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How do I Live to be 100 Years Old?

By KD Morgan
Updated May 17, 2024
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Being a centenarian, or living to be 100 years old, has become more accepted and is even a goal for some people. With the advancements in medical research, safety and health awareness, it is conceivable for many more people to live well beyond this age. Seatbelts, quitting smoking, diet, and exercise are major contributors to continuing life’s journey past one hundred years.

Breakthroughs in cancer and heart disease research have offered less invasive and more effective options to raise the survival rate for many people. With science now opening new windows of research, it promises continued innovative new methods of treating illnesses and conditions that have plagued mankind for generations. The elderly are now candidates for procedures that would not have been considered safe or wise in the late 1900s.

An individual's state of mind is key in maintaining a healthy life that allows the body to continue to rejuvenate on its own. It is now understood that aging does not have to equal deterioration. Our bodies continually replace damaged cells with healthy ones. The disruption in this process that causes a cell to reproduce an “imperfect” cell is what eventually leads to disease and death. This happens when the body is overloaded, due to stress, fatigue, physical or emotional disharmony.

Healthy lifestyles along with preventative and holistic medicine practices have been shown to increase longevity all over the globe. Herbs, vitamins, and minerals offer a way to maintain balance in the body even by those who live in stressful environments.

Something as simple as flossing your teeth regularly can prevent heart attacks and strokes. Research has shown that the bacterial infection of gum disease can be spread through the bloodstream and cause inflammations throughout the body, including organs and arteries. It is also believed that flossing lowers your risk of developing diabetes, respiratory illnesses and reduced cognitive functioning.

Much research has been done to discover the guidelines used for those who have live to be 100 years old. In the early 2000s, Dan Buettner, a National Geographic writer, extensively explored the world to find clusters of extraordinary longevity. He discovered five places that are referred to as the “Blue Zones” where the inhabitants seem to live longer and age better. In these areas, people living to be 100 years old was the rule, rather than the exception. The sites were Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, California, USA.

The commonalities were in lifestyle as well as diet. Smoking was not a part of life in any of the zones. Family was very instrumental in the social structure. The societies themselves were very interactive and the families extended out into the social network. Natural physical activity, such as gardening, continued throughout life and did not subside in the elderly. Plant-based diets, high in legumes, whole grains, soy and nuts were found in every culture. With the exception of high polyphenol wine in some regions, the drinking of alcohol was almost non-existent. Cultural isolation, living closer to nature, faith, gratitude, sunshine and hard water were also recognized as important factors.

In living to be 100 years old, faith and happiness play a significant role. Pets have come to be recognized as invaluable in lowering blood pressure, providing a sense of purpose, comfort, joy and companionship for the elderly. Quality of life is always at the forefront when aiming to become a centenarian.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By KoiwiGal — On Jun 22, 2014

@Fa5t3r - I have mixed feelings about that. Because at the moment we have a lot of technology for extending life but a lot of it doesn't really increase the quality of life for the elderly. A lot of people who happen to keep breathing for years, until they are at an old age, have been suffering from dementia for a chunk of that time, or have been in a lot of pain from other medical issues.

I am all for living longer lives as long as they are healthy ones. If not, I'd rather just go within a natural time-span.

By Fa5t3r — On Jun 21, 2014

@clintflint - Well, quite a few very rich people these days seem to be investing their money in looking for ways to stave off death, so it's possible that we might end up thinking of 100 as just being another milestone one day. I don't know if we'll ever achieve immortality in general, but there have been so many breakthroughs recently it wouldn't surprise me if we managed to expand the human lifespan a little bit more.

At the moment it's about 80-90 years depending where you live, but I think that's based on the people who are that age at the moment. They can't really predict what it will be for the people who haven't reached that age yet. So maybe the average lifespan will actually be near 100 by the time you or I reach that point.

By clintflint — On Jun 20, 2014

I was determined that I would live to be 100 years old when I was a child. I don't know if that's still my goal today. I'd be happy to live until I reach 80 or so I think.

I don't know why I even thought of that specific goal, but it might have been because I heard that if you live to be over 100 years old you get a special letter from the Queen, or the president (depending on where you live in the world).

I do wonder if there will come a point where it will be so common for people to live that long that they have to revise the congratulations up by a decade or something.

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