Many among us wish we and our loved ones could live to 100. We all know it can prove to be very difficult though, considering the lifestyle choices we have been making from when we were kids up to the present. Still, it is not impossible to live to 100, as hundreds of thousands of centenarians the world over have proven and are still proving.
While the not-so-healthy lifestyle many of us may have led in our youth may hurt our chances of becoming centenarians, we can at least take steps that can help us lead our children to a long, healthy and happy life. To live to to 100, we must start young. Here’s what your kids can do to stay healthy and live to 100, with your help and guidance of course.
Obesity is a growing concern among children these days. To help your child avoid weight issues at such a young age, you need to instill healthy eating habits in them. When packing their lunches, for instance, put in such foodstuff as:
- starchy food, such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta
- dairy food such as cheese and yogurt
- protein-rich food like meat, fish, eggs and beans
- fruits and vegetables
Encourage them to engage in physical activity and make them fully understand the importance of regular exercise. It could be any sport from basketball to swimming. If your child is not at all into sports, there are still lots of options. They can walk or bike to school. You can take them to the park and play frisbee with them. Get them interested in indoor rock climbing. Something so simple as buying a trampoline can give them a really fun way of exercising right there in your own backyard.
Adolescence is typically where the temptation to smoke, drink alcohol and do drugs creeps in. Always remind your children of these facts about these bad habits, smoking in particular:
- Their lung capacity will decrease, and they will find themselves constantly out of breath.
- The younger they start smoking, the more damage their bodies will sustain as an adult
- Nearly fifty percent of all adults that started smoking in their teens will die smoking-related deaths.
- People who started smoking at 15 are three times more likely to die from cancer than those who started the habit in their mid-20s.
It is important for young adults to continue making healthy lifestyle choices in order to live to 100. The importance of regular exercise cannot be stressed enough. While regularly working out at a gym would be great, there are a number of ways that you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Instead of driving to the neighborhood store, walk. Instead of taking the elevator to your office floor, take the stairs. Do some stretching exercises during your breaks.
Healthy eating habits are just as important as exercise in maintaining a healthy weight. Healthy eating habits include consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low or non-fat dairy products. To live to 100, limit or eliminate fast foods and processed foods from your diet.
It would be great if your child does not pick up the habit of drinking alcohol when he becomes a young adult. Still, it is a fact that drinking alcohol is pretty common among men aged 14-24, and that one in six adults binge drink up to four times a month. In case alcohol is an issue at this stage in life but quitting altogether is out of the question, cutting back on alcohol consumption is important if you want to live to 100. Here are some tips to go about that.
- Drink a little less each time you go out for a drink
- Try assigning certain days of the week as “no alcohol” days
- Go for lower strength variants of your favorite drink
- Make your intention to cut back on your drinking known to your family and friends, who will certainly give you the support you need
Certain lifestyle choices that may have been made during their younger years may take their toll at this point in their lives. For instance, one in four smokers who started the habit as teenagers die at this stage because of illnesses associated with smoking. A 50-year-old who continues to smoke is 20 times more likely to succumb to lung cancer. It goes without saying that a middle-aged person must quit any and all forms of smoking for a longer life.
The increased risk for high blood pressure, heart diseases and other medical conditions brought on by middle age underscores the extreme importance of regular exercise and healthy eating habits at this stage in life. The chances to live to 100 are better if a healthy lifestyle has been maintained since childhood. Even if that isn’t the case, middle-aged people who start adopting healthy eating habits and exercising regularly still get a better chance of living longer than those who eat junk or do not get the importance of regular exercise.
For the middle-aged, the most recommended exercises include:
- brisk walking
- climbing stairs
- jumping rope
- resistance exercises
- weight training
- stretching exercises
Reaching the age of 65 and above is already something, but we can still push it further. We’ll tend to be a bit weaker and slower though because of the age. If you start struggling with activities that are higher-impact, just make the appropriate adjustments to your fitness regimen and you’ll be fine. Among the most recommended exercises for senior citizens are:
- recreational walking
- water aerobics
- stretching exercises
- Tai Chi
- balance exercises
- Yardwork like gardening or mowing the lawn
At this age, keeping your mind sharp will become more important than ever. To keep cognitive decline and memory loss at bay, older adults must engage in activities that sharpen the brain such as:
- crossword puzzles
A diet rich in fish, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, fruits and other foods that boost your brainpower and overall health would also be great.
While the above tips are no guarantee that you or your children will indeed live to 100, they at least make your chances of hitting the century mark a whole lot better.