11 Commonalities of 100-Year-Olds

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Good genes.

Genetics account for 25% of lifespan, but they appear to determine how far lifestyle practices (the other 75%) may lead you.

Genes aren't everything.

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They "postpone" chronic ailments.

That most supercentenarians (110 and older) were independent at 100 and few were in nursing homes or assisted living before 105.

They exercise.

Lifelong physical exercise promotes health and lifespan. A National Institutes of Health research found that 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week may lengthen life by 3.4 years

They don't overeat

"At present, calorie restriction remains the most robust [i.e., evidence-based] strategy for extending health and lifespan in most biological models tested."


They eat well.

Dr. Jeste says these areas' healthy elderly people's diets vary, but they all avoid certain foods. "You don't see a lot of high-fat or high-sugar foods."

They link.

Seniors in Sardinia are fervent Roman Catholics, but those in Loma Linda, California, the sole Blue Zone community in the US, are Seventh-day Adventists. 

They're valued.

It's likely no surprise that cultures with high centenarian rates appreciate the old. Sardinia elders live in society, not retirement houses.

They like nature.

Living in a rural, close-knit community offers wide ground for gardening and walking. You may go to a neighbor's home, work, or errands in pure air.

They're useful

In Blue Zone towns, elderly attend family gatherings, care for their great-grandchildren, or, in a northern Okinawan hamlet, participate in a culturally significant craft. 

They stay positive

Centenarians' lifestyles differ by nation, yet they all share optimism. They're tough, adaptable, and hopeful in adverse circumstances like death or disease.