Last Modified: 8 May 2019
First in An Anti-Aging Education Series
Do you want to become a centenarian? You might find most people don’t have that goal. They imagine loved ones dying and then being alone in old age. Some assume that at the age of 100 they will have nagging infirmities and life won’t be worth living.
In reality, due to advances in technology and knowledge about diet, genetics, medicine, and psychology, people are happily living longer all the time. There is a growing anti-aging movement that gets more promising every passing day. So, since there are many reasons why you may live to a longer age than you ever imagined, here are some tips about that, with details and links.
#5 – Find Your Best Diet – On sites like Prevention are testimonials from celebrities who have the time and wherewithal to look better, feel better, eat healthier, and live longer. You can check out the latest food fads like The Impossible Whopper, a burger made with protein from soybeans. Can vegans and vegetarians do well even if they’re not as rich as 76-year-old vegan Paul McCartney? You can get much advice on such things on the Web. Check WebMD for tips on diet and weight management.
4 – Handle Stress & Relationships Well – Good relationships help us live longer. Dr. Robert Waldinger is a psychiatrist with Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has monitored more than 700 men since 1938, beginning when they were teenagers. He says that men “more socially connected to family, friends, and community are happier, healthier, and live longer than people who are less well connected.” Also, relationship quality matters toward having a lot less stress. Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers did an in-depth podcast interview with Dr. Peter Attia discussing stress in social situations and in the brain in all primates. Sapolsky said: “I actually don’t think stress kills you outright very often, but it sure makes other things that kill you more effective at doing it.” Conclusion? Supportive relationships maintained help you handle your stresses and have a longer and happier life.
3 – Live in a Healthy & Supportive Environment – Author Dan Buettner has written books about the Blue Zones – places on Earth where residents live substantially longer lives. His website about that shares longevity secrets of the five zones, with information on “how to transform your community to live longer, better” with secrets of world hotspots “where people are thriving into their 100s.” Four original Blue Zones identified by Buettner are: Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, an isolated Greek island; Okinawa, Japan; and the Italian island of Sardinia. One might assume the secret begins with living on an island in a temperate climate, but the fifth original Blue Zone is land-locked Loma Linda, California. The Blue Zones are worth study and emulation. If you’d like a Cliff Notes type distillation of what the Blue Zones have in common, here’s something from the World Economic Forum.
2 – Be Happy with Your Work – Blue Zones people emphasize happy work and having a purpose for living. In Okinawa, that’s calledikigai (“a reason for being”) and on the Nicoyan peninsula it’s known as plan de vida (“plan of life”). If you wake up in the morning looking forward to the day’s planned activities, or even if you’re simply happy with the way you’re living life, you’re bound to be healthier and happier and longer-lived. Joseph Campbell, who became a major Hollywood influence due to the story matrix in his book The Hero of a Thousand Faces, told people to follow their “bliss.” He explained in an interview: “[I]f you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley publishes a magazine devoted to such principles. For longer life, it’s a great benefit if you spend your days in a satisfying occupation.
1 – Feed Your Body Better As It Ages – Some centenarians credit their long life to drinking three Dr. Peppers every day, or smoking 12 cigars every 24 hours, but those are anomalies. Anti-aging research is deeply scientific. The Forever Healthy Foundation organizes ongoing initiatives where some of the smartest people on Earth work to reverse human aging. Adaptogens – plant-based herbs that help the body fight stress – and senolytic drugs – compounds discovered at the Mayo Clinic that that remove senescent “zombie” cells from the body – are being intensely studied. Even more to the point is the NMN molecule touted by scientists like David Sinclair of Harvard Medical. NMN switches youthful genes on and older genes off, via naturally occurring proteins known as sirtuins. and is used by the body to generate nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a compound crucial to body health. NAD levels begin naturally diminishing in humans at age 40 or so, and diminish drastically as age advances, so any NAD booster is worthwhile. NMN has been proven to reverse aging in mice, and ongoing trials and testimonials seem to prove that NMN supplements with very high levels of purity, like Herbalmax Reinvigorator, may boost NAD to youthful levels in humans and thus, prolong life.
There are a myriad of opinions and advice on living to 100. If you find a solution that works for you, stick with it. The great thing is that now, more than ever before, people are finding ways to not only live long but actually enjoy advancing in age. For ongoing anti-aging information, check The Healthy Science Blog.