The desire for a long life has been deeply ingrained in the human psyche. The wish for longevity reflects our innate yearning for experiences, relationships, and accomplishments that span across time. Long life allows us to witness the world’s wonders, connect with loved ones, and make a lasting impact. It embodies the pursuit of wisdom, growth, and fulfilment. While the quest for a lengthy existence is universal, it is essential to recognize that its length does not solely measure a meaningful life. Ultimately, our wish for long life is intertwined with the desire for a purposeful and fulfilling journey.
According to Wikipedia, the oldest person whose age has been independently verified is “Jeanne Calment” of France, who lived to the age of “122 years and 164 days”. The oldest verified man is “Jiroemon Kimura” of Japan, who lived to the age of:116 years and 54 days”.
The oldest living person in the world whose age has been validated is “Maria Branyas Morera” of Spain, born on 4 March 1907. She is currently” 116 years and 124 days old”. The world’s oldest known living man is “Juan Vicente Pérez” of Venezuela, born on 27 May 1909. He is currently “114 years and 40 days old”.
The factors contributing to differences in lifespan among individuals are multifaceted. Genetics plays a role, as certain genetic variations can influence longevity. Additionally, lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding habits like smoking, have a significant impact. Socioeconomic factors, access to healthcare, and a supportive social network also contribute. Environmental factors, including exposure to pollution and stress levels, can affect longevity.
Furthermore, individual resilience, coping mechanisms, and the ability to adapt to life’s challenges also influence lifespan. The interplay of these complex factors contributes to variations in human longevity. For instance, living in a low-income area may limit access to healthy food options and increase exposure to air pollution, leading to poor health outcomes. Additionally, living in an area with little social support can increase stress levels, harming health. Therefore, combining these various factors can significantly influence an individual’s lifespan.
Although there is no definitive answer to what common habits lead to long life, some studies have suggested some possible factors.
According to a 2023 article by Well+Good, the world’s oldest people follow a few fundamental principles to live a long life. These include:
Creating strong bonds and having an active social life.
Strong relationships with family, friends, and peers can help us feel more connected to our communities and have a sense of belonging. A strong social support system can help us cope with stress and difficult situations and boost physical health.
Focusing mealtime on connecting with others
Sitting down for a meal together, whether it’s with family or friends, is a great way to foster connections and strengthen relationships. We can create meaningful bonds with those around us by having conversations and sharing stories. Additionally, studies have shown that strong social connections can positively affect mental and physical health.
Staying geographically close to loved ones
Social support systems provide us with emotional comfort and stability, which can reduce stress and elevate our mood. A strong support system also increases our sense of belonging and purpose, benefiting our overall well-being. Furthermore, research shows that having a strong support system can help us manage and cope with difficult life events.
Daily exercise, work, or activity
A strong support system can provide us with emotional support, which can help us cope better during difficult times. Additionally, having people to talk to and share experiences with can reduce loneliness and help us feel more connected with the world. This sense of belonging and purpose can help us stay motivated and engaged in daily exercise, work, or other meaningful activities.
Reducing calorie intake can help individuals achieve a healthy weight.
Staying married has also been linked to better health outcomes, as married couples tend to have better eating habits and more support for physical activity.
Staying relevant and keeping a mind free of worry and emotional strain
Staying relevant means staying informed of current events, trends, and technologies and applying them creatively and innovatively. Keeping a mind free of worry and emotional strain involves developing healthy coping mechanisms, such as meditation, exercise, and journaling, to help manage stress and anxiety.
Expecting a long life
Another article by Insider in 2021 reported that people who live past age 100 often have one trait in common: a penchant for routine, even unhealthy ones. Some super-agers swear by daily whiskey, tobacco, ice cream, and bacon. The author argued that the structure of habits is more important than their content. The Healthy also listed 11 things people who live to 100 have in common in 2023, such as having good genes, postponing chronic illnesses, eating well, staying physically active, being social, having a sense of purpose, being optimistic, being adaptable, being conscientious, being spiritual, and having hobbies.
Finally, Time magazine in 2017 highlighted a study of Italian centenarians that found they had traits such as positivity, a dedicated work ethic, and close ties with family, religion, and the countryside. They were also still active and working regularly in their homes and land. Achieving a long and healthy life requires a holistic approach encompassing various well-being aspects. It starts with prioritizing a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a well-balanced and nutritious diet, and adequate sleep. Keeping away from harmful habits like smoking and excessive alcohol intake is crucial. Cultivating positive mental and emotional well-being through stress management techniques, mindfulness, and nurturing relationships is equally important. Seeking regular medical check-ups, preventive care, and staying up-to-date with vaccinations can also contribute to long-term health. Ultimately, by embracing these habits, adopting a positive mindset, and making conscious choices, individuals can increase their chances of attaining a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.
- 8 Longevity Promoting Habits of the Oldest People on Earth Well+Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/longevity-promoting-habits/
- People Who Live Past Age 100 Have One Trait in Common: Routine – Insider. https://www.insider.com/people-who-live-to-100-have-habits-in-common-routineology-2021-6
- Things People Who Live to 100 Have in Common | The Healthy. https://www.thehealthy.com/aging/healthy-aging/people-live-to-100-have-in-common/
- People Who Live to 100 Have These Traits in Common | time. https://time.com/5061891/live-to-100-personality-traits/
- List of the verified oldest people – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_verified_oldest_people
- Oldest people – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_people
- Maria Branyas Morera, 115, is the world’s oldest person | CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/26/europe/maria-branyas-morera-oldest-person-scli-intl/index.html
- List of oldest living people – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_living_people