Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Have a Long Life and Live to 100

Why do Some People
Live to Be 100?
Have you ever wondered why some people can stay healthy, have a long life and live to100, while others may die of age related illnesses when they are decades younger?  Researchers have begun to unravel some clues that may give you an idea of how fast you are aging and how likely you are to see the century mark. Based on a lengthy article on Yahoo Health called "10 Surprising Clues You'll Live to 100," this summary just reports the essential facts. If you want more detailed information on any of these factors of aging, you may also want to read the research in the full article on their website.

The first clue that you might live to be 100 is whether or not you have had relatives who lived to be at least 90 years old.  Longevity does seem to run in certain families.

Next, measure how fast you walk when you are strolling normally.  People older than 65 who are able to comfortably and normally walk at a speed of 2.25 miles per hour or faster tend to be healthy and live much longer than their peers who walk more slowly.  This speed works out to 3.3 feet per second.

Sorry, guys, but women really do seem to live longer than men.  They are much more likely to live to be 100. Don't give up, however.  Some men still make it to the century mark.  Look at George Burns.

The next clue applies to women, only.  If you are a woman who conceived a baby naturally after the age of 35, you probably age more slowly.  This means that you are likely to have a longer lifespan.

Another point the researchers made seems to follow a trend that has been going on for hundreds of years.  Just as you are likely to live longer than the generations who went before you, young people today have an even greater chance of living to be 100 than you do.  (Do you think the time will come when Medicare doesn't even start until age 80?  Do you ever wonder how long a life is too long?)

I found the next point very interesting.  People who worry, but only a little, have a longer life than people who worry excessively or people who do not worry at all.  You would think that being free of worry would help us to live a long life.  However, the truth is that people who worry a little are less likely to be risk takers.  This means that they are not as likely to die an accidental death.  On the other hand, people who worry too much are more likely to develop stress related diseases.

Having a Body Mass Index of 27.4 or less increases your chance of living to 100.  Like a lot of Baby Boomers, this may be a weakness for me, as I know that my BMI is higher than that.  However, my heavy-set grandmothers both lived until their late 90's, so it is possible that I will still live a long life, too.

The next factor is one that you cannot evaluate without expensive testing.  How long are your telomeres?  The telomeres are DNA sequences on the ends of your chromosomes.  Long telomeres indicate a longer life.  Although you could have yours tested, you can also simply choose to live a lifestyle that helps maintain the length of your telomeres as much as possible.  Avoid chronic stress, don't smoke, and eat a healthy diet high in Omega 3's.  Researchers have also discovered that walking briskly for at least 40 minutes a day can actually lengthen your telomeres. 

Finally, have a positive attitude.  Your emotions do affect your health, and people with a positive attitude seem to live longer than people who are negative.

Obviously, you cannot control all of these factors.  However, if you control the ones you can, you may live a longer life than you ever imagined.  The opportunity to live to 100 may be within your reach!

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1 comment:

  1. Love reading this. I have all the sign posts that indicate longevity. I'm shooting for 110!


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