Want to Live to See a Century? Twelve Signs that Say You Will

Nearly everyone at one time or another will wish for a long and happy life. If you think you might live to be a hundred, you may just be right. Here are a few reasons why the way you live can help you live to one hundred.

Reason # 1: Exercise is a Major Part of Your Life

According to scientist in California, middle aged people who ran for at least 40 minutes a day – or exercise for at least five hours a week lived longer and were more mentally active as they aged. The study focused on both runners and non-runners for approximately 21 years, and found that the runners did not just suffer from fewer cases of heart disease, but also cancer, neurological diseases, and infections.

Reason # 2: You Have a Friendly and Outgoing Nature

Everyone loves the life of the party. Did you know, however that if spend your time being friendly and smiling, you are about 50% less likely to develop dementia? According to a study of more than 500 men and women over 78 years old conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. It was found that the participants also maintained a relatively low stress levels, and lower levels of cortisol can enhance the brain’s ability to communicate effectively. Thankfully, the reduction of cortisol, or the stress hormone is relatively easy. Take some time to meditate, sip a cup of black tea, or even take a short nap.

Reason # 3: A High Fiber Diet

If you want to decrease you chance of developing heart disease, consider eating more fiber. According to a study conducted in Netherlands, an increase in dietary fiber was shown to reduce the total cholesterol, as well as LDL, otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, and even help with weight loss. And adding more fiber in your diet is fairly easy. For example did you know that a cup of raspberries has nearly 8 grams of fiber? It can be easy and tasty to increase your fiber intake to about 20 grams per day.

Reason # 4: You are Technically Savvy

It seems that every time you turn around, there is a new technological trend. If you quickly get the gist of these devices and programs, it can be another sign that you’re likely to live for a century or more. Using programs such as Twitter or Skype has been shown to help keep your brain cells young and healthy, which in turn can help make your life longer. By sending a few emails, searching for information on the internet, and even dating online, a person can keep the quality and quantity of their life in high order.

Reason # 5: You’re a Kid at Heart

According to a survey conducted of more than 500 men and women aged 70 years or older, simply feeling young can lead to a healthier and longer life. Feeling, and acting young at heart can improve your outlook in life, motivate you to overcome challenges, and even boost the effectiveness of your immune system.

Reason # 6: You Started Menopause after 52

For the women in the world, experiencing the “change of life” at a later time can often mean an increase in their lifespan. According to Jane Minkin, M.D. of Yale University School of Medicine, the risk of heart disease is also much lower.

Reason # 7: You were Blessed with Children Later in Life

If you got pregnant naturally later in life, a study from the University of Utah indicates that you are less likely to die during any year after the age of fifty than your friends who had children in their mid-twenties. Having the ability to naturally get pregnant later in life may indicate that you have the genetic markers that can contribute to a long and healthy life.

Reason # 8: You Get the Most Out of Every Calorie

According to researchers in St. Louis, people that limited their daily calorie intake to 1,400 to 2,000 calories per day had hearts that functioned like those who were fifteen years younger. And it wasn’t about simply eating less. It was more about getting the most from what you eat. By increasing the nutritional value of each calorie, the body gets more of what it is needing, and craving. Foods such as vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fat-free milk all can contribute to an improvement in your health.

Reason # 9: You Don’t Snore

Believe it or not, your wife’s or husband’s insistence that you stop snoring can help you live longer. Snoring is a major sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a common disorder that causes you to stop breathing because the tissue of your throat collapses and blocks your airway. This may happen multiple times a night for some people. It’s like suffocating for a brief moment several times a night. An 18 year study found that people who did not suffer from sleep apnea were three times more likely to live longer.

Reason # 10: A Slower Pulse Means a Longer Life

For most healthy people, a resting pulse rate of sixty beats per minute is common. People who ultimately live to one hundred often experience that resting rate more often than those who do not. A slower pulse rate means that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, and can therefore last more years than normal.

Reason # 11: You have a relatively flat belly after Menopause

Generally speaking, if you are a woman with a little bit more around the middle than you would like, you are also more likely to die sooner. At midlife, you have to put more effort into keeping your waist trim because hormones cause more extra weight to settle in the middle. Thankfully with consistent effort, a smaller flatter tummy is possible. Just add one or two 20-minute strength training routines into your regular exercise routine, increase your intake of anti-oxidants, and get a quarter of your daily calories from healthy fats.

Reason # 12: You have the Right Amounts of Vitamin D

If you want protection from disease, consider having your blood tested for its vitamin D content. In general, we need at least 30 nanograms of Vitamin D per millimeter of blood. Most Americans have much less. Vitamin D not only helps bones fend off osteoporosis, but has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and infection. A simple blood test can indicate if your levels of vitamin D in your blood is at the optimal level. But be warned; monitoring may be necessary since higher levels of vitamin D (above 100 nanograms) may be toxic.

These are just a few of the indications that you may live a long and healthy life. Plus, if you’re interested in increasing your chances, a conversation with your doctor, and better, more nutritional choices may just be the ticket.