The average 20-year old person today living in a developed country has a 23% chance of living to be 100 years old. While science has increased our life span by 30 years over time through the discovery of vaccines, lowering mortality rates and reducing disease-related deaths, there are things you can do to increase your chances at being a centenarian, like:
• eating healthy
• stopping smoking
• staying social
One study in 2011 found that even as an older adult, eating vegetables, fruit, poultry, low-fat dairy products and whole grains lowers your risk of dying by an additional five years. Researchers think the quality diet reduced the participants’ risk of dying from chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, by naturally purging “free radicals” from the body, along with lowering their metabolic rate.
One study found that by exercising just 30 minutes six days per week, the life span of men was extended by five years. In another study, men who exercised less than one hour per week experienced a 23% to 37% less chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.
In a new study from Denmark, participants who jogged at 5 mph (8km/h) a few times per week, but for a total time of less than 2.5 hours per week had a 78% less chance of dying when compared to sedentary individuals.
The study also found that strenuous joggers – those running at 7 mph (11.265km/h) for 4 hours or more per week – did not see any decrease of dying when compared to the same sedentary group.
The results indicate light exercising might be a key to living longer and that there might be a limit as far as the health benefits derived based on the intensity and duration of the exercise. More is not necessarily better in this case.
On average, people who stopped smoking, before reaching middle age, live 10 years longer. Even if past middle age, kicking the habit will reap health benefits that could extend your life by even a few years.
Whether married, or single having someone to talk to increases your life span. One theory is it reduces stress, which when in excess can cause a host of medical problems … some of which can be life-threatening.
These are just some of the more beneficial things you can do to increase your chances of living to 100 or beyond. All of them you can start today to increase your chances of living longer tomorrow.