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

This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to eat healthy more often. Consume plenty of whole grains, nuts and legumes. Limit your calorie intake, avoid too much animal protein, but eat virtually unlimited quantities of vegetable protein. Some vegetables have more protein than meat, such as broccoli and spinach, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, chia seeds.

When in doubt, eat the rainbow – a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. The color in your food is the color in your life!


2. Keep moving

People who exercise live longer on average than those who don’t. Regular physical activity lowers your chances of getting heart disease,

stroke, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and depression. Regular exercise controls weight, boosts energy and immunity, improves mood, promotes better sleep. Include at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity in your routine.


3. Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep can help protect your physical and mental health, boost your immune system, help fight anxiety and depression and overall can help you live longer.

Many of the benefits are seen immediately, like reduced anxiety, lowered blood pressure, and better sleep. Regular exercise has even more long term benefits, such as better weight management, stronger bones, and a reduced risk of many diseases.

Sleep offers your body and brain time to restore and recover. Most adults need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep ; prelonged sleep deprivation can even put your life at risk.


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

Diet, exercise, and sleep are three pillars of a healthy life, so you cannot have one without the other and stay healthy on the long term. The secret of a healthy and long life is balance. Prioritize these 3 activities and make them part of your daily life.


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

4. Keep your mind active

Keep your mind sharp as you age. Read to keep your brain active, learn to play an instrument or take up a creative hobby, get plenty of sleep to improve memory, remain socially involved. Consider taking food supplements to stimulate your mental activity.


5. Manage stress 

Avoid stress by not letting it build up. With proper time management techniques, you can live a happier and more fullfiled life. Taking regular walks, breathing deeply, relaxing your muscles, meditation, listening to music for relaxation are some effective ways to help manage stress. If stress seems overwhelming, do seek professional medical help, such as counseling.


6. Think positive

Seeing the glass half full can help you live longer. Those who had the highest levels of optimism had an almost 40% lower risk of heart disease. Feeling down? Eating food like spinach, bananas, fatty fish (such as salmon), broccoli, nuts, dark chocolate, avocados, eggs, berries can help.


7. Avoid alcoholic drinks and smoking

Avoid consuming alcohol in excess but stick to moderate levels of wine consumption. Especially red wine. Avoid smoking completely, it can shorten your life.


Now your longevity is in your hands. Taken together, these habits can boost your health and put you on the path to a long life.

How many of the above activities do you tick on a regular basis?


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


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