The current average lifespan in the United States is 78.7 years, but there are more people living beyond 100 years than ever before.
What's the secret of joining the 100+ club?
That question was asked by a group of scientists from a Scandinavian University. To find the answer, they spent 50 years monitoring over 850 men born in 1913, and then studied the seven men that lived to be over 100 years old.
A new paper published in Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal teased out the commonalities of those men who surpassed 100 years old, and the differences that set them apart from their peers.
The results are basically are basically a how-to guide for extending life.
1. Don't smoke
This one is incredibly obvious. Doctors have known for over 60 years that smoking causes lung cancer. Heart disease, hypertension, stroke and oral disease are just a few other maladies that can be brought on by smoking.
If you want to live to a ripe old age, quitting smoking is a fantastic first step.
2. Have a good socioeconomic standing
No, the money isn't used to bribe St. Peter to give you more time here on Earth.
The study found those who lived past 100 had higher rent or mortgage payments, and this affluence was connected to their ability to seek top-notch healthcare.
3. Have an old mom
This one isn't really something you can control, but the study found having a mom who lives to an old age is a good sign you will too. However, longevity was not connected to the father's age as much as the mother's.
4. Maintain high cognitive function
Keeping a sharp mind can stave off the effects of dementia, contributing to both quantity and quality of life. Read books, do puzzles, and keep your mind active throughout a lifetime, and it will really pay off in your golden years.
5. Maintain a healthy weight and have good posture
All of the participants in the study who lived past 100 were on the thin side and had good posture. Being overweight is connected with diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer, which can all cut life short.
Wanting to exercise and eat healthy doesn't have to be a body image issue, it can be done to increase the amount of years your fabulous self is around.
Standing up straight leads to fewer falls.
6. Use a walker when you need one
As individuals age, falling becomes a more ever-present risk. In fact, falling, that causes subsequent injuries, is the number one cause of death among seniors. It can also cause a number of other injuries, which are more damaging than if they occurred in the person's younger years.
Those prideful seniors who opt not to use a aides, should remember walkers are a great way to keep them safe and get them closer to that 100 year mark.
7. Wear glasses
A person who wears glasses is likely to go in for eye exams frequently, giving them more chances to spot ocular disease early. Additionally, better vision reduces the number of accidents individual cause, particularly in motor vehicles.
If you're thinking that you're years away from having to deal with any of these issues, just remember that making simple changes now will pay off later when you're the hottest 100-year-old on the block.