Why living well matters
We’re living longer than ever before, thanks to healthier lifestyles and medical advancements such as vaccines and antibiotics. Of course, reaching a ripe old age is significantly more rewarding if you feel fit and healthy, and your life is full.
Researchers who study longevity and health have concluded that people who live the longest share some common characteristics in where and how they live, and how proactively they take care of themselves. “Longevity is useless if it means more years incapacitated in a home,” says Benjamin Zendel, a professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Canada Research Chair in Ageing and Auditory Neuroscience.
Follow these 45 proven – and often surprising – habits to live to 100, happily.
Watch your weight
An analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine of three long-term studies found that being overweight at any time in adulthood can shorten your life significantly. If you’re heavy, losing just five to 10 per cent of your body weight will help prevent life-threatening chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Brush your teeth
“There’s a correlation between poor oral health and the risk of other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” says dentist Dr Howard Tenenbaum. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and spread. Even the molecules involved in fighting oral infection appear to exacerbate inflammation elsewhere in the body.