There are no sure-fire prescriptions for living to a healthy advanced old age, but longevity researchers have found the way is made up of genetics and lifestyle, which means there are steps to take to up the odds of living healthier and longer.
A landmark Swedish study showed that men who celebrated their 100th birthday all had mothers who lived into their 80’s and 90’s.
But genetics was not the only factor.
The study also showed that the men had many controllable lifestyle factors in common.
- All of them were non-smokers.
- They generally stayed fit and trim by eating nutritious diets and exercising regularly.
- Nearly all had healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, which reduced their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the #1 cause of death worldwide.
- They owned their own homes or rented expensive residences, allowing them to live independently and stay mentally, physically, and socially active.
- Most did not retire early, but instead actively worked until at least age 54.
- None drank more than 4 cups of coffee per day.
- Many reported having an optimistic outlook on life, which researchers said helped them embrace the power of positive thinking and combat stress and anxiety.
Studies of American Centenarians have reached similar conclusions about the links between healthy lifestyles and longevity.
A recent study that compared and contrasted the lifestyles of Americans with the highest and lowest life expectancy found significant differences the daily habits of those individuals.
For the study, researchers examined residents of Summit County, Colorado., which has the nation’s highest life expectancy (86.8 years, 2 years higher than that of Andorra, the tiny country with the world’s highest life expectancy) and Lakota County, SS, which has the nation’s lowest life expectancy at 66.8 years, comparable to Third World countries such as Sudan.
Researchers concluded that 74% of this disparity can be explained by controllable risk factors such as levels of physical activity, diet, tobacco use, and obesity, which increases the risk of developing life-threatening conditions diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Worldwide, the rate of chronic illnesses such as heart disease is lowest in the Okinawa Archipelago, a group of 161 coral islands in the East China Sea that are home to the Earth’s longest-living people.
Below are some of the reasons why so many of them live to 100 anni, as follows:
Diet. Okinawans primarily rely on plant sources such as sweet potatoes, greens, and whole grains. They supplement their diet with two or three servings per week of freshly caught fish, soy products, and an occasional serving of boiled pork with the fat trimmed off. They also drink antioxidant-rich Green Tea supplemented with jasmine flowers.
Exercise. Since most Okinawans are fishermen or farmers, they usually work outdoors into extreme old age. They get additional exercise from walking, gardening, martial arts and traditional dance.
Social life. Like other long-lived people, Okinawans maintain close social ties.
Stress. They also engage in stress-relieving strategies such as regular meditation.
Another longevity spot is the Greek island of Symi, where residents routinely live into their 90’s.
They rely on fruits, vegetables, fish, and little meat. They slather their food tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil and garlic. They also drink red wine with most meals, which helps account for their low rate of heart attacks.
The Big Q: So how long can life expectancy to continue to grow?
McGill University biologists Bryan G. Hughes and Siegfried Hekimi attempted to answer that question by analyzing the genetics and lifestyles of the longest-living individuals from the US, UK, France, and Japan.
Their findings, published in the journal Nature, explodes the commonly held belief that the upper limit of the human lifespan is around 115 years.
“We just don’t know what the age limit might be. In fact, by extending trend lines, we can show that maximum and average lifespans, could continue to increase far into the foreseeable future,” Mr. Hekimi says.
It’s impossible to predict what future lifespans in humans might look like. Some scientists argue that technology, medical interventions, and improvements in living conditions could all push up the upper limit, so…
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
Source: Live Trading News
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