A “centenarian” is a person who has lived to the age of 100. Even rarer, a “super centenarian” has lived 110 years or more!
Our Nation currently holds the record for the greatest number of centenarians in the World with 96,548. Japan is second with 36,276. China has 17,800 centenarians, and France is fourth with 13,994.
What factors contribute toward longevity? Here are important facts:
Attitude! Certainly centenarians are adaptable, manage stress well, and are equipped to cope with their problems and tragedies. They don’t let “things” overwhelm them, and possess a mostly positive outlook.
Genetics! If you have parents or grandparents enjoyed long lives, chances are that your genes are on your side, too. Most centenarians don’t get sick until just before the end of their lives. It’s possible for most average seniors to live into their mid or late-80s by taking good care of themselves.
Exercise! Heart disease can be reduced, mental ability improved, and well being boosted with regular exercise. This includes many types of activity: resistance training, walking, swimming, gardening and working around the house.
New challenges! Keep the brain functioning well with new activities. Learn to play a musical instrument; study a new language; delve into genealogy; start a garden; volunteer; write articles, poems, music, or an autobiography.Take up a new sport. Learn new techniques with a camera, or withy a computer.
Nutrition! Slow the aging process by keeping weight under control. Eat health foods, keeping sweets and carbs to a minimum. Take daily vitamin/mineral supplements to combat nutritional deficiencies (be sure to include Vitamin E (400-800 IU) and selenium (100-200 mgs.) which contain powerful antioxidants to help prevent cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Manage stress! Most of us can learn better ways to combat stress. Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, creative visualization, listening to audiobooks, and exercise are wonderful stress-reducers. Plan to do something every day that you truly enjoy. For me it’s quiet time reading the daily news and working on crosswords.
Quit smoking! It cuts years from your longevity, and damages your health and looks.
Build a strong support system! Centenarians are gregarious, and usually have personalities where people like being around them. They lead “intergenerational lives, and enjoy family and friends
Humor! Everyone loves a senior who can see the funny side of life. And, if you live to be a centenarian, there’s not much peer pressure!
The World’s oldest living “super centenarian” is now Eugenie Blanchard of France. She was born 16 February, 1896 on the Island of St. Barthelemy. That makes her 114 years old! It’s interesting to note that Blanchard was once a nun, living in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles in 1929 at age 33. She returned to St. Barths in 1956 and lived independently in her own home until 1980 at age 84. Although almost blind and weak, she is in general good health at a nursing home. Her nickname is “Douchy” (in Curacao that means “sweets” or “candy”). At one time, she sold sweets! I wonder how she handled that?
WebMD article “You, Too, Could Live to 100 –Or at Least 80, ” by Jeanie Lerche Davis, WebMD Health News.
“Living to 100: Lessons in Living to Your Maximum Potential at Any Age,” Silver, Margery Hutter, EdD, and Thomas J. Perls, MD, MPH.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Centenarian.”