Living to 100 involves an enormous amount of luck. The born-with-the-right-genes luck, as well as the not-getting-hit-by-a-bus luck. But, obviously, longevity is much more than happenstance and distracted drivers.
Environmental factors and the choices we make play a huge role in our ability to live to a healthy old age. Lifestyle changes—not smoking, following a vegetable-centric diet, drinking minimally, maintaining an attitude of gratitude, meditating, exercising—are proven to increase our longevity. But here’s the key: These choices don’t just affect mortality rates; even more importantly, they have an impact on our overall health and wellbeing. We don’t just have a longer life; we have a better life.
People who live to 100 are markedly healthier than others. No one fully understands why this is so, but it points to what we know intuitively: Not getting sick in the first place affects longevity. Maintaining health at the cellular level by making smart, healthful choices every day pays off.
We just celebrated our 75th. For decades, we’ve been stacking the deck in our favour, so we can remain healthy to 100 and well beyond. And you can do the same.