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Here's how you can live to a 100

Is it so easy? Could we actually plan to live to a ripe old age?

Image Credit: iStock

Being a centenarian is an impossible dream for younger generations, people might say. Lifestyle, food, lack of organic produce; there so many factors that could block us from blowing out our 100th candle, or coming close enough to it. 

Now, the average life expectancy at birth is 69 years for men and 73 years for women according to research published by the United Nations, from data collected in 2010-2015.

This is much higher than in previous years, however, still nowhere close to our centenarian dream. Below are few points to consider, if you want to live a long life. 


10. Clean Air

No one really thinks about air quality, especially indoors. Clean air and healthy air quality is key for good health regardless of your age. If you live in a congested area, try and find a place further away from the city centre to make a small difference. Here's our guide on how to maintain air quality indoors.


9. Hypertension treatment in elderly people

Hypertension and blood pressure start earlier and earlier as years go by and people work themselves to exhaustion in most countries. Taking upon stress coupled with lack of exercise and a bad lifestyle is the cause in many cases.

Ensure that you have enough rest during the day, and during your lifetime. Not all of us have a 100 years to be happy; so make the most of your time being happy. 

Read our piece on 7 steps you could take to be happier.


8. Body Mass Index

Being overweight or obese is the reason for many lifestyle diseases, which in turn cause more chances of weight gain becoming a vicious cycle.  


7. Physical activity

Being physically active and moving is all you need to keep healthy; that could mean 30 minutes in the gym or a walk to your supermarket. Focus less on your weight and more on how you feel, and how healthy you want to be.


6. Exercise for patients with heart disease

People with coronary heart diseases or CHD, or high risk individuals should exercise and follow diets suitable for their heart. 


5. Flu vaccines and vaccines against pneumonia

It is ironic that getting your flu shots on time might be more important to live longer than physical exercise. 


4. Alcohol consumption

Consuming alcohol excessively and regularly leads to a steady deterioration of your body and your internal organs. After a level, there is no coming back from that kind of damage.


3. Smoking by patients with coronary heart disease

Smoking, as you will see in the next point, is bad enough - not to mention if you have CHD or are at high risk of getting it.


2. Smoking, more than 15 cigarettes a day

Need we say more? Smoking is one of those things that show effects on a daily basis on your lungs, skin and body as marks of deterioration. Here's our simple guide to try and quit smoking.


1. Social relationships: Social integration and Social support 

The answer to a long life is simple. Social interaction. Interaction with peers, youth, neighbours, society; interaction with other humans is the underlying common factor for longevity.

The ideal number of strong relationships you must have in your life on a daily basis is three. This is not about messaging once a day or calling once in a while. You must be physically present in these relationships; meet them regularly, cultivate social habits that make you happy and relaxed.

The key is to be happy, with people around you.


Data across 308,849 individuals, followed for an average of 7.5 years, indicate that individuals with adequate social relationships have a 50 per cent greater likelihood of survival compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships.**


Do digital connections count?

Spending an average of 11 hours online, digital connections are key in today's world.

While digital connections have helped keep people close enough to communicate, nothing compares to a face to face interaction which affects hormones in a positive way for our body and mind; from cortisol to oxytocin to dopamine.

Real meaningful interactions every day and a reasonably healthy lifestyle is what could lead to you blowing out your 100th candle and more. 

**Based on research led by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Brigham Young University and another report led by Elizabeth Redcay, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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