Want to experience as much longevity as possible? Use these secret life tips from people who’ve lived longer than most.
Average life expectancy in many countries has increased significantly over the past century. Still, there’s no guarantee that any of us will live to a certain age. Accidents and disease can’t be predicted or prevented 100 percent of the time. But there are things we can all do to give our bodies and minds the best chance at spending a long time on this planet. It’s what those things are that might surprise you!
According to Forbes, one out of every 6,000 people living in the U.S. is 100 years old, and that percentage is growing. Using current mortality rates as a guide, experts predict that 3 percent of today’s girls will live to be 100, while 1.5 percent of boys will do the same.
For many years, researchers have compared and analyzed the longevity of the world’s oldest people. What were their eating habits? Did they exercise every day? Did they come from large families? Were they religious? Antisocial? Happy in their careers?
While many of the world’s oldest people credit simple, healthy behaviors as their secret life tips, many indulged in bad habits that could be considered unhealthy as well. The trick, it seems, is to strike a good balance between the things that make you happy and the things that keep you healthy.
Secret life tips of cetenarians (100+ years) and supercentenarians (110+ years) are cataloged in the infographic below, but we’ve also gathered up some trusted advice about how to take care of your body and mind, so that they’ll take care of you for as many years as possible.
Secret Life Tips from The World’s Oldest People
1. Eat Well, But Treat Yourself – Diets that are high in fruits in veggies have been linked with longer life in numerous epidemiological studies. But that’s not to say that the occasional indulgence isn’t good for you as well. Pearl Cantrell, 105, attributes her long and healthy life to bacon. “I love bacon, I eat it everyday,” she told NBC affiliate KRBC. Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at age 122 credited her longevity to drinking port wine and eating about two pounds of chocolate every week.
2. Don’t Avoid Stress, Learn To Manage It – When you live to be 100 years or more, it’s a guarantee that you’ll run into a rough patch. One of the most common secret life tips of the world’s oldest people isn’t to strive for bliss, but rather to roll with the punches. In fact, those who felt moderately stressed about work goals tended to live longer. Develop personal tricks that help you cope with stress and anxiety, surround yourself with friends who will remind you what’s important when the going gets rough. And never underestimate the power of a deep breath.
3. Do What You Love, and Try New Things – Achieving a career that both satisfies and pays what you’re worth is easier said than done. If you’re lucky enough to find a job that makes you happy, hold on with both hands. If not, try to find fulfillment in other ways–by volunteering, sharing your space and skills, and spending time with those you love. Also, be sure to challenge your heart and mind by getting outside your comfort zone–whether it’s a new hobby, new social situations, or pushing yourself to conquer a professional goal.
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Image: Will Clayton
Infographic Source: TopCollegesOnline.org