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5 Behaviors That Promote Healthy Living Past Age 90
© 2017 Health Realizations, Inc. Update

What does it take to live to be 100, or even 91? Ask a handful of centenarians, and you're likely to get a handful of different answers.

aging well

Many credit good friends and family to helping them reach old age … but a new study found that keeping your weight down, and avoiding diabetes, may be just as important.

"Keep a smile on your face," "No tobacco," "Treat others how you want to be treated," and "Drink a warm beer before bed," are all words of longevity from people who have passed the 100-year point.

In fact, this exclusive group of people who are over 100 are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, their numbers at 40,000 and growing strong.

If you would like to someday join those who are 100+, it turns out that there may be more to it than just luck. A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine has uncovered five keys that can, in fact, help you to live longer.

The study involved more than 2,300 men whose average age at the beginning of the study (in 1981) was 72. The men answered yearly questionnaires about their health and lifestyle, and were tested for mental and physical functioning. In 2008, 970 of the men made it into their 90s.

It turns out that there were five factors that helped them to not only live longer, but also to be healthy and well-functioning in their older years.

The Five Behaviors to Live Past 90

  1. Don't Smoke
    Smokers had double the risk of dying before 90 compared with non-smokers.

  2. exercise

    A regular exercise routine may reduce your risk of death by 20-30 percent!

  3. Keep a Healthy Weight
    Obese men were 44 percent more likely to die before 90 than non-obese men.

  4. Avoid High Blood Pressure
    Men with high blood pressure were 28 percent more likely to die before 90.

  5. Exercise Regularly
    Men who exercised regularly reduced their risk of death by 20 percent to 30 percent, compared to men who never did.

  6. Avoid Diabetes
    Men with diabetes were 86 percent more likely to die before 90 than men without the illness.

What do These Factors Have in Common?

They are all things that you can modify in your life right now, largely by choosing to not smoke, eat healthy and exercise regularly.

"The take-home message," said the study's lead author Dr. Laurel B. Yates, a geriatric specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, "is that an individual does have some control over his destiny in terms of what he can do to improve the probability that not only might he live a long time but also have good health and good function in those older years."

Stretch Your Way to a Healthier, More Relaxed Life

Courtesy of Tom Cruise / Sun-Times

Proper stretching is one of the most widely recommended methods to help you look and feel younger, live longer, avoid and even overcome serious health issues, and increase your mental concentration and emotional well-being.

Some easy ways to take charge of your lifestyle in a positive way right now include:

  1. Eat a Healthy Diet, With Lots of Antioxidants and take a high quality Antioxidant supplement. Antioxidants can be vitamins, minerals or enzymes, and they exist in foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts and other whole foods) and certain supplements.

    Antioxidants are especially needed for protection during detoxification of compounds like chemicals, heavy metals and free radicals.

  2. Exercise Regularly. Exercise at a level that's comfortable for you, and do it regularly, rather than overdoing it by exercising too often or too strenuously.

    An excellent addition to any exercise routine, simple as it may sound, is stretching. A few well-performed stretches can do wonders for your body and your mind.

  3. Relax and Find Ways to Relieve Stress. Trying to fit too many tasks into a day, or filling your time with too many stressful activities, will wear you down, no matter how many fruits and vegetables you eat. Organize your life so you have time to appreciate little enjoyments, spend time with family and friends who make you feel good, and take time for yourself when you need it. It’s so important to relieve stress that it may be helpful to use supplements that assist your body’s ability to shift to a calmer stress response. Ask at your next appointment what might be best for your health condition.


Archives of Internal Medicine;168(3):284-290.

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