How to live past 100


Creative Commons

Elderly woman tending to her garden.

In the United States, the average life expectancy is 78 years old. Yet, throughout the world, there are communities and towns where there are large amounts of centenarians – people who live past the age of 100 – who share a common lifestyle and overall attitude towards life.

One of these commonalities is gardening. Gardening exercises the mind. It ensures that what’s grown is consumed, which is very beneficial to health and growing.The benefits of being around nature are huge for anxiety and depression.

Most centenarians have a tight bond with nature, according to a CNBC report.

“If being around nature is good for you, then being consistent about it is even better, which is something that gardening pretty much forces you to do,” the report said. “You may try to jog every day in the park, but then blow it off for a few weeks when your schedule gets too busy. If you stop tending to a garden midway, however, you’re liable to see all your hard work go to waste.”

Time magazine dove into researching a village in Sardinia, Italy, where there are 29 residents aged 90 to 101. Within this village there are commonalities with not just their lifestyles, but with their demeanor as well.

Studies have been performed and surveys have been administered but, the best results have been concluded through interviews with the centenarians younger relatives.

“The younger adults tended to describe their older relatives as controlling, domineering and stubborn. But the 90- and 100- somethings also displayed qualities of resilience and adaptability to change,” Time reported

Purpose for living is one of the most important factors to longevity. Most people retire around 60 years old and relax for the remainder of their life. Yet, studies have shown how important it is to continue working, in some aspect at least, to reduce any risk of becoming lazy and getting too comfortable in a relaxed environment.

A balanced diet is another key to living a long life. Within Blue Zones, a more traditional diet is primarily consumed, because eating greasy fast food was not always so mainstreamed. By not indulging in fattening foods, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer have been primarily avoided.

Dan Buettner is a National Geographic explorer who was given the task to find lifestyle commonalities and secrets to longevity. He published a book, “The Blue Zones Solution.” This book highlights dietary tips for living a long and healthy life.

After publishing his book, Buettner continued his research, where he discovered better and more precise secrets to longevity. He came out with his second publication years later, to give better and more time appropriate facts about longevity. In this book, “The Blue Zones,” he revealed very insightful information.

“Stop eating when your stomach is 80 percent full to avoid weight gain, eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening, eat mostly plants and beans, eat meat rarely, and drink alcohol moderately and regularly,” Buettner told NPR.

The United Nations did an interview with four women over 100 years old about how they have made it to this age. Madeline Scotto, was one of the women interviewed.

She has since passed, yet she was extremely dedicated to her work. She was a math teacher in Brooklyn, New York, all the way up until her death. Scotto was very passionate and strongly believed in not conforming to standards elderly people typically meet.

When Scotto was asked what the best part about being her age was, she responded with, “my life is just about going to school and doing my thing,” she continues this by saying, “I’m very pleased with where I am.”

Another woman interviewed by the U.N. was Ida Keeling. She was 100 when the interview was conducted, but died at 106 years old, in August of this year. Keeling was the oldest American runner. She was extremely dedicated and passionate.

“I am still running, my last run was in Akron, Ohio last year, when I was 99 years old, and I broke my record.” She continues this by saying, “I think as long as I live and can move, I think I am going to be running at least once a year.” Keeling said.

Keeling was a true American track star who lived life to the fullest. She spent her life outdoors and dedicated to time exercise her body and mind. She is an inspiration for those committing their life to longevity. Between her love for health, activity and perseverance, Keeling is a great example of how life should be lived.