People who live to 100 years old are extremely rare in our society. But those who go on to make it to their 110th birthday are even rarer.
Are these individuals just lucky? Or is there a reason for their incredible longevity?
Part of the explanation is genetic. Researchers know that there are some genes that lead to longer lives across species, and supercentenarians seem to have an over expression of them. But that’s not the only reason why they live to be so old. Almost always, there are lifestyle factors involved.
This fact begs an interesting question: is it possible for the average person to become a supercentenarian? The answer to that question is probably “no.” But we do know from the evidence that most people can significantly boost their lifespans by doing the right things every day.
Here are some of the things that most scientists working in the field believe works.
Eat Food From The Ground
Many researchers believe that the number of supercentenarians is likely to decline significantly as the 21st century wears on. That’s because the number of people eating unprocessed diets is declining substantially. While it was common for people to eat plenty of vegetables in the past, that’s no longer the case today.
If you want to live a long time, avoid processed foods at all costs. Center your diet around foods that you can eat straight out of the ground. If you go to the store, shop around the edges, particularly the produce section. Don’t venture down any of the middle aisles.
If you can grow your own organic food using traditional cultivars, that’s even better. Food was less bastardized in the past and may have been more nutritious.
Keep Animal Protein To A Minimum
Animal protein is not good for the human body. Research shows that it increases growth and cancer risk over time by elevating undesirable hormones, such as IGF-1.
If you need meat in your diet, do what the Japanese Okinawans do and treat it as a condiment. Just sprinkle it on your meals instead of making it the main event.
If you are worried about low protein levels, replace meat with plant-based alternatives. Soy products, chickpeas, lentils and beans all work well.
Get Some Sleep
Eating well is good, but sleep is when the magic happens. When your body is resting, it has an opportunity to repair and restore itself in a way that’s simply not possible while you’re awake.
If you look at some of the oldest living people in the world, many of them lived more than a century because they always prioritized rest at night. They weren’t afraid to switch off and forget about the troubles of the world. And they certainly didn’t have stressful high pressure jobs. Health was always more important for them than money.
How much sleep do you need? Well, that depends a lot on your age and lifestyle. If you can continue sleeping seven hours a night into your eighties, you’re doing well.
Keep Your Mind Calm
None of the people who lived the longest thought deeply about their significance, work or goals. Instead, they just lived life in a relaxed manner. They avoided stress at all costs and, instead, just treated themselves well. None of them had high blood pressure or any of the symptoms of a highly-strung life.
Stress is directly damaging to the body. When you feel tension, hormonal and immune system changes occur. You feel more embattled and less well rested. And you become more prone to chronic diseases. Over time, the information inside your cells becomes harder to read and the body ceases making proteins to such a high quality. Eventually you start to show all the hallmarks of aging earlier than you should.
You don’t have to be religious. But it does help to be spiritual. You need to have the ability to step outside of the madness of the world and just enjoy your own existence, no matter what is going on around you.
Keeping your mind calm can be difficult if you grew up in the wrong environment. But the mind is surprisingly plastic. Having repeatedly good thoughts over time leads to greater life satisfaction and an enhanced ability to deal with stress.
Don’t Worry About Your Health
Worrying about your health can actually speed up the aging process. If you constantly tell yourself that you’re old, your body will start to believe it, and you’ll notice that biological time seems to be speeding up.
If you have concerns, get a prescription written online at DrHouse. Then forget about whatever is ailing you. Go out and enjoy life and imagine that you’re still in your youth. Have a positive mindset.
The ancient doaist philosopher said, “people are soft and flexible in life, hard and brittle in death.” Even 2,500 years ago, he was right. The more flexible you are, the longer you’ll live.
Practicing flexibility is surprisingly easy these days. A yin yoga session should do the trick.
Be An Optimist
Being an optimist in 2022 is challenging. There is so much wrong with the world, and it only looks like it’s going to get worse in 2023.
But many of the oldest-living people had this basic attitude towards life. No matter how bad things seemed, they always kept plodding forwards.
If you struggle to be an optimist, stop couching it in terms of rationality. Yes, climate change is a problem and yes, Russia and the US could start WWIII, but that doesn’t mean that you need to listen to the rational part of your mind. You can just view optimism as a personal indulgence. And who cares if it isn’t true if it means you can live longer?
Living a long time is a major challenge. But if you can develop the right habits early in life, you stand a fighting chance. It’s a big project, but what really matters is the little things you do day-to-day.