ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Have a Long Life

Updated on July 13, 2014
"Fountain of Youth," Eduard Veith
"Fountain of Youth," Eduard Veith | Source

Longer lives

Scientific research has revealed a number of insights related to the length of human life. To a degree, one's lifespan is determined by inherited qualities in the genome. However, making lifestyle changes and taking specific actions can significantly lengthen one's life as well.

Some notable suggestions for controlling the aging process include:

  • Consume fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, keep fat intake low, and emphasize complex carbohydrates in your diet.
  • Regular exercise several days per week combats a number of maladies that are tied to aging, such as loss of muscle strength and loss of balance.
  • Maximize your intake of antioxidants by eating foods including tomatoes, carrots, squash, spinach and blue and purple berries. Supplements can also help.
  • The production of hormones such as estrogen in women and testosterone in women and men falls with age, so replacing these hormones is advisable.

Centenarians

Centenarians are those who have lived 100 years or longer. Although income has a well-documented positive relationship with life expectancy and overall mental and physical health, centenarians in the United States come from across the income spectrum. They are also found among all racial and ethnic groups and education levels.

Studies of American centenarians have indicated that these are people who, although encountering many stressors in their lives, have been able to move through difficult experiences with relative calm while maintaining a positive outlook. They engage in regular physical exercise, undertake mental challenges, do not smoke, keep their calorie intake and alcohol consumption under control, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as with a largely vegetarian diet.

Countries and life expectancy

In 2011 the countries with the longest life expectancies included Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, Canada, France and Spain. The longest life expectancy is enjoyed by Monaco, where the average person is expected to live an astounding 90 years. The shortest is Angola, at only 39 years. The biggest country in the top tier is Japan, at an average of 82 years.

In 2005, Andorra was the longest-living country, at 84 years of life expectancy. Andorra benefits from a relatively high amount of wealth per person, good sanitation and education. It also enjoyed a disease-free existence: in 2005 Andorra had an HIV/AIDS infection rate of zero.

Source

Japanese life expectancy

Immediately after World War II, the Japanese had one of the shortest life expectancies in the world. Today Japan has one of the longest life expectancies, has the longest life expectancy for a country of its size, and has more centenarians per capita than anywhere else.

In 2004 it was reported that the Japanese eat a third fewer calories than the average North American. In addition, they get more exercise and lead a more physically active lifestyle. Japanese also benefit from a more egalitarian society where the social hierarchy is flatter and incomes are more equal than in many other countries. Studies have indicated that equality has a powerfully positive effect across many aspects of societies, including health outcomes.

The Japanese diet has been noted for its greater emphasis on fish, rice, soybeans and green tea, all of which contain numerous beneficial nutrients and chemicals for human health.

The longest life expectancies in Japan are found on the island of Okinawa. Okinawans consume a large amount of soy, such as tofu, which contains nutrients that are believed to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. They also consume a high amount of fish that contains omega-3 fatty acids, also reducing the risk of some forms of cancer and heart disease. Grains and vegetables also feature prominently in the Okinawan diet, while meat, eggs and dairy do not.

The lean and healthy diet, and a physically active lifestyle, along with a positive outlook together give the Okinawans long lives that are also relatively disease-free. Staying healthy in old age is especially important in extending life expectancy.

Other interesting findings

There is some debate on whether short people live longer. There is a gene known as the "Methuselah Gene" (Methuselah being a Biblical character who lived an extremely long life) that simultaneously causes short stature and a long life in its holders.

One major study from the 20th century indicated some unusual findings relating to aging and longevity. For instance, subjects of the study who were more cheerful and optimistic often took more risks and were more careless with their health, resulting in shorter lives than those who were more prudent and careful. This does not necessarily contradict the importance of a positive disposition overall, but rather clarifies that prudence and taking one's health and lifestyle seriously is vital, regardless of disposition.

In addition, men who stayed married over a long term outlived all other men. The second-longest-living group was men who never married. Those who were divorced or remarried were the worst off. By contrast, marriage and divorce did not have as significant an effect on women's longevity.

Some believe that rapidly advancing science and technology may soon enable human beings to repair the cellular and molecular damage inherent in aging, and thereby live extremely long, if not indefinite, lives.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • secularist10 profile imageAUTHOR

      secularist10 

      7 years ago from New York City

      You bet, Magicfive. Lots of factors to consider.

    • MAGICFIVE profile image

      MAGICFIVE 

      7 years ago from New York

      Interesting....you would think cheerful people would live the longest! I guess it's best to be both cheerful and prudent!

    • shoaibgmail profile image

      Shoaib 

      7 years ago

      ...:)

    • secularist10 profile imageAUTHOR

      secularist10 

      7 years ago from New York City

      Thanks for visiting, shoaibgmail. The way I see it, a long happy life is better than a short happy one! :)

    • shoaibgmail profile image

      Shoaib 

      7 years ago

      Personally I don't want to live more I just want short & peaceful life..

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)