Work. Working out. True love.
These are a few of the longevity secrets shared by the nation's centenarians.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, the number of people living to 100 in the U.S. rose by 44 percent from 2000 to 2014 and it only continues to grow. Why is this happening? The study's author, Jiaquan Xu, told Reuters that people are taking better care of themselves now more than ever.
"People are more aware of their health, of the importance of staying active and eating healthy food," Xu said.
While taking great care of your physical body can support healthy aging, living your life to the fullest each day is also key for promoting longevity. Here are a few tips - from centenarians themselves - on how to live a healthy life to 100 and beyond:
New York resident Malvina Hunt, who will turn 101 this October, told The New York Times her secret to living to 100 was daily exercise.
"Malvina Hunt's secret to living to 100 is daily exercise."
"Whatever muscles seem weak, I give it a little bit of touch-up," she said, after explaining her morning routine of leg lifts and rapid arm raises.
Even when she's not exercising, Hunt is always on the move, whether she's gardening and mowing the lawn or working as a greeter at a winery.
"My motto was always, 'If I could do it today, I'll be able to do it tomorrow,'" she said.
The family of Martha Brown, a Sunrise Senior Living of Richmond resident who recently celebrated her 105th birthday, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that hard work is what made Brown the strong centenarian she is today. She got her first job at a young age, helping out at a shirt factory, then went on to work at the Export Leaf Tobacco Co. Brown went on to tell the source that continuous hard work is nothing but good for the body.
"I've been working ever since I was 13 years old," she said. "That's why I tell you, work won't hurt you. If you do some honest, clean work, it won't hurt you. It didn't do me no harm."
In 2012, Courtland Milloy, a columnist of The Washington Post, rode in the passenger's seat next to Mary E. Cooper, driving at the age of 101. Milloy explained that she's a great driver: always wearing her seat belt, checking the mirrors and cautiously approaching intersections.
A centenarian's advice on driving in D.C. http://t.co/IknK8xQE
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 13, 2012
"If a person is in good health and can see, it's your health that matters, not your age," Cooper told Milloy.
But what is it that has allowed her to stay so independent? Lack of stress, according to her.
"I don't let anything upset me, especially traffic," she said. "I don't like stress. I can't stand arguing. If anybody is fussing, I'm gone. I like to be around positive people, people who lift you up not bring you down."
A long-lasting love
Herbert and Frances Christoferson of The Colonnades may have been in separate relationships when they first met, but it wasn't long before they realized they were seeing the wrong people. Now, here they are, both claiming title of centenarian and 75 years of marriage under their belt. But what is it that has made their relationship last throughout the years? According to an interview with The Washington Post, Herb said it began with making sure he choose the right person.
"By the time I asked Fran to marry me I had gotten to know her quite well and decided that our chemistry was just right, that I loved her and she loved me," he said.
And once he found the one, their relationship was all about team work, patience, and the eagerness to keep life interesting. As Herb put it, "the more things you have in common, the better."
Each tip given by the Christoferson's shows how their love and compassion for each other has kept them going every day.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living