The number of people who live to be 100 years old or older has been steadily increasing, and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue in the coming years. While genetics can play a role in longevity, there are many habits that centenarians (people who live to be 100 or older) have in common that may help explain their long lives. In this article, we’ll explore 10 habits of people who’ve lived to be 100.
- Eating a healthy diet
Centenarians tend to eat a diet that’s rich in whole, unprocessed foods. This means lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources like fish and chicken, and whole grains. Many centenarians also avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and excessive amounts of saturated and trans fats. They may also have a diet that’s low in calories, which has been shown to help with longevity.
- Don’t overeat
Another habit of people who have lived to be 100 is that they tend not to overeat. They may follow the Japanese principle of “hara hachi bu,” which means eating until they are 80% full. By stopping before they feel completely full, they may be able to avoid overeating and the associated health problems. Additionally, many centenarians may eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day instead of large, heavy meals. This can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent overeating or binge-eating.
- Staying physically active
Staying active is another key habit of people who’ve lived to be 100. Many centenarians report walking, gardening, and doing other forms of light exercise to stay active. Some may also engage in more vigorous exercise like running, swimming, or weightlifting, although this tends to be less common. Exercise has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased muscle mass, and better mental health.
- Getting enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is also important for longevity. While sleep needs vary from person to person, many centenarians report getting between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Sleep helps the body repair and regenerate, and getting enough sleep has been linked to a lower risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
- Managing stress
Stress can take a toll on the body over time, and many centenarians have developed effective strategies for managing stress. This may include meditation, deep breathing exercises, spending time in nature, or simply spending time with loved ones. Managing stress can help prevent chronic health conditions and improve overall well-being.
- Staying socially connected
Staying socially connected is also important for longevity. Many centenarians report having close relationships with family and friends, and staying involved in their communities. This may involve attending social events, volunteering, or participating in other group activities. Social isolation can increase the risk of depression, cognitive decline, and other health problems.
- Learning new things
Learning new things can help keep the mind sharp and prevent cognitive decline. Many centenarians report reading, playing games like chess or bridge, or pursuing other hobbies that involve learning new skills. Learning new things can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can help improve overall well-being.
- Having a positive attitude
Having a positive attitude is another common habit of centenarians. Many report seeing the good in people and situations, and focusing on gratitude and joy. This can help improve mental health and overall well-being, and may also have a positive impact on physical health.
- Avoiding harmful habits
Many centenarians report avoiding harmful habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and drug use. These habits can have a negative impact on overall health and increase the risk of chronic health conditions like cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
- Having a strong sense of purpose
Having a strong sense of purpose can provide motivation and meaning in life. Many centenarians report feeling a sense of purpose in their work, hobbies, or relationships. This can help improve mental health and overall well-being.
- Seeking medical care when needed
Finally, seeking medical care when needed is important for maintaining good health. Many centenarians report visiting their doctors regularly and taking medication as prescribed. This can help prevent or manage chronic health conditions and improve overall quality of life.
- They enjoy the outdoors
Spending time outdoors is another common habit of people who have lived to be 100. Many centenarians report spending time in nature, whether it’s going for a walk in the park or gardening in their backyard. This may help reduce stress and provide a sense of peace and relaxation. Additionally, spending time in the sun can help the body produce vitamin D, which is important for bone health and overall immune function. By enjoying the outdoors, centenarians may be able to improve both their physical and mental health.
In conclusion, there are many habits that people who’ve lived to be 100 have in common. These habits include eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, managing stress, staying socially connected, learning new things, having a positive attitude, avoiding harmful habits, having a strong sense of purpose, and seeking medical care when needed. While genetics can play a role in longevity, these habits have been shown to improve overall health and increase the likelihood of living a long and healthy life.
If you’re interested in improving your own health and increasing your chances of living to be 100 or older, consider incorporating some of these habits into your own life. Start by making small changes, like adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet or going for a walk each day, and gradually building up to more significant changes over time. By taking care of your body and mind, you can improve your chances of living a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.