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Live to 100: Tips for Healthy Aging

Last Update: Dec 2, 2015

The number of people living longer is increasing dramatically. An estimated 4.2 million U.S. residents now fall into the age group of the "oldest old" - 85 years and older-with more than 40,000 having reached the age of 100. In fact, centenarians (those 100 and older) are the fastest-growing subpopulation of the elderly, and by 2050, according to census projections, 1 million Americans will celebrate their 100th birthdays

At the same time, a growing body of evidence suggests that good genes are only a small part of the longevity puzzle. In fact, researchers now believe that chronic illness is not an inevitable consequence of aging, but it results more often from lifestyle choices that we're perfectly free to reject.

So what are centenarians' secrets to healthy old age? Experts recommend the following:

Embrace a Positive Attitude   Centenarians tend be very optimistic and always hope for the best. According to research, having a positive attitude is key to the ability to live longer and can lead to a healthier, higher quality of life. Researchers speculate that positive emotions may directly affect overall health, perhaps through direct mechanisms, such as immune function, or indirectly, for example, by strengthening social support networks.

Stimulate Your Mind   Research shows the more educated we are, the longer we live. And the benefits of education are even more pronounced when learning continues throughout our lives. Most centenarians take advantage of opportunities and possibilities that have not been available to them earlier in their lives, such as second careers, volunteer activities, musical instruction, writing, various classes in areas of interest or travel. In addition, you may want to consider mentally challenging activities such as crossword puzzles or learning a new language.

Limit Stress and Stay Connected   Protect your mental and physical health by managing your stress at work and at home. Humor, meditation, exercise and optimism are good ways to naturally reduce stress and relieve tension. Next, stay in touch with family and friends. Those who maintain a close network of social support do best. Social contacts may encourage us to take better care of ourselves—by cutting down on smoking and drinking, for example, or seeking medical treatment earlier for symptoms that may indicate serious problems. Friends may also help us get through difficult times by offering coping mechanisms and having a positive effect on mood and self-esteem.

Limit Stress and Stay Connected   Protect your mental and physical health by managing your stress at work and at home. Humor, meditation, exercise and optimism are good ways to naturally reduce stress and relieve tension. Next, stay in touch with family and friends. Those who maintain a close network of social support do best. Social contacts may encourage us to take better care of ourselves—by cutting down on smoking and drinking, for example, or seeking medical treatment earlier for symptoms that may indicate serious problems. Friends may also help us get through difficult times by offering coping mechanisms and having a positive effect on mood and self-esteem.

Take Advantage of Your Genes   Good health practices will help you make up for at least some of the genetic difference between you and centenarians. Essentially, you can compensate for bad genes by healthy living—or ruin perfectly good genes.


  **Article was taken from Chiro Works Care Center.