Health Secrets Of The World’s Oldest People
Doctors say that healthy habits will help get you to age 80-85, but how to live beyond that age remains a medical mystery. We interviewed people in their 100s to find out how they did it.
Eat Grains, Veggies And Fish
The largest concentration of healthy 100-year-olds is in Okinawa, Japan. The people there eat a diet high in grains, vegetables and fish, and low in eggs, meat and dairy. In the U.S., Daisy McFadden, who will turn 101 in November, follows suit. She regularly eats oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, a salad with chicken or fish for lunch, and steamed vegetables and lean meat for dinner.
Medical professionals warn against sodas, even diet sodas, and suggest you drink water or juice. McFadden, 101, rarely drank soda throughout her life and doesn’t touch it today, she says. Instead, she drinks water, cranberry juice, milk or iced tea. Coffee and alcoholic beverages are also healthy when not consumed in excess.
Get Up And Get Going Everyday
Watching TV in your pajamas will lead you to an early grave, most 100-year-olds say. 101-year-old Crowson has gotten up and dressed almost every day during her 41-year retirement. She keeps busy by going to church, getting her hair and nails done, cooking three meals a day and cleaning her house and yard. She also does stretching exercises daily to keep her arms, legs and back strong.
Take A Walk
Doctors say exercise doesn’t have to involve high-octane workouts or expensive gym memberships. Walking more, taking the stairs and making an effort to carry your groceries, laundry or garbage will keep you strong. Elmer Easton, who will be 102 in December, has taken a walk every day of his retirement, weather permitting. In a recent survey of centenarians by health-care provider Evercare, 41% said they still take walks to keep up their stamina.
After retirement or loss of some physical function, many older people spend most of their days indoors. That means they’re not getting Vitamin D, and studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency to a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, several types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and some autoimmune disorders. Moreover, elder-care specialist Claudia Fine says a little bit of sunlight goes a long way towards improving mood and a positive outlook.
Easton, 102, says the secret to living long is keeping busy–and to “just keep on breathing.” Not only was he active throughout his life–boxing, fishing, joining fraternities and doing amateur radio–he continued to stay active after his retirement from academia in 1974.