Ten Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Surely not all of us will live to be 100, but there are habits common of people who have lived to an extended old age that might help us all to experience a high quality of life in our golden years. An article published in U.S. News and World Reports outlines habits to enhance and extend life. Here are some of the highlights from:
1. Don’t retire
Retirement should not mean a time to just veg out. There are studies that show where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic illness skyrockets after retirement. It is important to stay active with daily chores and hobbies that keep us busy and bring us satisfaction.
2. Floss every day
Flossing reduces the amount of gum-disease-causing- bacteria being released into the bloodstream increasing inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease, our nation’s number one killer.
3. Move around
“Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists,” says Dr. Jay Olshansky, professor of medicine and aging research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It’s like the oil and lube job for your car. You don’t have to do it, but your car will definitely run better.”
4. Eat a fiber-rich cereal for breakfast
High-fiber breakfast helps maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day lowering the possibility of diabetes, a known accelerator of aging.
5. Get at least six hours of shut-eye
Make sleep a top priority- a minimum of six hours per night.
6. Consume whole foods, not supplements
Whole foods are superior to supplements. Avoid nutrient-lacking white foods (breads, flour, sugar) and go for colorful fruits and vegetables and dark, whole-grained breads and cereals.
7. Be less neurotic
Try not to internalize things or dwell on troubles. Avoid junk food, extended time in front of the television and binge drinking. Try yoga, aerobic exercise, tai chi or just periodic deep breathing.
8. Be a creature of habit
Physiology becomes frail as we age. Maintaining routines when it comes to diet, sleep, exercise and daily activities keeps the immune system healthy and allows us to bounce back from threats to our health.
9. Stay connected
Regular social contacts are key to preventing depression that may lead to an earlier death. One of the biggest benefits of exercise is having the strong interactions that come from walking with a buddy or participating in an exercise class with others.
10. Be conscientious
This is the strongest personality predictor of a long life. This trait includes being prudent, persistent, and well-organized. Conscientious people are more inclined to follow doctor’s orders, take the right medicines at the right doses, and undergo routine checkups.
Health and Fitness Newsletter
You may sign up to receive an electronic newsletter, which will be sent four times over the course of the school year. Each edition will have suggestions to improve your activity levels and nutritional habits, plus dates of upcoming events. To get more of our educational community involved, please forward the newsletter to colleagues who will benefit from renewed healthy habits.
To sign up for our mailing list go to: https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/utahhealth-pe/
For questions or comments about the Superintendent’s Fitness Challenge, contact USOE Health and P.E. Curriculum Specialist Frank Wojtech at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jamie Ney at email@example.com.