidding. ^^^ I've been watching Unsolved Mysteries non-stop for a week, it's so true. Don't forget murder. I don't want to live to 100 unless I'm in great health and still able to care for myself.
deanna024 deanna024 5 years
The secret to long life? Chance, fate, luck. You can eat right and exercise every day of your life, but things like accidents, flus, illnesses, cancer, etc. can strike at random. There's no one recipe for getting to 100 and beyond. Hate to sound depressing (but this is on my mind with my 94-year-old grandpa just moving to live in a nursing home now), but do you really want to live that long? Most people at that age are widows/widowers and live in nursing homes and have very limited mobility. We're so obsessed as a culture with living longer, but what about a longer quality of life? It doesn't do that good to get to 100 if you are depressed, miserable and alone, as are many elderly citizens. Maybe we should be working on fixing that problem first.
danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
A lot of the people who passed 100 were vegetarians, I love reading those :) I do believe some of it is genetic though. My Grandma's Mother lived to be 107. My Grandmother is now in her late 80's. Her aunt passed away a few years ago at the age of 96. My Grandpa's side of the family grew up with the same lifestyle (farmers), yet half of his siblings have died of cancer. My Grandparents have been married for over 60 years and have always shared food, eaten the same thing. Last year my Grandpa had a double bypass (he also has diabetes) while my Grandma isn't showing signs of issues in either department (although both have high blood pressure). I think our genes play more of a role than people think. Not saying your diet can't change that, but I believe people are predisposed to conditions, so it's important to take steps to prevent them. Cancer has killed a lot of people in my family, I'm trying to prevent that with a healthy vegetarian diet. Modern medicine has helped us too. The reason people didn't live to 100 a couple hundred years ago is because they didn't have things like penicillin, antibiotics, or advanced surgery. Look at the Oregon Trail, everyone was dying of dysentery! :P
wmoonw wmoonw 5 years
Well, it can't all be genetics, or people would have been living this long forever and we wouldn't be discussing it. We've got to be doing something right. . . .
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