A centenarian is a person who has reached the age of 100 years. Because life expectancies worldwide are below 100 years, the term is usually associated with longevity. In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide. Jason Prall, director of The Longevity Project, traveled to nine countries and three continents, interviewing some of the world’s healthiest centenarians. He explored what it takes to live past 100 years old and whether it’s possible to reach that age while maintaining peak health. In this article we’ll explore some of his findings and recommendations for how to live longer.
How Centenarians Live Longer
Below were some of the key findings from Jason Prall’s research:
- The healthiest centenarians lived simple lives, following farm-to-table diets, frequently interacting with their communities and exercising by biking or walking long distances to work each day
- Populations with healthy centenarians do not appear to have many of the chronic conditions seen in Western culture. These conditions have only appeared recently, as Western influences like fast food and new technologies crept into their communities.
- Research demonstrates how adults who live to 90 or 100 have learned to balance these somewhat contradictory traits. In order to flourish, they have to be able to accept and recover from the things they can’t change, but also fight for the things they can.
- The oldest adults had other qualities in common as well, including positivity, a strong work ethic and close bonds with family, religion and the countryside. Most of the older adults in the study were still active, working regularly in their homes and on their land. This gave them a purpose in life.
9 Key Factor For Living Longer
Below are nine key factors that can help us living longer:
- Physical activity – a National Institutes of Health study reports that just 2.5 hours of moderate activity a week could extend your life by 3.4 years.
- Being proactive with health – have regular check ups and take an active role in your wellness.
- Don’t over eat – eating to live rather than living to eat is a good motto to live by. Eating the right portions that give you the necessary calories in the different categories of food is important.
- Good genes – however, genes can be over ridden by utilizing all of the other healthy habits.
- Eat healthy food – maintaining a good diet is an important factor for living longer.
- Feel connected – social isolation and loneliness have been identified as having a higher mortality rate than obesity and alcoholism
- Feel respected – feeling respected and valued has a positive impact on emotional health.
- Have purpose – Orchard engagement staff provide many opportunities for the residents to be involved in purposeful activities.
- Stay positive – a positive outlook on life will help keep stress levels low.
Additionally, studies have also called out the below key points:
- In areas with higher-than-usual concentrations of centenarians, seniors are often an integrated part of their community. For many, church provides that connection. Religion encourages its believers to carve time during the week to go to church, which is not only a chance to strengthen their connection to God, but to mingle with family and friends. If you do not have, or are not interested in a faith community, find a community that works for you.
- Being outdoors provides added vitamin D from sunshine as well as encouraging you to be active and interactive. Being outside can also promote a positive outlook on life.
Orchard at Brookhaven is a senior living community in Atlanta that is dedicated to promoting healthy living. Some ares we focus on include;
- Healthy diets
- Opportunities to stay connected
- Purposeful activities
- Beautiful gardens and walking paths
- Brain health classes
- A variety of exercise classes
- Outings and social events
- Worship services
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour of our community.