Recent studies of people who are healthy, alert and active at age 100 have found that lifestyle appears to be the secret to their remarkable health and longevity. Among the key factors identified: a healthy diet; daily low-intensity exercise (especially about 40 minutes of walking daily), not smoking, remaining active and interested in community involvement, learning new skills, peace of mind, and spirituality.
But perhaps the best summation of the secrets of living to be healthy, active, alert, interested and interesting at age 100 and over, came from 101 year old Marge Jetton (pictured at left and below). A Nurse who was married to a doctor for 77 years, Marge continued to be active in volunteer and philanthropic work throughout her life, and received the Philanthropist of the Year Award from a civic group at age 101.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper [See Video below], she listed as her tips for living long, “Exercise, eat wisely, love the Lord and people, and have a good attitude.” “That’s 90%,” she said. “The circumstances are 10[%].”
At age 101, still alert and mentally and physically agile, Marge still drove her own car (carefully), cycled 8 miles a day on her exercise bicycle, did weight lifting, and “power walking” (fast!) every day.
Reports indicate that Marge lived to the ripe age of 106.
Studies on Longevity
In a Special Report on Longevity [See Video Below], Anderson Cooper of CNN highlighted interviews with centenarians as well as significant studies on longevity.
He cited the long-running Adventist Health Studies, done by Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, as well as a Special Report, based on world-wide research by Dan Buettner, on “The Secrets of Long Life,” published in the National Geographic.
Loma Linda Adventist Health Studies
The Loma Linda University Researchers have studied “96,000 Adventists ages 30 to 112 from all 50 U.S. states, as well as Canada,” since enrollment in the study began between 2001 and 2007. The Seventh Day Adventists, as a religious group, are unique in their dietary habits, with a high percentage adhering to plant-based diets, as well as other lifestyle factors that have been associated with good health and longevity.
The Loma Linda researchers chose to study this group because, with their unique dietary and lifestyle habits, they present “a special opportunity for careful research to answer a host of scientific questions about how diet (and other health habits) may change the risk of suffering from many chronic diseases.”
In fact researchers found that “Adventists, due in part to their unique dietary habits, have a lower risk than other Americans of heart disease, several cancers, and probably high blood pressure, arthritis, and diabetes.”
Dan Buettner, Secrets of Longevity Reports for National Geographic
Dan Buettner of National Geographic traveled the world researching the Secrets of Longevity in areas he termed “Blue Zones” — where people tend to live notably long lives. He found that, “No matter what your genetic inheritance, there are things you can do to make the most of your body’s potential. You can slow the aging process, for example, by reducing your consumption of calories, by avoiding smoking, overexposure to the sun, or prolonged stress.”
In research that included Sardinians, Okinawans, and Adventists, groups noted for their extraordinary longevity, he found that they all had in common the following lifestyle factors: “Don’t Smoke; Stay Physically Active; Keep Socially Engaged; Cherish Family; and Eat A Plant-Based Diet [with very little or no red meat].” Most are thin, he observed.
Dan Buettner told Anderson Cooper of CNN that he also found certain personal qualities that typify every remarkable centenarian he has met: “They all are likeable. They are both interested and interesting.” They appear content with their lives, he said.
Anderson Cooper 360 Report on Longevity
View the following Special Report on Longevity by Anderson Cooper, learn more about some of the secrets of living a long and healthy life, and be inspired by Marge Jetton (Age 101), Minnie Anderson Wood (a voice and piano teacher at 97), and others:
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