Will I live to be 100

Will I live to be 100

By Brent Fairbanks

On 6/5/2011

Did you know that people who live to 100 or more are no longer exception? Centenarians have more than doubled in the last 2 decades. In the last 100 years the average life expectancy has increased by 30 years! That’s the greatest gain in 5000 years of human history.
Although the many advances in health, education and disease prevention and treatments contribute to this, you may not realize that seemingly unimportant everyday habits can influence how long and how well you’ll live.
Here’s the latest research on longevity – signs you’re on the right path, and tips to get back on track.

Do I eat purple food?
Blueberries, grapes, red wine all get that deep, rich color from polyphenols – that reduce risk of heart disease and may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenols help keep blood vessels and arteries flexible and healthy. Adding dark grapes to you diet may improve brain function. Eating blueberries every day may enhance memory.

Do I workout 40 minutes each day?
Middle-aged people who workout 40 minutes each day, for a total of 5 hours each week, live longer and function better physically and cognitively, as they grew older. People who are active are less likely to get heart disease, cancer, neurological diseases, and infections. Additionally, aerobic exercise keeps the immune system young. Even 20 minutes a day of any activity that leaves you breathless can boost your health.

Do I say ‘No’ to colas?
Drinking one or more regular or diet colas every day doubles your risk of a cluster of conditions (metabolic syndrome); high blood pressure, high insulin levels, and excess fat around your middle. This will increase your chance of heart disease and diabetes. Speculation that cola drinkers expose their taste buds to natural and artificial sweeteners, which conditions them to prefer and crave sweeter foods, leading them to gain weight.

Do I forgo hamburgers?
A few hamburgers now and then shouldn’t be a problem, but eating more than 18 ounces of red meat in a week increases your risk of colorectal cancer – the third most common type of cancer today. Colorectal cancer risk also increases by 42% with each serving of processed meat (including hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats). Carcinogens can form when meat is grilled, smoked, or cured, or when nitrates are added. When you grill red meat, first marinate small pieces and flip them often. For baking or roasting, keep the oven temp less than 400 degrees.

Do I walk instead of drive?
Those who walk for 30 minutes a day are more likely to live longer than those who walk less. Overweight people can improve their heart health by adding just 10 minutes of activity a day. Take a walk during your lunch hour or find other ways to move just a little more.

Was I a healthy weight as a teen?
Being overweight at age 14 increases you risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes as an adult. Adults with Diabetes are up to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease than those without Diabetes.

Do I have healthy friends?
If your friends gain weight, your chances of gaining weight increases by more than 50%. It’s important to associate with others who have similar goals.

Am I a flourisher?
“Flourishers” have a positive outlook of life, a sense of purpose and community, and are healthier than “languishers”. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. We should strive to find meaning in our lives by hard work, spending time with friends and family, nurturing spirituality, and service to others.

Do I embrace the latest technological trends? Are you on FaceBook or Twitter? Researchers say that using techie trends helps keep us mentally spry and socially engaged. Staying connected to friends, family, and current events makes us feel vital and relevant.

Do I do your own housekeeping?
Housecleaning, for instance, vacuuming, mopping, dusting for a little more than an hour can burn around 285 calories – and lower risk of death by 30%.

Is my marriage drama free?
Good marriages and relationships are a buffer against stress. Having supportive people in your life keeps you healthy, mentally and physically. Stress weakens the immune system and shortens life span by up to 8 years.

If you are over 40, do you have a flat belly?
At midlife it’s more difficult to keep a trim waist because fluctuating hormones cause extra weight to settle in your middle.
If your waist measurement is 35 inches or more for women, and 40 inches or more for men, take these steps:

  1) Do 20 minutes of strength training exercises at least 3 times a week.

  2) Consume at least 1 serving of omega-3, and 9 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

  3) At least 25% of your daily calories should be healthy fats.

To learn more about living longer, weight loss, and getting healthy, get a copy of my 'weight loss myths' book.

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