Healthcast: Three secrets to a longer life

Doctors reveal hidden tricks to keep you healthier longer

ORLANDO, Fla. - Everyone wants to know, but only a few ever figure it out. What’s the secret to living a long life? The people in Bapan, China have figured it out. Bapan is known as “longevity village.” It has an average ratio of one centenarian, a person who is 100 years old or older, for every 100 people. In the U.S., that number is one in about 5,000. So, how can you make it to 100? Here are the answers that may get you there.

 

How old do you think you will live to be? Your chances of reaching 100 are actually better than you may think. In 2015, there were about 78,000 centenarians in the U.S. By 2030, that number is expected to double to over 160,000. But how can you get there?

 

The first thing you can do is stress less. It’s no secret that stress is not good for your health, but at least 70 percent of doctor visits are for stress-related ailments, such as high blood pressure or chest pains. A Yale university study found that feelings of stress or anger can increase a person’s risk for Afib by 600 percent. Another secret: smile more. A study by Wayne State University found that baseball players who smiled in their playing card photos lived on average seven years longer than those who didn’t.

 

Finally, move it or lose it. Every 19 minutes, an elderly person dies from a fall.

 

Jose Santana, MD, MPH at Baycare Internal Medicine in Tampa, Florida, said, “An elderly person who participates in balance activities, such as tai chi, is less likely to have falls.”

 

Surveys of 500 centenarians found that on average active centenarians don’t feel their age. Most reported feeling 20 years younger.


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