Centenarians Share Secrets for a Longer, Fuller Life ...

If you're really enjoying your life here on earth, you might be interested in some of the life secrets of centenarians, who are people that live beyond one hundred. With an increasing ageing population, more and more people are hitting the one hundred plus mark and there are some things we can learn from those who live a longer life. There was a story in the news recently about a woman who attributed her 127 years on earth to never getting married. I must say, I can see how the key to longevity might lie in not having to pick up your significant other's socks from the floor-drobe! So, in the interests of living a long and healthy life, here are some of the secrets of centenarians.

1. Moderate Exercise

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One of the secrets of centenarians is, yes, you guessed it, exercise. But I'm not talking pounding the treadmill and triathlon-type exercise. I'm talking walking. Running excessively can have have a negative impact on the joints, but walking will help muscle and bone metabolism and provides many of the cardiovascular benefits of more rigorous exercises. So put on your hiking boots or a pair of comfy shoes and get outdoors!

2. Gorgeous Goat's Milk

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Sardinia is a beautiful part of the world and home to many centenarians. One of the things they consume regularly that is thought to contribute to their good health is goat's milk. Goat's milk is believed to contain ingredients which may help protect against diseases such as Alzheimer's and heart disease. The Sardinians also eat delicious pecorino cheese, which is made from sheep's milk and is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It's great on pasta too!

3. Healthy Eating

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Plant-based diets seem to be the key to longevity. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains feature heavily in the Sardinians' diet and the diets of those who have lived beyond one hundred years. Centenarians consume at least two vegetable dishes at every meal and also eat a moderate amount of nuts. Also, eating a light meal in the evening is much better than a heavy one.

4. Stress a Little Less

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Stress really can stop you from reaching a ripe old age. Many centenarians stop regularly to appreciate life and embrace each moment. Relieve stress by exercising moderately, meditating, laughing with friends and possibly having a pet.

5. Limit the Meat

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We all know that excessive meat consumption isn't great for the bowel or the body and processed meats in particular should be eaten in moderation, if not eliminated completely from the diet. One of the secrets of centenarians is that they eat meat in moderation and when they do, it is a small dish rather than the main part of the meal. The Okinawans in Japan eat small amounts of pork on very special occasions and in Sardinia, meat is reserved for Sundays and social occasions. As a rule, a portion of meat should be the size of a deck of cards.

6. Friends and Family

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Many of the people who have lived beyond one hundred years have a close network of friends and family to whom they can look for emotional and sometimes financial support. This sense of community is known to have positive effects on well-being. Elders are also celebrated and looked to for their wisdom and ability to keep tradition alive.

7. Red Red Wine

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Alcohol frequently hits the headlines and it's often for negative reasons. Some studies show, however, that alcohol consumption in moderation is not a bad thing and can actually lead to a longer life. The Sardinians drink Cannonau wine, which has high levels of flavonoids. These are believed to promote healthy arteries. If you can't get hold of this wine, go for a high quality dark red wine but remember, moderation is key.

These are just some of the secrets of centenarians. Do you do many of the things in this list? Would you really want to live that long anyway?!

Sources: bluezones.com, news.bbc.co.uk, abc15.com

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