The life expectancy of humans has increased over the years, but it’s still a stretch to expect everyone to live till a 100, especially when poor lifestyle choices and bad habits are normal in this day and age.
Genetics and healthy living have a crucial role to play in the quest for longevity, but you can always make a few choices if you are really keen to hit the magic three-digit mark. Here’s how you can try and live to a 100:
1. Find something to do after retirement: If you are on the brink of retirement, looking forward to a work-free life, or are already retired, chew on this: stopping work abruptly can cut short your lifespan. In his research, director Luigi Ferrucci of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that people who stop working the moment they retire are at an increased risk of suffering from chronic diseases and obesity. The trick to alleviating this problem is to find a sense of purpose even after retirement and keep yourself marginally busy by doing something you love.
2. Have more seafood: There’s a reason why the Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world: their diet comprises mainly of fresh seafood and minimal saturated fats. Seafood is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, both of which are powerful anti-aging elements.
3. Don’t banish fat from your diet: An increasing number of studies are disproving the common belief that low fat diets are fundamental to living a happy, healthy and long life. If anything, the deficiency of healthy fat in a diet can cause joint problems, depression, cardiovascular problems, degenerative diseases, and even stroke. Instead of avoiding all types of fat, opt for the healthy ones like oily fish, avocados, olive oil, etc.
4. Exercise that brain: If you want to live to a 100, you need to exercise your brain too, not just your body. A healthy, active, and sharp mind lies at the center of a good quality of life. To ensure this, you need to challenge your brain in several ways by honing your problem-solving and analytical skills.
It is also equally important to give your brain the rest it needs. Get enough sleep and refrain from multitasking, as that only hampers mental output and leads to more stress. This in turn accelerates the aging process.
5. Have a good sex life: Sex releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin and relieves stress. It’s also a great physical exercise and the cornerstone of enjoying a stable, emotionally-fulfilling relationship with the one you love. People who are sexually active even in their ‘twilight years’ tend to live longer than those whose sex life is almost non-existent at this stage.
6. Get out more: By this, we mean get more sunlight. It is imperative that you spend at least 15 minutes in the sun every day to get the Vitamin D you need to ensure good skin and bone health. A Vitamin D deficiency can lead to autoimmune disorders, cancer, and heart ailments. So limit your use of sunscreen and enjoy the most of warm summer days when you can.
Apart from the above suggestions, also consider pursuing a hobby, going on vacations, taking up activities like Yoga and swimming, and expressing yourself to stay hale, hearty, and rearing to get to a 100.