10 Ways You Can Live to Be 100

Hara Hachi Bu. My daughter and her husband, who are both dieticians, taught my grandsons to end their mealtime prayer with this Japanese phrase. Hara Hachi Bu means “eat until you’re 80% full.” According to Dan Buettner, author of “The Blue Zones: Secrets of Living Longer,” it’s one of the top ways we can live to be 100. I’ve incorporated what I’ve learned from Buettner with my knowledge from an online class I recently completed called “SuperAgers,” taught by Jane Govoni. Govoni, a certified stress management teacher and author, instructed us on how we could lengthen our lives and, more importantly, be active and engaged in our later years. I’ve combined their tips into what I consider the top ten ways we can live to be 100.

1. Eat your veggies. People in Blue Zones eat mostly plant-based food. Consider the Mediterranean diet. And eat only until you’re 80% full.

2. Be active. Find something satisfying or fun that will keep you moving. Gardening, cleaning, hiking, tennis or pickleball, working out, biking, yoga, martial arts, jogging, or walking the dog are just suggestions.

3. Find your Tribe. A strong social network that encourages a healthy lifestyle will also add years to your life, so consider asking a friend to join you in one of your movement activities.

4. Purpose. Have a purpose in life. According to Buettner, knowing why you wake up in the morning makes you healthier, happier, and adds up to seven years of extra life expectancy.

5. Faith. Buettner found that being part of a faith-based community adds four to 14 years to your life. Believing in something bigger than yourself, no matter if it’s God, Allah, or Buddha, makes you feel supported and loved.

6. Down Shift. Learn how to handle stress. Govoni instructed that stress causes 90% of all illnesses. Live mindfully, let go of the past, and don’t obsess over the future. Cope by reframing your thoughts, using humor, or engaging in fun hobbies. Your body can use mental imagery, breathing in patterns, meditation, or yoga to help you deal with your emotions.

7. Wine. Consider enjoying 1-2 glasses of red wine daily which is rich in antioxidants. (It’s best to first consult with your doctor and to stay abreast of the latest studies that point out the risks of alcohol.)

8. Loved Ones. Buettner found that communities with strong family connections, often including young and old living together, were common with centenarians.

9. A positive attitude. It takes 5 positives to neutralize a negative, so be mindful of your thoughts and what you say to others.

10. Gratitude. Practice gratitude daily. Either write 5 things you’re grateful for or take 3 minutes to make a list. Try not to repeat any.

If you’d like more details, check out Buettner’s book, “The Blue Zones,” or his four-part series available through Netflix called “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones.” Jane Govoni will teach an online class called SuperAger Resilience Training in the fall. Her email is contactskybluedreams@gmail.com.

I’m raising my wine glass and toasting you. May you have a long life filled with health, happiness, and fulfillment.

4 Replies to “10 Ways You Can Live to Be 100”

Debbie Gille

Amy, I have read the book The Blue Zones and i believe there was a Netflix Documental on The Blue Zones. All GREAT information I appreciate the reminder.
Happy Spring to you.

Hi Deb,
I agree, this is important information and I, too, appreciated the reminder. Enjoy these glorious spring days. Amy

Dee Benish

Great information…..Love Jane Govoni classes and books……

Hi Dee,
It’s great to hear from you. Yes, Jane is a lovely person, so giving and warm-hearted. I hope our paths cross one day.

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