What if I told you that at 108 years, Irving Kahn still works as an investment adviser, going to Madison Avenue 3 to 5 times a week? His brother Peter is 106, and his sister Helen died recently at 110. Part of a study of centenarians descendant from Eastern Europe, they are few of the many that live independently and comfortably past the 95-mark!
1. Aging and disease are powerfully related:
Rates of major diseases- heart disease, cancers, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and accidents, increase greatly from ages 15-24 to when you’re 85+. Also, the longer you live, the later it is that your diseases catch up to you. Most of today’s centenarians escape these chronic diseases of aging like dementia, coronary heart disease and strokes- allowing them to age slower and live longer.
In a study in the American Geriatrics Society Journal (2011), a woman at age 107, had smoked for over 90 years of her life! So, behavior and risk factors alone aren’t going get you to a 100 – for that, you need the right genes.
Genes like those for cholesterol level maintenance and insulin resistance are found to be far more frequent in centenarians. And this runs in their families, too. But it’s more than just ‘in their DNA’. So what are they doing right?
2. Out with the Old, and in with the New:
Spring-clean your body after your home this spring! Researchers believe removing worn-out cells many times during our lifetime can prevent cataracts, muscle loss and skin aging. So, gear up with some exfoliation and detox recipes, we must! Spring is coming.
3. Diets and Starving Yourself:
‘Starvation is your answer’, said no-one ever. But if you’re either a worm or a mouse, reduced calories in your diet can make you live longer! If however, you’re a person, like me, you might be interested to know that a 2008 study on humans showed that eating less may, on average, add up to 5 years to life.
4. Have healthy parents:
Well, if you’re reading this, it’s probably too late to choose your mum and dad! But the point here is to be prepared for what you’re at risk for, and what you can ease up to. Genes from our parents (obesity, addictions, diabetes type-II, etc.) and their changes (like in color blindness and cancers) can be passed down several generations.
5. Be Hard-working:
Popeye, the Sailo,r may smoke a pipe, and trick you into believing that a can labeled spinach = reliable and instantaneous way of buffing up to keep the Pluto’s on earth at bay, but these hard-working, humans are the ones to make it the farthest. This conscientious, hard-worker personality trait can extend your life by 3-4 years!
6. Put a ring on it! :
Say no to bachelorhood, you guys! We are not that bad. Besides, studies like “The Longevity Project” sock up evidence that men who marry, and stay married, are most likely to live beyond 70! And divorced men aren’t as lucky. Men who stay unmarried are between the two, and no dating doesn’t count. Succumb to the healthy lifestyle, fewer crazy risks, and connections to social circles the Mrs. has to offer, and find your lifespan positively impacted!
All said and done though, I find myself in agreement with an uncle o’ mine who gave me a disapproving grimace when he saw me scribbling about being a centenarian. “What a dreary approach, to chase after such an extensive life: Instead, even if you live till you’re 60- be happy, dance, see places, meet people, learn a language and communicate, make good, lasting relationships, and gratifying, passionate love… Make lasting memories without counting your candles each year.”