We all want to grow old and live long happy lives. But what about making it to 100 years old? Would you want to? It’s a safe bet more than a handful of people reading this have at least thought about being able to blow out 100 birthday candles someday. But the odds are so astronomically against it that most of us aren’t holding our breath.
Even through the power of modern-day medicine, there’s no way to guarantee you’ll reach the century mark. But you can certainly improve your chances — maybe.
If you’d like to live to be 100, here are 8 ways to improve your chances of being a centenarian.
Choose a healthier way of living
You can lump a ton of stuff into this life strategy, including working out regularly, eating better, cutting out sugars and processed foods, avoid smoking and excessive drinking, visiting the doctor regularly, getting screened early for age-related diseases, and more. Adjusting your daily habits alone could add a ton of years to your life.
Brush and floss
Who knew that brushing your teeth and doing all you can to avoid cavities could help you live longer. But it’s true. In fact, poor oral hygiene is one really good way to lower your life expectancy. Diseases such as heart disease, dementia, and stroke have all been linked to an unhealthy mouth.
Challenge your mind
Don’t just accept status quo as you age. There are always opportunities to learn a different language, learn to play a musical instrument, read a book, and even go back to school. Stimulating mental activities, even if it’s doing a crossword puzzle every morning at breakfast, will keep you mentally alert as you age.
Work and the desire to be successful often get in the way of a healthy work-life balance. Vacationing often is not only fun, but it also allows our bodies and mind to destress, rest, and take a much-needed step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Vacations also help us avoid such things as cardiovascular disease and excess stress.
Improve your sleeping habits
We all struggle to get a good night’s sleep, but too much of that over a long period of time can hurt us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Per the Journal of Sleep Research, getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night comes with a 10 percent increase in the risk of an earlier death. Shoot for seven to eight hours of sleep.
There’s something to be said for being positive, smiling often, and being nice to those around you. Some people are wired to be pessimistic, but there are studies that suggest practicing more optimism toward life and everything else is linked to longer lifespans.
Surrounding yourself with friends and family and maintaining deep social connections as you age can help combat loneliness, depression, and even help you live longer. Those who have a reason to live tend to live longer.
Get a pet
Cat and dog owners tend to live longer than those who don’t have pets. According to BestLife, people who own dogs reduced their risk of death by 11 percent. Owning a cat could cut your risk of a heart attack by nearly one-third.
Did we leave anything out? Send us a message and let us know what your secrets to a long life are.