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How to live to 100, and beyond (according to those who’ve done it)

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So, you want to blow out 100 candles on your birthday cake and—if you’re a Brit—get a congratulatory message from the Queen. But how do you reach the age of 100, and beyond?

As you’d expect, scientists have plenty of theories about how you can reach a super old age, from eating a healthy diet to regular exercise and the like.  But what do the world’s oldest think are the secrets of their longevity? 

The world’s oldest person, Jeanne Calment, reckoned you need to pack in smoking by the time you’re 120 if you want to live a long life. She did, and she lived for two more years, dying in 1997. Her other longevity secrets are to include some olive oil, port and chocolate in your daily diet. She never had to endure the 9 to 5 grind, as she was wealthy enough never to need to work. Instead, she filled her days with tennis, cycling and swimming.

The oldest person still alive today is Kane Tanaka, who lives in Japan. She’s 119, and she’s now in a nursing home, still enjoying puzzles and board games. She drinks very unhealthy carbonated drinks, but also enjoys some chocolate every day. She believes the key to longevity is keeping an active mind through study and solving mathematical problems.

Spanish shoemaker Saturnino Garcia, who died in January at the ripe age of 112, also had a ‘mind over matter’ theory of longevity, crediting his positive outlook for his long, happy life.

The oldest man was Jiroemon Kimura, who died in 2013 at the age of 116. He credited his longevity to eating small, light meals, staying active and being engaged in the world.

And the oldest couple—with a combined age of 214—was Julio Cesar Mora Tapia and Waldramina Maclovia Quinteros Reyes, who were married for 79 years. Julio was 110 when he died in 2020 from dementia, and Waldramina is still living in Ecuador and has reached the grand old age of 104. Their secrets to a long life were family unity, mutual respect, honest work and having a proper education.

After reading through their “secrets,” you might conclude that we’re all still none the wiser!

What do you think? Start a conversation over on the... WDDTY Community

Article Topics: death, Gerontology, oldest people
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