It wasn’t long ago that living to 100 seemed to be a rare occurrence. But, these days, not so much. Now, the news is full of stories about people reaching and even surpassing the 100-year mark. Not only are they reaching centenarian status, they are also living active lives. Take Ida Keeling of Philadelphia, this spry 100-year-old recently ran the 100-meter dash and set a new world record in her age group. And, at the conclusion of her record-setting run, she busted out some pushups for good measure. What an inspiration! What about you? Want to ring in your 100th birthday and be vital and healthy? Here are four study-proven strategies that can help you do just that.
Eat your carotenoids – Carotenoids are the yellow, orange, and red pigments in fruits and vegetables. There are over known 600 carotenoids including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These nutritive compounds are key for optimal immune function and longevity. In fact, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal suggests that increased fruit and vegetable consumption can help prevent premature death from all causes. Time to load up on those salads!
Get consistent exercise – Move it or lose it. When it comes to your body, truer words were never spoken. In fact, several studies have reported the many benefits of exercise including the reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and protection from cognitive impairment. More good news: Regular, moderate exercise is associated with increased lifespan, reports a study in the PLOS journal. So, get out there and get moving. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start off with something easy like walking. Of course, before embarking on any exercise program, it’s wise to check in with your doctor.
Get Happy. The late, great Lynn Dell Cohen of the Advanced Style movie fame would always say, “Eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive”. In other words, think about the things and people that are good in your life and concentrate on those things; Forget about the rest. And science is now confirming what Lynn always knew. University of Rochester researchers report that having a more positive outlook can make you feel better and help you live longer.
Consider getting a cat or dog. If you are in a position to own a pet, research shows that having a furry friend can ease loneliness and is life extending. In particular, dog ownership is associated with higher levels of exercise, reports a British study. This increased physical activity is attributed to dog walking. It’s a win-win. The dog gets a good home and you get longevity-boosting exercise in the bargain.
By the way, according to npr.org, here’s what Ida Keeling had to say about living long and well: “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day. Love yourself”. It couldn’t have been said any better.
To your good health!