According to the Guinness World Records, Jeanne Louise Calment clocks in as the oldest person to have ever lived on this earth. She lived to the ripe old age of 122 years old.
Whether you’re 25, 50, or 95, if you want to know how to live to 100, you just need to follow a few, simple steps.
Let’s get into what you need to know to live a long and prosperous life!
1. Eat Fiber
The more fiber you scarf down during the day, the better. That said, most Americans only consume a paltry 15-17 grams per day. If you can increase that number by another 10-20, you’ll drastically reduce your risk of dying from heart disease.
Dietary fiber improves insulin sensitivity and diminishes total and LDL cholesterol. Moreover, it can boost weight loss, which wards off several, unwanted medical diseases.
You don’t have to overhaul your diet to add more fiber. Instead, consider how you can incorporate whole fruits and vegetables into your standard meals.
For example, a single cup of raspberries has a whopping 8 grams of fiber. Artichokes have 10 grams per medium cooked vegetable.
Interested in more fiber-rich meals? Whole-wheat pasta can have up to 6.3 grams per cooked cup, chia seeds come in with 5.5 grams per tablespoon, and lentils have a whopping 16.3 grams per cup.
2. Drink Tea
Catechins are substances that aid blood vessels to relax and protect your heart. Green and black teas both contain concentrated doses of catechins.
One study examining over 40,000 Japanese men and women found that those who drank over 5 cups of green tea per day had the lowest risk of dying from stroke or heart disease.
You don’t have to start with 5 cups right away. Brew 1-2 to start, and skip the milk. Some research suggests that milk’s ingredients can impact tea’s protective benefits.
3. Take It Easy on the Meat
There’s nothing wrong with a juicy steak or burger now and then. That said, eating more than 18 oz of red meat can increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
While the research is out regarding why processed meats are harmful, evidence points towards the carcinogens that form when grilling or smoking meat- or when adding nitrates.
If you’re grilling meat, it’s best to marinate it, keep the portions reasonable, and flip them often.
4. Opt to Walk
People who walk for about 30 minutes per day have a greater chance of outliving those who walk less. If you are overweight, merely adding 10 minutes of walking to your daily routine can make a profound difference in your fitness.
Sneak in a walk during your lunch hour, take the dog for a longer stroll, hop on the treadmill.
Finding simple ways to move every day keeps your heart healthy and your mind sharp.
5. Lead with Kindness
Research shows a correlation between happiness and kindness and longer life spans. After all, if you’re irritable and cynical all day, you’re going to feel stressed, worn out, and tired. Those feelings can negatively impact both your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, kindness is free, and it doesn’t require much effort. Consider how you can engage in small acts of compassion every day.
What about paying it forward and letting the person in the grocery store cut ahead of you? Or sending flowers to your colleague? Or just calling a friend and telling her how much she means to you?
6. Say Yes to Namaste
Yoga doesn’t just feel good for the soul. It’s good for the body and mind as well. Yoga feels so relaxing because it reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. With that, it can decrease symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
The combination of all of these benefits can help you live a longer life. Furthermore, consistent exercise is good for you- no matter your age!
If you haven’t explored the virtues of yoga, consider signing up in your local gym or studio. Most instructors provide hands-on training to show you how to move into the poses safely.
There’s a common saying in yoga to mind your own mat, and that means that all the stretching isn’t a competition! Don’t worry about what your classmates are doing. Stay aligned with your body and breath, and the rest will follow.
7. Have a Sense of Purpose
In Okinawa, Japan, the life expectancy far exceeds the average, global number. In this region, people embrace the radical idea of ikigai, which refers to “the reason for which you wake up in the morning.”
In other words, you should feel revitalized and excited to start each day. You should have a sense of wonder, a desire to make things happen in the world.
If you don’t know your purpose, you can start by identifying what gives your life meaning. Is it the work you do every day? The time you spend with your family? The hobbies or interests you pursue in your spare time?
A sense of purpose gives you a sense of optimism- both of these can add years to your life expectancy.
8. Stay Connected Spiritually
Research shows that religion or spirituality can positively improve one’s mood. It doesn’t have to be in an organized church or temple, either. Spirituality can be a very personal experience, one that you may be able to embrace within the privacy of your own home.
That said, finding something more significant than yourself can give you a sense of purpose and direction- even if things don’t go your way.
9. Stop Smoking
By now, everyone knows the inherent dangers associated with lighting up. However, the harmful effects of cigarettes can be counteracted once you quit.
Studies show that four years after quitting, your chances of experiencing a heart attack drop to that of someone who has never smoked.
Ten years after quitting, your risk of developing lung cancer develops to compare rates to a non-smoker.
Quitting cigarettes can be tricky, but there are numerous options available to those who have the willingness to try. From cold turkey to Chantix to Nicorette to hypnosis, the option to stop is possible.
10. Get Your Screenings
Healthy people stay proactive with their health! That means showing up for your annual physicals and recommended health screenings.
It means calling your doctor if something doesn’t feel right. No, it doesn’t mean that you need to go crazy with the tests, but you should stay up-to-date with your physical health during each stage of your life.
Preventative care is always worth the time, energy, and money if you can ward off a medical concern as a result.
11. Prioritize Sleep
If you want to live to 100, you need to make sure that you work hard, play hard, and well, rest hard. All adults need a good night’s sleep to perform optimally.
While this number ranges from person to person, most adults benefit from 7-9 hours per sleep. It’s best to stick to a routine everyday. That means aiming to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning- regardless of the day of the week.
If you struggle with sleep problems, talk with your doctor. There are a variety of treatments (such as Hemplucid), therapies, and tools that can help you drift off into dreamland.
12. Manage Your Money
Want to live longer? Having financial security helps. Worrying about money or how to fund your healthcare costs can get stressful fast.
Start by honing in on a budget and tracking your income and purchases. Determine the areas where you can cut down or reduce expenses. Can you pay down your debts? Can you make more frugal swaps?
Saving for the future is essential. After all, if you want to live to 100, there’s a good chance that you don’t want to work all those years! Make sure that you are saving as aggressively as you can for retirement.
13. Stay Social
In old age, loneliness and isolation can be one of the top sources of stress. These symptoms can actually lead to premature death.
As humans, we’re meant to be social creatures. We flourish best when we have family, friends, and support by our side.
You may have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to stay social. For example, work on your communication skills. You may also have to encourage yourself to try new activities.
While you don’t have to be a total social butterfly, having support can make a profound difference in your mood and productivity.
Final Thoughts on How to Live to 100
Age is just a number. But now that you know how to live to 100, it’s time to start putting all this knowledge into action. Take care of yourself, and your body will take care of you in return.
Interested in learning more about how to live a healthy lifestyle? Check out our blog archives today.