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How to Live to 100

How to Live to Be 100

Since most of us want to live a long, fulfilling, disease-free life, we'd love to know how to make that happen. Does it have to do with a diet full of organic broccoli and not a lot of ice cream? Is regular exercise the trick? Daily meditation to relieve stress? Vitamins? Is it our genes? I'm sure you're thinking it's probably a combination of all these, but there's more to it than that. Before discussing what will help us live a long, healthy life, let's first go over some myths about what people commonly think about longevity.

  1. "If I try really hard, I can live to be 100." False. About one in 5,000 Americans will live to be 100, so your chances are low when it comes to hitting triple digits. Evolutionarily speaking, we're only designed to live until our children have children, and sadly enough, by 80, we've already served our procreation purposes.
  2. "Treatments exist that can slow, reverse, or stop aging." False. Unfortunately, cell damage can't be prevented.

Even though there's no fountain of youth to help us all become centenarians, there are some habits to help us live the fullest life possible. Author Dan Buettner, National Geographic researchers, and The National Institute on Aging studied five places known as "Blue Zones," whose populations live considerably longer lives — from Sardinia to Okinawa. In these five areas, the researchers found four commonalities. Learn them when you


  1. These people don't "work out." In the Blue Zones, people's lives are set up in such a way that they're naturally encouraged to do physical activity. Friends' houses, stores, and jobs are within walking distance, and they do yard work and have their own gardens.
  2. They have the right outlook on life, and take time to slow down to reduce stress. They also focus on their sense of purpose, and continue doing something important every day of their lives (retirement isn't in their vocabulary).
  3. The secret to longevity has nothing to do with the notion of dieting, and has everything to do with eating wisely with a focus on plant-based foods. These groups have strategies to avoid overeating, and yes, these cultures drink wine.
  4. There are strong social bonds in the Blue Zones and family comes first; caring for children and aging relatives is deemed a priority. They tend to be part of a faith-based community. They surround themselves with healthy people.

Well, this seems doable. Eat well, move your body every day, take time to slow down, and make it a priority to spend time with family and friends. Here's looking for a healthy 100th birthday!

lilegwene lilegwene 7 years
Have to agree with yougot and princess... it is mostly genes. Healthy living definitely wouldn't hurt though! Perhaps the people who lived to be 100+ while having a beer and cigar everyday would've lived to be 150 if they hadn't. :P
princessgouveia princessgouveia 7 years
My grandmother is 105, she smoked for 50 years, eats a box of cookies every day and drank enough coffee to float a sailboat every morning. So personally I think its genes. She was in a study about old age because everyone on her side of the family lives to be over 100, aunts, cousins, sisters. All the women at least, the men die VERY young, mostly of being nagged to death. :)
Allytta Allytta 7 years
my goal is to be a centenarian :) my family has no bad medical history, everyone dies of old age. all 4 of my grandparents are still alive and walking places. one of the grandpas walks for over 10miles everyday. they don't drive. my parents don't really drive either. walks on the beach and all that jazz. no junk food in the house while growing up. no sodas. we don't have the garden anymore, but used to. had amazing variety of home grown things. kids are always put into sports for development. yeah, but still i'm one of the laziest people i know and jogs 3 times a week is a choir. 30 pounds to go. wonder how that ruined my chances of living till 100?
bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 7 years
Genetics also play a huge role. People will a very high level of HDL (Hyperalphalipoproteinemia) have been found to have longer life spans.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
There are a lot of people in my family that lived to be in the upper 90's and I'm sure they would have lived to 100 if they hadn't smoked in their earlier years. I intend to live to be 100 and I think I can probably do it...there are very few diseases that run in my family and I'm very active/have a really good diet. I think most people that live to be 100 are pretty healthy, but there are the occasional great grandpa died at the age of 95 and he smoked until he was 80 and then switched to chewing tobacco and drank like a fish until he was in his 50's. And I'm pretty sure his diet consisted of biscuits, greens cooked in bacon fat, and fried chicken. If he would've lived a healthy lifestyle, I think he could have lived to 120 or so.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I think I may end up being a centenarian (at the rate I'm going).
runningesq runningesq 7 years
That's so cool, Texan ! And I think you are totally right -- a positive outlook on life is a must.
Texan-Lobster Texan-Lobster 7 years
My grandmother is turning 100 this summer. She never smoked, and rarely drinks, and I would say that she fits most of the items on your list. She used to walk everyday until just a few years ago when she started using a cane or a walker; she eats healthy, real food; and she is the kindest, sweetest person - full of love and always has a positive attitude and a sense of humor. If I were to guess, I would say it is the last that most people overlook. If you aren't happy and kind to yourself and those around you, then why bother living to 100?
yougotmefriend yougotmefriend 7 years
oh come on anyone who lives to like a hundered you see them on tv and theyre always like oh i smoke a billion cigarettes a day and drink whiskey
michlny michlny 7 years
Funny, b/c I fully intend to live to 120!
cherryblossom cherryblossom 7 years
however it is completely true that they are working on these treatments, they already have developed a stem cell contact lense treatment that completely cures blindness. Its all about being able to conduct stem cell research, and yes for all you people out there who dont know much about it, and are scared for all the stuff about having to get stem cells from a fetus, thats not true.
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