How do you live to be 100 or older? George Burns and Bob Hope both held the honor – and so can you.
Throughout the years I’ve interviewed a number of centenarians – people who lived to be 100 year old or older. I’ve met only a couple of supercentenarians – people who lived to be 110 or older. The status of supercentenarians is only enjoyed by one in a thousand centenarians.
I’ve discovered five secrets shared by people who live to be 100. After learning about their habits, use my quick life expectancy calculator to find out if you will live to be 100.
In addition to having a sense of humor, the centenarians I met had the following habits:
No. 1: People who live to be 100 all said they are always learning something new. They were not afraid to take an accordion lesson or learn a new dance step. They enjoyed cross word puzzles and playing strategic games.
No. 2: Centenarians eat fruits and vegetables. It’s not like they did not ever enjoy pie or chips, but they all truly considered fruits and vegetables a natural part of one’s diet. Scientists who studied the people living in Okinawan, an island chain near Japan, found they consumed 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and lived longer than anyone in the world.
No. 3: People who live to be 100 say they exercised their entire lives. Some took up marathon running in their 80s. Some walked while others did the Fox Trot or learned salsa dancing. They stayed active.
No. 4: When asked how they lived to be 100, they said they did not hold grudges. The centenarians I met said they tried to keep a positive outlook on life and let go of anger. They did not keep score or hold anything against people.
No. 5: Centenarians did not smoke, drink heavily, take a lot of prescription or illegal drugs. For the most part, they said they did not need artificial stimulants or drugs to relax them because they meditated, prayed or simply approached life in a calm manner.
Now take this fun life expectancy test to see whether you will make it to the average North American life span of 76.8 or to a blessed 100 years.
Start by giving yourself 75 points:
Add five points if you embrace learning. It doesn’t have to be a structured class. Do you like to challenge your mind and use your intellect?
Add five points if you eat at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s typically four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit. If you are a smaller person, you can count 5 servings.
Add five points if you exercise at least three days a week for 30 minutes to an hour. Walking to the kitchen or mail box does not count.
Add five points if you are the kind of person who forgives easily. If you can’t think of any real enemies; then, you earn these five points. Or, if you live by the motto of not letting the sun go down on your anger, you qualify for these points.
Add five points if you never smoked or smoked for less than one year, and never had any “bad” habits such as doing drugs, drinking heavily, being combative and aggressive or extremely stressed out.
Now add all of your points to the 75 points and that’s at least how old you may live to be!
Of course, there are no guarantees in life when it comes to the grim reaper. But one thing is for sure: to live to be 100 or older, it’s better to grin than to be grim!