The ultimate secret for living up to 100 years

Do you plan to live until you become one hundred years old? We hate to break it to you, but you may be up for a big challenge since not even half of the population can live up to one hundred years old. Your favourite celebrities, artists, teachers or even just random people on the street can not reach living until their 100th year without following the ultimate secret for living longer. 

Scientifically speaking, our genetic composition can only account for 20 to 30 percent of our overall longevity. This means the rest of 70 to 80 percent of your lifespan significantly depends on your lifestyle and habits. Are you now guessing what the ultimate secret to becoming one of the oldest people in the world is?

Here’s the ultimate secret to living up to 100 years old

The ultimate answer is no other than living healthily – this is basically the key to living longer compared with more than 80 percent of people all over the world. It may sound rather a .cliché, but many experts and studies have proven its effectiveness to a longer lifespan.

Living healthily means finding the perfect balance and daily routine to improve your physical, emotional and mental health. In fact, you do not have to be eating salads all the time or exercising all your life – although it may be good for you – however, experts believe it is really about finding a balanced daily routine [1]. 

  • Physical health

As mentioned above, around 80 percent of your possible years on Earth depend greatly on your daily habits, which primarily include diet and exercise for physical health. 

The number one aspect to avoid on your diet is overeating processed foods that are high in added sugar, saturated fats and loads of sodium. You must replace your diet mainly with fruits, lean protein, vegetables and whole grains.

There is a diet principle that you may follow as well, which is “eat until you are 80 percent full.” Slowly eating may help you live longer, too. Keep in mind to consume your meal for about 20 to 30 minutes. 

Ensuring to have daily exercises is another way to help you live up to 100 years old. Your physical appearance can drastically change with the right and regular exercise and workout routine. Doing daily exercise can help you maintain a proper weight, keep your heart healthy and manage stress. 

As mentioned above, around 80 percent of your possible years on Earth depend greatly on your daily habits, which primarily include diet and exercise for physical health. 
Photograph: Ground Picture/ShutterStock
  • Emotional factors 

Your emotions play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Your outlook in life and feelings toward the idea that you will be living for the next long years also matters in determining your longevity. If you feel mostly positive about what is ahead of you, then you are keeping yourself healthy emotionally. 

Moreover, American research concluded that older women who are optimistic about their future life live longer than those who do not. In medical terms or explanations, an optimistic person is associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol – it basically keeps their heart at peace! These two things, when high, can generally lead to fatal health problems, such as heart attack, heart disease, heart failure and stroke. 

  • Mental health 

Mental fatigue can affect your cognitive abilities; you should really take care of your mental health if you want to live up to 100 years. One factor disrupting your mental health is sleep deprivation. It is recommended to find some enough time to sleep at least 8 to 9 hours daily and take a nap from time to time. Sleep deprivation can give you major health problems, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and others related. 

Furthermore, the goal here is to live until 100 years old without any significant impairment or disability. In order to achieve long healthy life, it is also suggested to do frequent mental exercises.

Consequently, you may experience memory loss without mental exercises. Keeping your mind active can help you prevent cognitive decline, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Reading books, doing crossword puzzles and watching mind-blowing shows are just some of the things you can do to stay mentally healthy. 

Centenarians all around the world 

Centenarians, people who have lived for at least 100 years, are proof that the ultimate secret to living up to 100 years is realistic and attainable. These people are considered rare in the population because the average life expectancies from different countries do not significantly go over 100 years. In fact, there are only over 600,000 centenarians all over the world in 2021, according to the United Nations [2].

One of the many popular centenarians in the world was Jeanne Louise Calment from France. She was also the oldest person who had lived, as she died in her 122nd year. Jeanne lived through world wars during her lifespan, witnessed the Spanish Flu outbreak and met Vincent van Gogh. When asked about her secret to living a long life, Jeanne answered she mainly used olive oils, drank ports, ate chocolate and gave up smoking when she was 120 years old. 

Kane Tanaka from Japan was another popular centenarian in the world. She died early in 2022 when she was 119 years of age. It is noted that Kane loved to keep her mind active even in her old age back then. At the nursing home where she stayed before she died, Kane had a daily routine of waking up at 6 AM and by the afternoon, she would study subjects, especially maths. Her favourite pastime was playing the Othello game, where she even became an expert, beating the nursing home staff. 

Eat light to live long – this is what Jiroemon Kimura, a centenarian who lived in Japan, advised people who want to have a longer lifespan. However, for another centenarian named Chitetsu Watanabe, who died at 112 years old, living longer is all about not getting angry and keeping a smile on your face [3].

Countries with the most centenarians 

To fully understand and determine the ultimate secret to living up to 100 years, you should also consider the geographical and cultural aspects of the majority of the centenarians. These five countries stated below have the highest numbers of centenarians over the years:

  • United States of America

In statistics from 2015, it was said that the US had more numerous centenarians than any other country in the world. During that year, there were around 72,000 people who were in their 100 years residing in the US. Predominantly, the increase in the number of centenarians in the country was due to improved healthcare and medicine and the widespread health campaign awareness of the country. 

  • Japan

Next on the list is Japan. In 2017, Japan was home to over 68,000 centenarians, which keeps increasing today [4]. In a recent report, there are 90,526 Japanese centenarians this year, which is a five percent increase as to 2021 and more than five times two decades ago. With the country being known for its healthy food and beverages, Japan consistently had citizens who live up to 100 years old.

  • China

China is another Asian country that has a high number of centenarians. In a 2011 report, the country had around 49,000 centenarians. China is rich in traditional herbal medicines, different types of natural teas and healthy food choices. 

  • India 

India is considered the second-most populous country next to China. The country’s 100-year-old citizens have been increasing for two decades. In 2015, there were 27,000 centenarians in India. 

  • Brazil 

At the beginning of the 20th century, Brazil reported more than 4,000 centenarians living in their country, considering its vast overall population. 

In order to live up to 100 years, you must be conscious about your daily habits and lifestyle routines. It is better to structure your daily life according to healthy practices.

Aside from doing the things that can make you healthy, you must also take into account the things to avoid, such as smoking, excessive alcohol drinking and taking other substances that may disrupt your functional body system. 

[1] https://www.eatthis.com/secret-to-living-until-100/
[2] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/living-to-one-hundred-life-expectancy/
[3] https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2020/10/the-worlds-oldest-people-and-their-secrets-to-a-long-life-632895 
[4] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-16/number-of-centenarians-in-japan-grows-by-five-times-in-20-years 

Photograph: pikselstock/Shutterstock
The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.