Congratulations—if you’re reading this and you’re a woman you are more likely to live to see the age of 100. Based on a 2010 census, there were about 80,000 centenarians in the U.S. and 85 percent of them were women. Due to the protective role of menstruation and a fewer number of smokers than men, women generally live longer, healthier lives with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. There are, however, an array of other factors that determine long life. Here are a few listed below:
If you have multiple elderly relatives, chances are you’ll end up the same. Looking at your older relatives is a good indication to see whether you are prone to developing certain types of hereditary diseases, such as heart disease or Alzheimer’s.
It may be time to put down the coffee—drinking green and black tea may lead to a longer life. Both teas contain catechins, which aid in heart health and allows your blood vessels to relax. In fact, drinking one or two cups of green tea a day has proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
You are what you eat—and if you consume plenty of fruits and vegetables (especially purple foods that are high in polyphenols), restrict red meat intake and don’t drink soda, you’re likely to live a healthier, longer life. Eating too much red meat can increase cholesterol and lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Opt for some salmon that’s high in omega-3s (good fats) or some lean turkey instead. Additionally, soda of any kind (including diet) is proven to be harmful to the body. With tons of excess sugar, harmful chemicals like aspartame and no nutrients whatsoever, soda has little to no benefits. Furthermore, soda erodes enamel in teeth, increases cancer risk, produces elevated insulin levels and can lead to heart disease. Switching out soda for tea, water or juice may actually lengthen your life.
No one can avoid stress, but regularly finding ways to cope with it may lead to a longer life. Chronic stress prematurely ages cells and can weaken the immune system. It’s important to find ways to relax and decompress to reduce chronic stress. Remaining positive and maintaining an optimistic outlook on life has been seen to improve health. Social engagement—hanging out with friends or spending time with family—has been recognized as a way to safeguard against stress.
Taking the stairs
Performing daily aerobic exercise is another important way to stay healthy and live a longer life. Aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular health—which is crucial to a fit lifestyle. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help you live up to four times longer than people who walk less, according to a recent study of 2,603 individuals. Furthermore, having strong legs is a proven indication of balance, flexibility and stamina. These attributes can aid against risk of bone fractures or frailty in old age.