BY BEVERLY BURMEIER
YOU CAN’ T depend on good genes to carry
you past the century mark. Research into
the lives of centenarians has revealed that
certain lifestyle choices hold the secrets to
living into triple digits. How you eat, move
your body and deal with stress are all key
factors affecting the aging process.
Because Americans are living longer,
aging well is an important goal. No one
wants to live to 100 if that means sacrificing
quality of life.
Everyone has the ability to increase
their life span and bring the Fountain of
Fresh foods and optical services are
available at Costco locations. Dental care
items, sleep aids and more are available
at Costco and on Costco.com.
Secrets to living longer and better
FOR YOUR HEALTH
Youth within reach by embracing certain
habits. In addition to eating a healthy,
nutrient-rich diet and getting adequate
exercise—two of the most important practices for living to 100—the following strategies will put you on a path to living the best
Research from St. Louis University
suggests that eliminating 300 to 500 calories per day—equivalent to skipping dessert
or eating a turkey sandwich instead of a
burger and fries—will slow the aging process. How can that be? One theory is that it
decreases a thyroid hormone, which then
slows metabolism and tissue aging.
Anti-aging benefit: Calorie-restricted
Floss every day
diets consistently increase life span in ani-
mal studies, suggesting that calorie restric-
tion has a protective effect on muscle cells
and may help cells better use antioxidants
and avoid damage caused by free radicals.
And being lean rather than obese protects
people from many age-related diseases,
such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Daily flossing reduces the amount of
bacteria that cause gum disease, according
to a study at New York University. Eliminating bacteria will also help keep your arteries healthy.
Anti-aging benefit: People with high
amounts of oral bacteria are more likely to
have thickening in their arteries, a sign of
heart disease. Also, when oral bacteria enter
the bloodstream they often trigger inflammation in arteries, a major risk factor for
developing cardiovascular disease.
Sleep the right amount each night
Getting five to six and a half hours of
sleep per night can add years to your life,
according to research at the University of
California, San Diego School of Medicine.
A study of 444 women concluded that eight
hours of sleep wasn’t necessary and might
even be too much for maximum longevity.
Anti-aging benefit: Sleep allows the body
to regulate and heal cells, and older people
experience those healing REM phases in
about six hours, the study reports.
People with cataract-related vision loss
have a 40 percent higher long-term mortality risk than those who have cataract surgery to improve their sight.
Anti-aging benefit: The association
between visual impairment and increased
mortality among older persons is most
likely due to effects of poor vision on completing everyday tasks properly and safely,
adhering to medical directives and maintaining good health in general.
Roll with the punches
Centenarians tend not to internalize
negative situations or dwell on problems.
They keep a positive attitude, have regular
social interactions and shed stress easily.
They utilize techniques like meditation,
deep breathing or exercise programs such
as yoga and tai chi to help manage stress
and any depressive symptoms.
Anti-aging benefit: Constant emotional
stress puts people at higher risk for memory
loss and heart disease. But don’t wait until
you’re a senior citizen to start controlling
stress. The effects of long-term stressful
living can accumulate and affect your quality of life in later years. C
Beverly Burmeier is a freelance health writer.