Living a long and happy life is something we all strive for and it appears to be more and more achievable with shifts in aging statistics. According to the National Institute of Aging, the face of aging is changing dramatically in the United States, with approximately 35 million Americans age 65 or older, a number expected to double in the next 25 years. Another interesting fact is that the oldest old –people age 85 or older – constitute the fastest growing segment in the U.S. population. Most of us know that making a few lifestyle changes like eating better, exercising more, and less stress can help us enter this category, where we’re living longer, healthier lives, but according to the oldest living people, there are more secrets to longevity. Want to know what things have aided in their longevity? Some of the oldest living people share their keys to long life. Find out what their tips were below:
“Believe in the Lord”: In an interview with Time magazine, Susannah Mushatt, 116, said believing in the Lord has contributed to her living a long and happy life. She encourages others to do the same. In addition to her strong faith, she also has an interesting dietary ritual. She loves bacon. Every morning, she eats four strips, along with scrambled eggs and grits. Her niece Selbra Mushatt, 70 said “Sometimes, she’ll take the strip, fold it in the napkin, put it in her pocket and save it for later.” While Susannah’s a fan of a good, hearty breakfast each morning, she is also cautious when it comes to things that may interfere with her health. The only medication she takes is a pill for her blood pressure and a multivitamin. She makes sure to see her primary care physician every three to four months.
Abstinence from Alcohol: Alexander Imich who lived to be 111, earned the title of world’s oldest man in 2014 and attributed his long life to a healthy diet and abstinence from alcohol, according to NBC 4 New York. Based off data pulled together from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment4addiction found that drinking two or more alcoholic drinks every day cuts 23 years off a life.
Kindness: Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, 117, told Time magazine that her secret to long life is worshipping God and being kind to others. “Kindness. Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you,” she said. “The Lord blessed me, I think, because I’m good to my family and good to my children and my grandchildren. And I feed them.” She currently suffers from no chronic health conditions, which is pretty common for super-centenarians. Maybe we all need a little more kindness in our lives.
5 to 7 Push-Ups A Day: According to USA Today, Duranord Veillardm, 108, still does 5 to 7 push-ups a day and gets up at 5:00 a.m. every day to complete them. On top of his daily workout routine, he starts each day with oatmeal, fruit and a cup of tea, and then ends his day with fish and vegetables. He is still married with his wife of 82 years, who recently turned 106. The two who married in Haiti in 1932, moved to the U.S. in the late ’60s and raised five children. They are grandparents to 12 and great-grandparents to 14.
Knitting: Alfred Date, 110 of Australia says knitting is “a good way to getting along in life.” Today, he enjoys knitting mini sweaters for injured penguins, according to 9 Stories. Given he is an experienced knitter, two nurses from Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation contacted him to help make sweaters to assist in the survival of little penguins after an oil spill. His inability to say ‘no’ to favors has helped him put his 80 years of knitting skills to good use. He also makes sweaters for his human friends.
Avoid Men: Before Jessie Gallan, Scotland’s oldest woman died in 2015 at the age of 109, she told the Daily Mail that they key to her long life was eating porridge and avoiding the opposite sex. “My secret to a long life has been staying away from men,” she said. “They’re just more trouble than they’re worth.” I’m sure many ladies can agree with Jessie.