If you want to live to 100, you’re in the right place. We have some of the most common health tips that centennials around the world follow. As you’ll soon see, it’s easier than you’d think.
Dan Buettner, the author of The Blue Zones and The Blue Zone Solution, identified parts of the world that have the highest concentrations of centennials and named them blue zones. Not only do these places have the highest concentration of people over 100, but they also have extremely low rates of chronic diseases. There are currently five blue zones: Loma Linda, California; Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and the Ogliastra region of Sardinia.
Here are some tips from the blue zone population:
Exercise every day: By exercise, they don’t necessarily mean that you need to hit up the gym every single day. Rather, make a habit out of staying active—when you have the chance, choose to walk instead of drive. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, plant a garden, do anything as long as it keeps you active and not sitting down all day.
As you age, it’s recommended to shed the high-intensity workouts and opt for low-intensity exercises, like walking or swimming.
Eat more plants: Include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans into your diet. We know, you get this advice all the time, but seemingly with good reason. Another great food to add to your diet on a daily basis is nuts. Almonds and cashews are great for your health, and typically add up to three years to life expectancy.
Centenarians do eat meat, but only on occasion, and they limit their red meat intake.
Drink wine: The people of Sardinia are known to drink a lot of cannonau wine, which has a high level of antioxidants and three times more polyphenols than other wines. If you can’t find cannonau wine, any red wine will do—it has been proven to reduce heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Manage your stress: Chronic inflammation, which can be caused by stress and a poor diet, is a cause of many different diseases. Learning to manage your stress—and by extension, your cortisol levels—can help you prevent diseases. Find something to reduce your stress, whether it be running, praying, or reading.
Value your friendships: Having a social circle of tight-knit friends is beneficial as they provide support and camaraderie. Socializing frequently and having people to rely on is a good stress reliever, too. The people of Okinawa have groups of five who commit to being friends for life, and the Ikarians have large communities to social with on the regular.
Put your family first: Research shows that people in a loving and committed long-term relationship have less stress and live up to six years longer than their counterparts. Centenarians typically have kids and grandkids, and their family is tight. They’re also usually taken care of in a family member’s home rather than a long-term care facility.
As you can see, being a centenarian could be easier than you would imagine. Just follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to living to 100.