What is the Secret to Living to 100 Years Old?

Iris Apfel

Do you want to live healthy and happy to 100?

Here are some activities to help you age gracefully.


1. Eat A Good Diet – Choose Nutritious Foods


It’s important to eat healthy more often, even if it seems obvious. Eat plenty of whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Limit your calorie intake, and avoid too much animal protein, but eat as much vegetable protein as you want. Some vegetables, like broccoli, spinach, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and chia seeds, have more protein than meat.


Here are some tips for eating a healthy diet:


  • Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.

  • Choose lean protein sources, such as fish, poultry, and beans.

  • Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.

  • Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day.

Here are some examples of nutritious foods:


    • Whole grains: oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat bread and pasta

    • Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, citrus fruits, melons

    • Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, dark leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes

    • Nuts and legumes: almonds, beans, cashews, lentils, peanuts, walnuts

    • Lean protein sources: chicken, fish, tofu, turkey

When you’re not sure what to eat, eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. The color in your food is the color in your life!


2. Keep moving


People who exercise regularly live longer and healthier lives on average than those who don’t. Exercise lowers your risk of developing many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and depression. It also helps you control your weight, boost your energy levels and immunity, improve your mood, and sleep better.


Aim to include at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity in your daily routine. Even a little bit of exercise is better than none. Here are some ideas for getting started:


  • Go for a walk, run, or bike ride.

  • Take a fitness class.

  • Play a sport or game.

  • Do some gardening or yard work.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Park further away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.

  • Take breaks throughout the day to move around and stretch.

Find an activity that you enjoy and stick with it. Exercise should be a fun and rewarding part of your life.


3. Sleep: The Key to a Healthy and Long Life


Getting enough quality sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. It can help boost your immune system, fight anxiety and depression, and even help you live longer.


Many of the benefits of sleep are immediate, such as reduced anxiety, lowered blood pressure, and better sleep quality. However, regular sleep also has many long-term benefits, such as better weight management, stronger bones, and a reduced risk of many diseases.


Sleep gives your body and brain time to rest and recover. Most adults need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Prolonged sleep deprivation can put your health and even your life at risk.


Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep:


  • Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible, even on weekends.

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down before bed.

  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

  • Get regular exercise, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime.

  • See a doctor if you have trouble sleeping or if you feel tired all the time.

Make sleep a priority in your life. It’s one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being.


Which is most important: diet, exercise, or sleep?


Diet, exercise, and sleep are essential for maintaining good health in the long term. They are often referred to as the three pillars of a healthy life because they are all interconnected and support each other.


If you neglect any one of these pillars, it can have a negative impact on your overall health. For example, if you don’t eat a healthy diet, you won’t have the energy to exercise regularly or sleep well. Similarly, if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to eat healthy or exercise effectively.


The key to a healthy and long life is to find a balance between these three pillars. Make sure to prioritize all three activities and incorporate them into your daily routine.


Here are some tips for achieving a balance between diet, exercise, and sleep:


  • Eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

  • Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

If you find it difficult to balance all three pillars at once, start by focusing on one area at a time. For example, if you’re not eating a healthy diet, start by making small changes, such as adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals or cutting back on processed foods. Once you’ve made some progress in one area, you can move on to the next.


Other activities that can improve your life and help you live longer:


4. Maintain a Sharp Mind


As you age, it’s important to keep your mind active and engaged. This can help to improve your memory, cognitive function, and overall brain health.


Here are some tips for keeping your mind sharp:


  • Read regularly. Reading is a great way to exercise your brain and expand your knowledge.

  • Learn a new skill or hobby. Playing an instrument, learning a new language, or taking up a creative hobby can all help to keep your mind active.

  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for brain health and memory consolidation. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

  • Stay socially engaged. Social interaction helps to keep your mind active and your mood positive.

  • Consider taking food supplements to support brain health. Some supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, have been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to keeping your mind sharp. What works for one person may not work for another. The best way to keep your mind active and healthy is to find a variety of activities that you enjoy and that challenge you mentally.


Here are some creative ways to keep your mind active:


  • Play brain games and puzzles.

  • Learn a new language.

  • Take a cooking or dance class.

  • Volunteer in your community.

  • Travel to new places and experience new cultures.

Challenge yourself to learn new things and try new things on a regular basis. This will help to keep your mind sharp and engaged throughout your life.


5. Manage stress 


Stress is a normal part of life, but too much stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health. It’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress so that it doesn’t overwhelm you.


Here are some tips for managing stress:


  • Practice time management. Learning how to manage your time effectively can help you reduce stress and feel more in control of your life. Set realistic goals, prioritize your tasks, and break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.

  • Take breaks. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Get up and move around, stretch, or do some deep breathing exercises. Taking breaks can help you clear your head and come back to your work refreshed.

  • Relax your body and mind. There are many different ways to relax your body and mind, such as taking a walk, listening to calming music, meditating, or spending time in nature. Find activities that you enjoy and that help you feel relaxed.

  • Seek professional help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. They can teach you additional coping mechanisms and help you develop a stress management plan.

It’s also important to remember that everyone reacts to stress differently. What works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different stress management techniques to find what works best for you.


6. Think positive


Optimistic people have been shown to live longer and healthier lives. In one study, people who had the highest levels of optimism had a nearly 40% lower risk of heart disease.


There are a few reasons why a positive outlook may be beneficial for your health. First, it can help you cope with stress more effectively. Stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health, so finding healthy ways to manage stress is important. A positive outlook can help you to see the bright side of things and to avoid getting too bogged down by negative emotions.


Second, a positive outlook can lead to healthier behaviors. Optimistic people are more likely to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. All of these behaviors are important for maintaining good health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.


Finally, a positive outlook may have a direct impact on your biology. Studies have shown that optimistic people have lower levels of inflammation and better cardiovascular health.


Here are some tips for cultivating a more positive outlook:


  • Focus on the good things in your life. Make a conscious effort to notice and appreciate the positive aspects of your day, big or small.

  • Surround yourself with positive people. The people you spend time with can have a big impact on your mood and outlook. Make an effort to connect with people who are positive and supportive.

  • Practice gratitude. Taking the time to express gratitude for the good things in your life can help you to focus on the positive and to boost your overall well-being.

  • Challenge negative thoughts. When you find yourself having negative thoughts, challenge them by asking yourself if they are really true. Are you seeing things in the worst possible light? Is there a more positive way to look at the situation?

It’s important to remember that everyone has negative thoughts from time to time. The key is to not dwell on them. When you have a negative thought, acknowledge it and then move on. Focus on the things that you can control and that make you happy.


By following these tips, you can cultivate a more positive outlook and live a longer and healthier life.


7. Avoid alcoholic drinks and smoking


Drinking too much alcohol and smoking are two of the worst things you can do for your health. Both habits can shorten your life and increase your risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.


If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Red wine contains antioxidants that may have some health benefits, but it’s important to note that even moderate drinking can increase your risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer.


Smoking is even more harmful than drinking alcohol. There is no safe level of smoking. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.


How Many of These Activities Do You Tick on a Regular Basis?


How many of these activities do you do on a regular basis? If you can tick all of them, then you’re well on your way to living a long and healthy life!


Even if you don’t do all of these things perfectly, every little bit helps. Even small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference in your overall health and well-being.


Start by focusing on one or two activities that you can realistically incorporate into your routine. Once you’ve mastered those, you can add more. And don’t forget to be patient with yourself. It takes time to make lasting changes.



Being born on 29 August 1921, Iris Apfel will be 100 years old by end August 2021 (photo source: Vogue Portugal)



3 thoughts on “What is the Secret to Living to 100 Years Old?”

  1. Pingback: Longevity Doctor Shares His No. 1 Diet To ‘Beat Diseases And Live Longer’ - The Diet of the Common Sense

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