Secrets to longevity

Explore secrets and tips on longevity according to centenarians.

How old do you strive to be? 80? 90? How about 100? 

For many, making it to 100 is a goal, but how do we get there? The obvious answer is to stay healthy, but there is more to longevity. For specifics, it is best to ask those who made it to a century, also known as centenarians.

Don't act your age

Losing your ability to adapt is a downfall to aging, but staying adaptable with the times is one of the best ways to increase longevity, according to centenarian Marvin Kneudson. This centenarian makes sure to stay up with technology and uses a smartphone. Not acting your age and being interested in the world around you is a great way to maintain brain function and live longer. 


Pessimists don’t seem to make it to 100, according to centenarian Trudi Fletcher. She credits her long lifespan exclusively to her positive attitude. The majority of those over 100 describe themselves as optimistic. Diet and exercise This may seem like the most obvious habit of those who remain healthy long into their life, but it remains one of the best ways to reach very old age. According to a Boston School of Medicine study, most centenarians are lean, eat healthy diets, and stay moving. The benefits of these habits for longevity are mainly due to having a lifestyle that limits common age-related diseases.


In an article by the author of Celebrate 100: Centenarian Secrets to Success in Business and Life, Lynn Peters Adler notes that most people that reach very old age have some form of faith. They believe they are here for a purpose. It seems that spiritual health is another key factor in longevity.

Don’t smoke, limit alcohol

Another commonality Adler discovered was 75 percent of centenarians never smoked or stopped in their middle age. She also found that those who did drink alcohol did so occasionally and limited their amount. This is just another habit that could lead to an advantage in aging.


Finally, one of the most significant predictors of living into your 100s is your gender. According to the Boston School of Medicine Centurian Study, 85 percent of those over 100 are women. Not only that, but those over 110 years of age were 90 percent women. This means your chances of hitting the big 1-0-0 are higher if you are a woman. 

Although scientists have yet to figure out all the secrets of longevity, these tips can lead you on the path towards your centennial birthday. Even if your ultimate goal is not to reach a century of life, these healthy habits are a great way to continue to enjoy life to the fullest.