18 Simple Rules to Follow if You Want to Live to 100
Sure, your genes have something to do with your life span, but the doctors we spoke to agreed that simple things can make a big dent in your risk of chronic disease. You won’t just live longer—you’ll make those (many, many) years count.
Four years after doing so, your chance of having a heart attack falls to that of someone who has never smoked. After ten years, your lung cancer risk drops to nearly that of a nonsmoker. Use the tricks ex-smokers used to put down cigarettes for good.
Thirty minutes of activity is all that’s necessary. Three ten-minute walks will do it. Learn exactly how much daily activity will help you live longer.
Eat your produce
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Fruit, vegetables … whatever your favorites are, just make sure you eat them every day. This is exactly how many fruits and veggies will help you live longer.
No need to go test-crazy; just get the health screenings recommended for your stage of life. Check with your doctor to make sure you’re up-to-date.
Make sleep a priority
For most adults who want to live to 100, that means seven to eight hours every night. If you have a tough time turning off the light, remember that sleep deprivation raises the risk of heart disease, cancer, and more.
Ask your doctor about low-dose aspirin
Heart attack, stroke, even cancer—a single 81 mg tablet per day may fight them all. (Aspirin comes with risks, though, so don’t start on your own.) Don’t miss these other health tips from the world’s longest-living people.
Know your blood pressure numbers
It’s not called the silent killer just to give your life a little more drama. Keep yours under 120/80 if you want to live to 100.
Loneliness is another form of stress. Friends, family, and furry pets help you feel loved. Find out which easy solo activity can help you live longer.
Cut back on saturated fat
It’s the raw material your body uses for producing LDL, bad cholesterol. Plus, avoid these other foods you should never eat if you want to live a long life.
Get help for depression
It doesn’t just feel bad; it does bad things to your body. In fact, when tacked onto diabetes and heart disease, it increases risk of early death by as much as 30 percent.
Manage your stress
The doctors we surveyed say that living with uncontrolled stress is more destructive to your health than being 30 pounds overweight. Check out these other 50 easy habits that will help you live longer.
Have a higher purpose
As one physician advised, “Strive to achieve something bigger than yourself.” By giving back, you give to yourself. Don’t miss the trick the world’s healthiest village uses to live longer.
Load up at breakfast
People in “Blue Zones”—areas with high life expectancies—eat the most at breakfast, then have little or nothing for dinner. Front-loading calories can ward off hungry all day, keeping your weight in check. Steal these other eating habits of real people who lived to 100.
You don’t need to go days without food. Simply limiting eating to eight hours of the day gives your body more time to finish its six to twelve hours of digestion. After that, it goes into “fasting” mode, burning stored fat. New research suggests intermittent fasting—cycling between fasting and non-fasting—can slow down aging.
Cook at home
Not only do you get to control the ingredients and make healthier choices, but the act of cooking is a mini workout. Make sure to cook up these 12 anti-aging foods that help you live longer.
Have a sit-down meal
Multi-tasking during meals, such as while driving or rushing to get out the door, can put stress hormones in the way of your body’s ability to digest, which won’t help you live to 100. Sit down, or better yet, gather the family together to get the bonus of social time while enjoying a meal together. Here are 15 more everyday habits that will add years to your life.
Most people who live to 100 are financially secure. Worrying about money (and how to pay for healthcare) could get in the way of a long, healthy life.
Focus on the good stuff
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Research shows people who live to 100 tend to complain less than younger adults. Their lack of gripes could mean they’re better at handling bad situations. Check out these other 15 signs you could live to 100.