100 Wonderful Ways to Live to 100
The most redundant advice, either from parents, teachers, physicians or health fanatics, tossed around is ways to live a long life, happily and healthily. Everyone has their obsession to talk about; some even touches the boundaries of absurdity, some seems rational, as they have been dolled since antiquity, and there are some that we all believe in just because it is a common knowledge.
However, not all is true if we look closely at those advices. To clear the air around the secrets of longevity, we have gathered some research-based facts.
A number of cohort studies have pointed out that there is not a single formula for a long life. The most pertinent finding the researches has revealed is the success of modern medicine, and the changes it has effected regarding the longevity of humans in the last 100 years. Life expectancy had increased by 23 years during the first half century in developed nations – a huge feat in history of human civilisation. Further, the benefits of modern medicine spread across the globe in the second half of century; therefore, this element is not included in the list.
1. Stop Smoking
The Harvard Study of Adult Development, started in 1938, tracking 700 men, has recently found that to age well, a habit that one should get rid of is smoking. Studies published in scientific journals also conclude that cessation of smoking, regardless of age one quits, extends life expectancy. Smokers who stop by the age of 44 can live almost as long as those who never took up the habit. According a report in New England Journal of Medicine, those who quit smoking between the ages 25 and 34, can reclaim almost the same life expectancy as those who never smoked, regaining the 10 years of life, which they might have lost to smoking.
2. Put Down the Takeout Menu
3. Try to Keep Your Marriage Friction-Free
4. Brush Those Pearly Whites
5. Enjoy a Cup of (Greek) Joe
6. Get Your Mediterranean Diet on
7. Optimism/Positive Attitude
There is copious amount of evidence that happy people live longer. Studies have suggested the lack of depression and anxiety, which in other terms can be said being optimist, and having a positive attitude add significant number of years to life. A study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, has found that the risk of death for pessimists at any given year is 19 percent greater. The Longevity Genes Project at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City has established that who adapt the world from an optimistic and carefree perspective live for longer time.
8. Make Healthy Changes in Your Life (starting today)
9. Do not Dread Getting Older
10. Get Enough Sleep
11. Get a Pet
12. Drink Your Coffee, but in Moderation
13. Fiber in Diet
It has been claimed for centuries that a single change in food habits, that is, having more fiber in diet, can extend life span. To support this claim, a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, correlated fiber consumption to longevity. The study found a 10 percent drop in risk of death with each 10-gram intake of fiber per-day. There are evidences that cereal grains reduce colorectal and cardiovascular diseases. Other studies have associated consumption of fiber with lower chance of some cancers, heart disease, and diabetes—dieses that cause significant mortality.
14. Grow from Trauma
15. Cultivate Your Green Thumb
16. Pick up the Pace
18. Hit the Gym
19. Have a Family and Friends
A study published in PLoS Medicine has pointed out that family and friends not just make life worthy but also adds years to it. Having a healthy social life is as important as being physically active. Additionally, a Harvard Study has confirmed that a key to happy and healthier life is relationships. The study also pointed out those individuals who have intimate relationships with friends and family, perform better on number of parameters that, according to research, define a healthy life. It can be said empirically that family and social ties not only define an individual’s character, integrity and ethics but also increases life span.
20. Go Nuts
21. Win an Oscar
22. But Don’t Forget about Yourself
23. Take It Easy on Processed Meats
24. Avoid the Gridiron
25. Work Hard
We often come across an advice that “taking-it-easy” is vital for a longer, healthier life. However, a new study on 1,528 children published in “The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study” has provided data that establishes that hard-working people tend to live longer than the common denominations. An article published recently in the Scientist magazine supports this idea, adding that diligent, industrious people live four years longer than those who get complacent. This surprising conclusion can be a water shedding moment for those who study longevity in human, as it trumps commonly accepted notions about hard work and its repercussions.
26. Take the Stairs
27. Believe in Your Own Good Health
28. In the Face of Health, Keep a Positive Attitude
29. Eat Less
30. Have a Happy Childhood
Scientific research has corroborated that it is the genetic lottery—a mutated gene linked to longer life—that makes some people to live significantly longer than others. The mutated gene enhances kidney and heart function, which is directly associated with life span. The gene also keeps people sharp in their older days. Another study, published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, also stated the lucky people who inherit the mutated gene get to have better immunity, which means a better protection against infection that chokes older people. It seems luck indeed plays a big role in life!
32. Find the Healthy Hobbies That Make You Light up… and Do Them
33. Stay Active
34. Be Creative
35. Only Eat When You’re Hungry
36. Take a Good Look at Your Neighbourhood
37. Be Conscientious
A longitudinal study, known as The Terman Project, launched in 1921, has identified conscientiousness—the way one manages impulses— as a predictor of a longer life. The study also said people could regulate their conscientiousness, and it is the pre frontal cortex (PFC) of brain where all of it is processed. The study summarized that one can adopt healthier habits at any age, and small changes in habits, cumulatively, can have a great effect on life span. “Conscientious individuals are less prone to a whole host of diseases, not just those caused by dangerous habits,” they found. “It appears likely that conscientious and unconscientious people have different levels of certain chemicals in their brains.”
38. Be a Nutritional All-Star
39. Don’t Forget Your Vitamins
40. Take It Easy on the Fat
41. Don’t Get Too Much Sleep
42. Challenge Your Mind
43. Find Reasons to Laugh
We all have heard laughter has several health benefits, but what does science say about it? Apparently, various researches have accumulated data to support this common assertion. A study at California’s Loma Linda University has proved that individuals after watching videos fares better on short-term memory tests. Additionally, another study at University of Maryland Medical Center found out that ability to laugh and make other people laugh checks the probability of heart attacks. If these reasons were not enough for laughing, read what follows. Researchers have pointed out that laughing releases endorphins – a hormone that inhibits pain signals and stirs euphoria.
44. Take up an Instrument
45. Go to Church
46. Help Someone
47. Adopt a Dog
48. Look for the Silver Lining
49. Find a Life Purpose
Having a life purpose, a research has suggested, may safeguard your heart, and in the process, can add years to life. The study was published in the Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine. According to the study by Drs. Randy Cohen and Alan Rozanski and colleagues at Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, “Possessing a high sense of purpose in life is associated with a reduced risk for mortality and cardiovascular events.” A similar study was done in Japan, assessing strong sense of purpose, or ikigai, also concluded the same thing. However, it is unknown how having a purpose in life provides defense against cardio-vascular diseases. Nevertheless, the data available at present describes the basic physiological association.
50. Spend Time with Your Friends
51. Live in a City
52. Get Married
53. Go to University
54. LOL: Laugh out Loud
55. Walk a Lot
Walk or run, health experts have argued over the superiority of one over other, though, it seems, there is no clear winner, according to a study done at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life Science Division in Berkley, California. The study pointed out brisk walking can be as good as running for cardio-vascular problems, and it helps to check high cholesterol and diabetes—main diseases driving mortality rate in developed nations. “The findings don’t surprise me at all,” said Russell Pate, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. “The findings are consistent with the American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity in adults that we need 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week to derive benefits.”
56. Explore New Territory
57. Clear the Credit Card Debt
58. Buy a Sports Car
59. Aim for Financial Stability
60. Hang out with Younger People
61. Practice Yoga
There is a plethora of scientific evidence that Yoga, when practiced sincerely, can profoundly impact a person’s health, whether it is mental, physiological or spiritual. But does it extend life span? The answer the researches have provided is “Yes.” It has been proved that a stress and anxiety free life, which can be achieved by yoga, presents enormous health benefits. The cumulative effect of practicing yoga results into peace of mind that has been associated with longevity. Yoga not only makes only makes a person active but also helps to rid of inhibitions that usually hinder life. What are you waiting for; get your yoga mat and start meditating through the different “asanas” of yoga for a happier and healthier life.
62. Be Gregarious
63. Belt out a Tune
64. Work Hard
65. Climb to a High Altitude
66. Use Public Transport
67. Try a Little Retail Therapy
A study suggests retail therapy, or shopping, is a blessing in disguise, at least for those who like to shop. It may sound incredulous, but the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health recorded that people, older mainly, who shop frequently have lower mortality rates—up to 28% for men and 23% for women— than those who do not. Surprisingly, men reap higher benefits than women. The author said, “In shopping venues, socializing with or watching others can provide social and mental benefits and loneliness may be ameliorated through relationships away from home in commercial venues that nevertheless provide opportunities for companionship and emotional support.”
68. Believe in Yourself
69. Achieve Balance
71. Walk When You Can
72. Don’t Sit When You Can Stand
73. Be Happy
“In every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double. Don’t worry, be happy,” the lyrics from Bobby McFerrin’s song is a simplistic but sound mantra for a long life. The Arnhem Elderly Study has also confirmed this, concluding that happiness leads to lower mortality, mediated partly by physical activity and lower morbidity. Using Cox proportional hazard models, happiness, it is showed, is inversely associated with mortality. Furthermore, sociologists, such as Diener and Chan, have also done some work on the correlation of happiness and longevity. The analysis presented data that happy people are likely to live 14 percent longer. The data in the developed country has shown better results, where the happy individual tends to live 7.5 years to 10 years longer than those who are unhappy. Do you need more evidence to stay happy?
74. Exercise for 2.5 Hours a Week
75. Swim for Your Life
76. Lose Excess Weight
77. Stop Using Lift When You Can
78. Hit the Dance Floor
79. Head for the Hills
In the U.S., the longest-living communities, seven out of 10, live in mountainous areas. This fact may give you an insight how life in hills keeps people healthy, as pollution free air and stress free life play a major role in well-being. However, make no mistake; it is not only the environment that is appending a healthier life but the lifestyle of the inhabitants. For example, because of the absence of roads in the hilly areas, walking is the way people commute, which guards them against the cardiovascular diseases, and other hormonal disorders such as diabetes and thyroid.
80. Check Your Skin
81. Do Not Be a Lazy Bum
82. Take up Tai Chi
83. Follow Your Heart
84. Get Moving for a Stronger Body and Better Brain
85. Use Public Transport
At first, using public transport seems like a health hazard because of the probability of catching contagious infections. However, a study published by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has shown those people who use quality transport facilities work out more and have a less chance of fatal car related accidents. The transportation activity, the APTA report notes, has a huge role in preventing an individual from leading causes of death such as cancer, heart disease, motor vehicle crashes, and other causes.
86. Learn a New Language
87. Don’t Drink Too Much
88. Become a Social Butterfly
89. Crosswords (as long as they puzzle)
90. Catch Some Rays
91. Switch off the TV
The advent of television in our drawing room changed the way we spend time at home. As it became an intricate part of our life style, its harmful effects started creeping on our health. And studies have confirmed its prevalence. It is identified that that watching TV can be as detrimental as smoking and lack of workout. A study has revealed people who watch TV for 6 hours a day are likely to have a life span close to 4.8 years less than those people who do not watch television. Let us learn from this, and delete the term couch potato form our consciousness by being more active and live a healthy life.
92. Skip Breakfast Occasionally
93. Fast Safely
94. Do Not Pass the Salt
95. Ditch the Supplements
96. Head to the Mediterranean
97. Meditate Your Stress away
Meditation is a broad term having its root in many religious texts, and has been practiced since antiquity, for various reasons. In the present times where various day-to-today activities haul stress with them, meditation has become a tool for many around the world to get rid of stress. To researchers, meditation has become an interesting subject for its healing power in physiological terms. Unsurprisingly, many researchers have concluded in their studies that mediation not only alleviates immediate pain, anxiety but also adds years to life, being as effective as active workout.
98. Cycle Faster
We all have heard how cycling can be rejuvenating in many ways. Supporting this common knowledge, a new research, the Østerbro study, has pointed out that tweaking your cycling routine by riding the bike at faster pace for a brief period instead of cycling for a longer duration at slow pace can add years to life. Cardiologist Peter Schnohr who is behind the study, told Ritza: “Taking a bike ride for two hours almost doesn’t give any benefits if you’re biking slowly. On the other hand, if you speed up, you’ll live longer than those who just take the slow ride.”
99. Detoxify Diets
Detox is a latest rage since it gives one a chance to look younger, at least, morphologically. To be physiologically younger, a study has confirmed, you can now detoxify your diet; it can also increases longevity. But how to detoxify diet? To answer it, let us analyse some statistics about the food habits of the Americans. It has been identified that the average American eats 130 lbs of sugar a year. This high intake is fiddling with the metabolism evolved over millions of years. Similarly, the intake of processed flour, lacking essential vitamins and minerals, is only making the situation worse. These components have become a slow toxin, and getting rid of them or judiciously consuming them will detoxify your diet.
100. Light Jogging
Vigorous outdoor activities, such as running, long regular jogging, hitting the gym, have been touted as the key to happy and healthy life. However, a new Danish study has found that these activities can have adverse effects, too. Surprisingly, there is a middle way to achieve healthy and longer life, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which has credited longevity to light jogging. The study concludes slow and moderate joggers have lower mortality rates than runners. This research indicates that those who have some injury or are too heavy to run can still live a long life by jogging lightly.
In our asset-driven life, we can unequivocally say the health, if we empirically convert it into monetary terms, is the most coveted asset we can long for. The list that we have provided, with its comprehensive research-based tips, gives a fair idea how that asset can be optimally maintained. The only investment, it seems, is the grit that can get you to live a healthy and long life.
The tips discussed have proved to be a life altering experience for many. Try some and change your life, too. We wish you good luck.