Did you know? Nabi Tajima of Japan is currently the oldest living centenarian in the world? She was born on August 4, 1900. As of this writing, she is precisely 117 years and 132 days old. Since 2002, she has lived in a nursing facility in Kikai, Kagoshima. According to some sources, her husband died at the age of 95 in 1995.
In 2011, she had nine children — two daughters and seven sons. She also has 28 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and 35 great-great-grandchildren. By 2015, she had 140 descendants to her name, which included great-great-great-grandchildren. In 2017, that number went up to 160.
So, what is the secret to her supercentenarian status? According to some sources, she eats ramen noodles, rice, and mackerel. But, you don’t have to subsist on a diet of ramen to live to 100. Read on for more centenarian and supercentenarian stories and for tips on how you, too, can live well to 100.
Your Attitude Matters
In a Forbes piece on centenarians, the first key to living to 100 is maintaining a “positive but realistic” attitude. All of the centenarians in the Forbes piece cited a positive attitude and optimistic outlook on life as essential to their longevity.
Although other factors, such as diet and exercise, play a huge role in your health, your attitude and outlook can set the physiological baseline for your life. If you’re constantly stressed, anxious, and racked with worry, your body will respond in kind. Any preexisting conditions will be exacerbated by the prolonged spike in your body’s cortisol levels. Furthermore, you will be at an increased risk for developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, mental illness, and depression.
You Are What You Eat
If you thought this was just a cheesy saying your mom used every time she wanted to eat your vegetables, think again. All the centenarians in the Forbes piece cite diet as the second key to living into their golden years.
However, unlike much of today’s advice, the centenarians didn’t endorse a particular diet plan for their health. Instead, they said people wishing to live past 100 should “eat like it’s 1960”. Why 1960? Well, for one, portion sizes were significantly smaller. No food group was inherently bad for you, and people generally ate everything in moderation.
Another common theme among the centenarians is physical activity. Louise Caulder, a 101-year-old woman on the list, says she does 30 minutes of stretching each morning, followed by a mile-long walk later on in the day. Then, to keep herself active in team sports, she plays bridge three times a week. What’s more is that the centenarians on the list show that it’s never too late to hone an existing skill or developing a new one, such as golf.
Touched by Faith
Many of the centenarians on the list believe in a Higher Power. They believe they have a purpose beyond themselves and their own sphere of influence. The main takeaway from this message is not that you should immediately go out and join a church. Find a purpose outside of yourself and leave a legacy.
So, if you want to live past 100, stay active, find a purpose, maintain a great attitude, eat healthily, and never act as old as people say you are.