How to Live to Be 100 Years Old

"Getting older isn't a problem - you just have to live long enough." That's a famous Groucho Marx quote. So here are nine proven tips for becoming a centenarian.

That’s not a person who collects Lincoln pennies. It’s someone 100 years old! And you can be one, too. Just follow these suggestions.

1 - You behave more like an Extrovert than an Introvert.

What does that mean and how can you find out your preference? Here is a simplified explanation. Ask yourself if you have the opportunity to go to a party this week, will you be looking forward to attending? Or will you make an excuse because there’s a book you’re anxious to finish or a Hubpost you’re trying to complete.

Extroverts love to party. Introverts prefer solitary pursuits. Extroverts get their energy from outside themselves – from others. Introverts get their energy from within. If you are an Extrovert, living to 100 may well be within your grasp. If you are an Introvert, make an effort to start "partying" more.

2 - You add blueberries or raspberries to your morning oatmeal.

Lose that donut, that cruller or that frosted cinnamon bun. Instead, eat oatmeal for breakfast and add one cup of blueberries (4 grams of fiber) or one cup of raspberries (8 grams of fiber). Most of us eat 14 to 17 grams of fiber per day but if you add only 10 grams, you reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 17%. How do I know? A recent study from the Netherlands told me so.

Additional fiber is good for you in other ways, too. Dietary fiber helps reduce total and “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, and boost weight loss. If you add one cup of raspberries to your oatmeal (½ cup dry has 4 grams of fiber) you get 12 grams of fiber in just one meal. If you prefer other cereal in the morning, have ½ cup of 100% bran cereal (8.8 grams of fiber).

Other fiber-rich foods are sweet potatoes, pears, black beans and walnuts. I love walnuts especially when they're surrounded by dark chocolate. And now that I know walnuts and dark chocolate are actually good for you, I may need assistance with my will power.

3 - You have learned to send emails, embrace Google and tweet on Twitter.

In other words, you stay connected with new technology, current trends, your friends and family members. Evercare, a division of United Healthcare, is a group that sponsors an annual poll of U.S. centenarians. Researchers there discovered that many of the oldest Americans who use the latest technology stay not only mentally spry but socially engaged. If you can stay connected to friends, family and current events as you age, you will continue to feel vital and relevant.

4 - You count your calories.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reported that men and women who limited their daily calories to 1,400 to 2,000 (about 25% fewer calories than those who follow a typical Western diet) were literally young at heart. Their hearts functioned like those of people 15 years younger.

Subjects in the study ate only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat, chicken, fish and nuts and drank fat-free milk. They cut out the empty calories found in candy, cookies, soda and white bread. There go my dark chocolate walnuts.

5 - You see yourself as 13 years younger than you are.

That's what older people in good health said in a recent survey of more than 500 men and women age 70 and older. "Feeling youthful is linked to better health and a longer life," say researchers at the University of Michigan. Seeing yourself as younger than you are indicates an optimistic outlook which can motivate you to overcome challenges. This positive point of view helps reduce stress, boost your immune system and ultimately lowers your risk of disease.

6 - Your pulse beats 15 times during 15 seconds.

That equates to 60 beats per minute - or the number of times a healthy heart beats at rest. Most people have resting rates between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The closer you are to the lower end of the spectrum, the healthier you are. “A slower pulse means your heart doesn't have to work as hard and could last longer,” says the director of the Women's Cardiovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic.

7 - You do not snore.

Snoring can be a major sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that causes you to stop breathing briefly because throat tissue collapses and blocks your airway. In severe cases, this can happen 60 to 70 times per hour. Sleep apnea may be responsible for a number of health problems: high blood pressure, memory impairment, weight gain, and depression.

An 18-year study found that people free of sleep apnea were three times more likely to live longer than those with severe apnea. If you snore and have excessive daytime drowsiness or mood changes, talk with your doctor about a referral to a sleep center.

8 - You play brain games, not mind games.

Numerous research studies show that even brief sessions of brain exercise can have long-lasting positive benefits for older adults helping them to stay mentally fit. Do the crossword puzzles in your local newspaper and work up to the more difficult ones in the New York Times. Play Scrabble and learn to play Bridge.

9 - You exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day.

Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine in California found that middle-aged folks who exercised a total of about five hours each week lived longer, and also functioned better physically and cognitively as they got older. This study tracked both runners and non-runners for 21 years.

The participants in the study didn't just get less heart disease - they also developed fewer cases of cancer, neurological diseases and infections. Conclusion: aerobic exercise helps you maintain a healthy, "young" immune system. If running isn't your thing, then swimming or any other exercise for just 20 minutes a day that leaves you breathless will help you maintain good health.

Personal note: I try to exercise at least 30 to 40 minutes every day because I know how vital exercise is to my sense of well-being as well as my health. But I either swim or walk - no more rope jumping. Why did I quit? Did you ever see a dog laugh while you were gracefully (?) jumping rope? 'Nuff said!

© Copyright B.J. Rakow 2010, 2011. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"

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Comments for How to Live to Be 100 Years Old 26 comments

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

What can I say? I eat mostly raw vegetables (not because thay are healthy, but because I like them), I play at least one sudoku aday (the evil one), I get my exercise from cleaning my house (3000 sf), I learned how to send e-mails, but have a hard time with using a new cell phone and can't change the station in my car (it has been the same one for years - but I like country music), I will never count calories (hardly even count money for that matter), I buy blueberries when they are on sale, I will never give up dark chocolate, I am still wearing mini (not as short as when I was 20, but still).

The best part of it all is that my family's longevity is scary (no joke - 90 is avrage). So, am I going to live to be 100? I am afraid so

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

I can see you now, Petra, 105 years old, with all your hair (mostly on your head), lots of your own teeth and wearing an adorable medium mini that shows off your agile figure.

You are still cleaning your own house but have learned which button starts the robot vacuum cleaner. You never had to learn to use the smartphone because now you have a memory chip implanted in your brain. Which helps you also to count money.

And you still enjoy blueberries if they are covered with dark chocolate. Cheers. Hope to be there celebrating with you. Thanks for the visit.

equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

I need to link this hub to mine about old age. I am touching the inner world, and you explain brilliantly the practical tips and tricks, for ageing well.

But for now, this old woman must first get the link-thing right. You promised that if I do it, I will gain a year or two. Ha ha

I loved this hub, and rate it up.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, equealla - how nice to have you visit. Delighted that you stopped by and that you loved these practical strategies. Thanks for the up rating, too.

If you need help with the link capsule, contact me (via the contact button above) and I'll be happy to walk you thru the procedure.

MakeMoneyGoal profile image

MakeMoneyGoal 6 years ago from Edinburgh

Great Hub! voted up! the blueberries by yhe way are super charged with flavanoids that help reduce the oxidative effects of the world and thereforer ageing as well.

equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

I have managed, thanks. I guess I might get two years for that. lol It was not too difficult. I never used this button before for linking to another hub. There is always a first. Ive seen other hubs with this kind of links, and thought it was cool, now I can do it too.

Still like your article a lot. ( You can delete this comment forever, just wanted to let you know.)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you MMG, you certainly don't mince words with your avatar. You seem to be a man of strong convictions.

Thanks for the "great" and the "up." You are spot on about the blueberries. They probably pack more healthy punch to the ounce than any other fruit. Thanks for stopping by.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, equealla - delighted you are now linking like other cool hubbers. And happy you still like this hub. Wouldn't dream of deleting your comment, though.

If you like reading old age quotes, you might also like to visit my hub: "Old Age Ain't for Sissies." Ain't that the truth?

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I couldn't resit making a comment as I was just in the middle of eating blueberries but unfortunately or not over top of delicious no sugar added vanilla ice cream.

Checked my pulse and I am still alive:0) 15 for 15 doing fine. Eat my oatmeal most mornings. Love veggies and fruits, juice my carrots, buy organic as much as possible. Don't slaughter the cows and stick to my bison, elk, salmon and some pork. Pushing 60 and still doing push ups and sit ups. I am aiming for 100 plus, but I think the hubs may kill me they are keeping me up at night reminding me how to stay fit and live longer:0)

Loved this post, great work and thanks for the encouraging words.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, saddlerider - blueberries with ice cream? You're my kinda guy.

And I agree with you wholeheartedly on the exercise regimen. My push-ups are on the anemic side but I do swim every morning (it's usually warm enough year round where I live).

Since you appear to be sensible about what you eat you might want to wander over to my hub about that insidious stuff - MSG - that finds its way into much of our foodstuffs. See "MSG and Fat Rats and Us."

Thanks for your encouraging comments - and as far as reaching 100 - why not?

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Well gee, the snoring will probably cut me out of it fairly early, talk about sawing logs!! I hate it when I wake myself up! Not sure what all that is in blueberries, just know that I like them! I'm a 'tekki' for sure, love figuring new things out!

Enjoyed your writing, as always!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, susie, for the visit and the kind comments.

Re the snoring, have you ever tried that little adhesive strip that you are supposed to put over your nose before bedtime? It looks like something that football players wear during a game, but is advertised as a "stop snoring" aid.

Your comment about waking up reminded me of this:

Sometimes I wake up crabby in the morning. Other times I just let him sleep! :)

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

LOL @ you... too funny. No, I haven't tried anything for my snoring, since all of my family has done it I figured I'd just be part of the crowd! LOL

susannah42 profile image

susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

Well, I love blueberries and eat them ofter as well as a large amount of fruits and veggies, raw. Love them. I think the biggest peice of staying young and healthy is how you think of yourself.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You hit the bulls-eye with that remark, susannah. In addition to the healthy eating and daily exercise, your positive self esteem may be the most important factor in remaining vital and healthy. You are to be commended for recognizing that. :) And also for taking the time to visit!

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Your fantastic hub confirms that I will indeed live to 102 + ! If we add Laugh out loud, every single day, well, I'll make it to 103+ - adding to that, with all the love and attention I recieve from my hub family, heck, I may just live forever! What do you say to that, my friend? Your hub is absolutely the best! And, BTW, so are you! :) vocalcoach

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How could I have forgotten one of the major tenets that has always guided my outlook on life? The positive health benefits from humor and laughter. Thank you, Audrey, for reminding me. I firmly believe that he or she who laughs . . . lasts!

Thank you for the 'best' comment - you know I feel the same way about you and your literary creations.

profile image

Aka Professor M 5 years ago

For me age has always been a case of "mind over matter", drbj. I don't mind and it doesn't matter! I have enjoyed the past 60years and look forward to the next 60+. Old age and I have a long standing agreement I would mess with him as long as he stays out of my way! Seriously though this hub has some very valid points and I have voted it up!

I'd only add one more point if I may, drbj! Always enjoy yourself, your hopes and your dreams! Regards Mike (Aka Professor M) ;D

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I agree with you with all my heart, Mike, age is just a number. I congratulate you for enjoying the first 60 years and wish you the very best for the next 60 as well.

Thank you for finding this hub, the 'up' and your generous comments.

Your last point is extremely well taken. You aren't really living if you don't enjoy what you are doing and are actively pursuing hopes and dreams.

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Just checking - did you manage to stay off the chocolate coated walnuts? :D

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Did I manage to give up the chocolate coated walnuts, FP. Of course . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . NOT1

tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

Seeings I am getting into my 50s I better get on the ball here drbj. I smoke I drink alot of coffee and I like beer. But my maturity level is definitely in question !

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

LOL...that's my girl!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

You look pretty good to me, tony, but if you give up smoking you will look (and feel) good for even longer. Caffeine used to be thought of as bad for you but I read a research report the other day that recommended up to two cups of coffee a day. Go figure.

As for beer, everything in moderation. It's an amazing beverage. See my hub: "Tribute to Beer - An Amazing Beverage."

As far as your maturity level is concerned, to me, that's one of your most endearing qualities!

Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Ok I am going to be here a long time...I was looking for the banana spider Hub and well, there are so many other Hubs I want to read!

I am doing not too bad and I always think it is a good idea to think one is 13 years younger than they are. Doesn't everyone? :)

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

What a lovely surprise to find you here, Scribenet, m'luv. Goldie, the Golden Banana Spider is anxiously awaiting your visit as is her colleague, Wanda, with the amazing talent.

So happy that you want to read more of my Hubs - makes my day, y'know. You are so right. Thinking that one is younger makes one feel so much better. It works for me!

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