Will You Live To Be 100? It’s Not Just About Your DNA
As someone interested in seeing my grandchildren grow up, having a healthy midlife is important to set you up for a healthy later life.
Recently, I read an insightful Yahoo article on “10 Surprising Clues You’ll Live to 100.” If you missed it, here’s a brief synopsis:
About one in 10,000 people are “slow agers”, genetically predisposed to live a long life. Researchers are discovering clues as to who will make it to 100.
Clue #1 – How many elderly relatives are on your family tree?
Having relatives who make it to 100 is a strong indicator.
Clue #2 – How fast and how far can you walk?
Faster walkers live longer. Research studies show those who walked faster than 3.3 feet per second or 2.25 miles per hour survived longer than would be predicted by their age.
Clue #3 – Do you have a lot of people in your life?
Social engagement is a lifespan extender.
Clue#4 – Are you a women?
Although the survival gap is narrowing, of the 80,000 centenarians in 2010, 85% were women.
Clue #5 – (for women only) Did you have a child after age 35?
Being able to conceive in your late 30’s or 40’s may be an indicator that your reproductive system is aging slowly, therefore the rest of your body is likely to be aging slowly as well.
Clue #6 – When were you born?
Growing lifespans give younger people an edge. A 2011 British study reports a British girl born in 2011 has a one in three chance of living to 100. The average British 50 year old has a 14.6% chance of seeing 100.
Clue #7 – Do you worry, but not to much?
There is a “healthy” worry level. Moderate worriers tend to be less impulsive, take fewer risks, have less risky hobbies and plan for alternatives without adding a negative health impact.
Clue #8 – Is your weight normal or just slightly overweight?
A 2011 Albert Einstein College of Medicine study showed that those aged 95-112 were less likely to be obese. Stating the importance of keeping your BMI between 18.5 and 30. The study states that it’s important to watch your weight and exercise.
Case #9 – How long are your telomeres?
Many centenarians have a hyperactive version of an enzyme that rebuilds telomeres. Telomeres are protective DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that gradually shorten as cells divide. Some studies show that removing chronic stress, not smoking, and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can improve telomere length.
Case #10 – Are you a positive person?
Emotion influences health, which influences aging. Those who are positive experience less stress, which can affect health.
The bottom line is there are things you have control over like diet, attitude, not smoking, and exercise and things you have no control over like your DNA. So why not focus on what you can change and work towards enjoying a long and healthy life.
You can read the article titled “10 Surprising Clues You’ll Live to 100” on Yahoo.
Inspiring videos of 100 Year Olds
I found these videos of centenarians to be inspiring. Their positive outlook and live life to the fullest attitude is something that us middle agers should emulate. Imagine living each day with this energy.
Centenarian shares her Pilates story
Bowling a 120 average at age 100
A 100 year old man finishes a marathon
Getting his doctorate degree as he turns a century