How do you live to 100? Ask the anti-aging industry and they’ll sell you creams, routines and supplements. So great is our desire to unlock the secrets of longevity that scientists have even narrowed down parts of the world where people live the longest — called “blue zones” — and studied what factors they have in common (strong family ties, semi-vegetarianism and constant moderate activity, to name a few).
But is there really a recipe for a long life — or is it just the luck of the draw?
A quick search for tips from those in the 100+ crowd yields advice as diverse the decades. For each healthy-living centenarian who stayed active in family and community, you’ll find an equally aged whisky-loving example who smoked unfiltered cigarettes and shunned company.
In the 10-minute documentary 100 and Counting, we meet Iranian-born Mohammed, 110, who lives with his 100-year-old wife Ashraf in Toronto.
Routines Mohammed swears by:
chew your food (longer than you thought possible)
eat fruit every morning
Ashraf’s tips: attitude is everything, and you’ve got to laugh at life.
More advice from people who lived to see their 100th birthday:
Lil Hansen teaches yoga at 105. Her advice: “I just keep going.”
Keep your mind sharp
Toronto’s Zoltan Sarosy is a 110-year-old chess master who gave up the game at the 107. He stays sharp by reading the news and emailing friends and family — he bought his first computer at age 95.
Keep being creative
Academy Award-winning actor and author Kirk Douglas just turned 100. He’s the author of 10 books and a book of poems and still blogs regularly.
Have a tipple
Agnes Fenton, a 111-year-old New Jersey woman, says a daily beer and whiskey are her keys to longevity.
The elegant, pilates-loving Ruth Coben says celebrate every day — and don’t look at the calendar.