The Secrets to Longevity: Tips from Centenarians

What are the secrets to a long life and healthy aging?  Who better to ask than some of the oldest among us:  centenarians, who have topped the age of 100.  A recent national poll of centenarians, reveals some common lifestyle choices & advice that many in this group share.  The first tip may surprise you!


  1. Stay current

One key to longevity seems to be keeping up with the times.  Though it goes against the stereotype that the elderly are unable or unwilling to learn anything new, an increasing number of centenarians are embracing new media and technologies.  Eleven percent of those surveyed have watched a video on YouTube and eight percent have sent a text message, proving you are never too old to learn!


  1. Stay connected

Daily communication with loved ones may also contribute to living longer.  Of those polled, 82 percent talk to a friend or family member every day.


  1. Eat, sleep and exercise

Three-quarters of respondents make it a point to eat nutritious, balanced meals and get eight hours of sleep every night. Nearly half walk or hike once a week, helping you maintain a healthy weight over your lifetime and feel better mentally as well as physically.  The “New England Centenarian Study,” conducted by Boston University’s School of Medicine, found that few centenarians are obese and are almost always lean, especially men.


  1. Stick to routines

Many of those who live the longest have a fondness for daily and weekly routines.  Whether it’s connecting with others, staying fit or practicing some type of “spiritual” activity on a regular basis to help keep them centered.



  1. Volunteer

Giving back is another avenue to longer-term health and happiness.  Close to 90 percent of centenarians believe that volunteering helps improve emotional health and can make people happier.  Seventeen percent have volunteered in the past six months.


  1. Feel satisfied

It’s often said that the secret to happiness is wanting what you have.  Centenarians seem to prove this point, with the oldest Americans harboring few regrets and expressing contentment with the lives they’ve led.  In an impressive show of strong adjustment and coping skills, nearly 80 percent said there was nothing they would have done less of; over 60 percent said there was nothing they would have done more of in their lives.  In the end, what more could you want from a long life than that?