Research has shown that longevity is determined 25% by a person’s genetic makeup, and 75% by his or her habits.
That means that if you want to live to be 100, there’s quite a lot you can do about it!
Study and analysis of people who lived longer than 100 years came up with some common habits that contributed to their long life and health.
Here’s what was found:
The Best Diet for Long Life
In studies of communities in which people regularly lived past 100 years old, researches found that meals were built around vegetables and beans.
Every meal, including breakfast, made vegetables or legumes the main ingredient.
Diets of centenarians also regularly contain lots of nuts, seeds, fruit, and fish.
Likely, the vitamins and minerals in plant based foods contribute to longer life, and there are clear health benefits to a diet high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which are present in legumes and vegetables.
Plant-based diets are also great for your cardiovascular health.
The healthier your heart, your veins, and your arteries, the longer you’re likely to live.
Centenarians Don’t “Exercise”
Americans love to tout the benefits of diet and exercise, but as it turns out, an exercise routine isn’t necessarily a big contributor to long life.
A sedentary life is still dangerous to your health.
But exercise isn’t the cure.
Instead of an exercise plan, people who live past 100 tend to live more active lifestyles in general, regularly participating in activities that get them up and moving in the course of their day.
Here’s the key:
Use your body. Stay active.
You can still exercise and reap the health benefits of strength training and cardio, but go out and actively enjoy life, too.
Relationships and Connectedness Matter
It seems that the people who live the longest are often the people with the most reasons to stay alive.
In some communities with lots of 100+ year old residents, multigenerational families live together, stay emotionally connected, and spend lots of time being connected.
Close friendships, family connections, and a strong sense of purpose or obligation towards others tends to keep people alive longer.
It was also found that people live longer in communities that respect the elderly more, because older residents are more included in the daily life of the community.
Connectedness, it seems, is key to both quality and length of life.
Use Stress Correctly and Extend Life
80% of US emergency room visits are stress related.
By itself, stress isn’t actually negative. Correctly managed and applied, it can actually lead to accomplishment and happiness.
Mismanaged stress, though, it shortens lifespan significantly.
To minimize negative stress effects and properly focus tension, do these things:
- Get good quality sleep
- Eat a healthy diet
- Keep a positive attitude
- Stay connected with positive friends and family
- Give yourself regular quiet time
- Stay physically active
- Focus on accomplishing attainable, but challenging goals
People who live the longest don’t live stress-free lives, but they do take care of themselves and manage that tension appropriately.
Restorative Sleep is Key to Longevity
Good quality sleep that gives your body and mind the chance to restore and regenerate is one way to live longer.
If you struggle to get good sleep, here are some recommendations:
- Sleep on a regular schedule
- Only use your bed for sleeping – don’t lie in bed to work or watch television
- Limit alcohol and stimulants like caffeine and nicotine
- Adhere to a bedtime ritual each night
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable
If you try these things and still can’t seem to get good sleep, you might consider visiting a doctor or specialist.
Healthy habits are important for both the length of your life, and for the amount of living you do in that time.