Want to live to 100? You’ll never guess the secret to longevity …
We are lucky to be alive at this moment in history. People, in general, are living longer and healthier lifestyles than ever before. But even in our increasingly long-lived society, there are some truly extraordinary people who are still celebrating their birthdays into the triple digits. Want to join the 100+ club? There’s at least one big secret to a long and happy life …
109-year-old Alfie Date of Australia recently made headlines for his hobby of knitting sweaters for young penguins. His secret to longevity: “waking up every morning.” His son also notes that Alfie has always stayed active and pursued the things he loves to do.
Fellow Australian Ted Wale would probably agree: he keeps up his painting skills daily, even making his own charcoal for sketches.
Duranord and Jeanne Veillard, American emigrants from Haiti, have a combined age of 212. He just celebrated his 108th birthday, while she is a healthy 104. Together they raised five kids, and are still happily in love. Duranord wakes at 5am every day and starts his day with pushups
Italian Emma Morano, on the other hand, is very happily single. Her secrets to a long life? Raw eggs and no husband.
So what’s the secret to a long life? Is it marriage or singledom? Exercise or art? Or is it simply getting out of bed every morning?
National Geographic tackled this question a few years back, visiting three spots in the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians: Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Loma Linda, California. Each is home to a tight-knit, somewhat traditional community: Sardinians and Okinawans are more likely to live off the land, while the Adventists of Loma Linda eat a traditional, plant-based diet.
In fact, many articles on longevity focus on the diet: what do we eat if we want to live longer? And while it’s clear that a healthy diet will keep you going, I was struck by another similarity in all these stories: Every single one of the centenarians profiled is happy.
“She’s aware of the privilege of living.” That’s what Emma Morano’s doctor had to say about his star patient. That attitude seems to apply to every centenarian you read about: it’s not so much what they have done with their lives that matters, but how their choices have fulfilled them.
Think about it: when you’re happy and fulfilled, you feel less stress. You sleep better, have fewer heart problems, and are more likely to stay active and take care of yourself. Happiness creates more happiness, enough to sustain you for a hundred years or more!
So take the advice of all these experts (because, if you’ve lived to 100, you certainly qualify as an expert at living well), and do the things that make you truly happy, from the inside out. You’ll thank yourself in 50 years!