How to Live to Be 100

By Meddling Maude on March 11, 2014

Have you ever wondered what it takes to live to be 100? More and more of us are doing it every day. The average American born in 2013 will be alive nearly four years longer than someone born 20 years ago.

Experts can’t really agree why one person lives longer than another. While genetics almost certainly plays a role, many say a positive attitude goes a long way in increasing the length and quality of your life. Of course, eating right helps. A recent study by the American Aging Association showed that elderly people who eat a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats (like olive oil), fish, and produce increased their chances of living longer by 20 percent.

Here are some other things that studies have shown can increase your lifespan.

Be conscientious.

People who consciously work each day to “do the right thing” – whatever that means to them –live longer. In the book The Longevity Project, authors Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin found that being conscientious was one of the best predictors of longevity. This may be because people who are conscientious are more likely to practice healthful behaviors, such as eating right, getting along, and being of service to others.

Find reasons to laugh.

As discussed in David Virden’s recent Senior Care Blog post titled “Laugh Yourself Healthy,” laughing has numerous health benefits. In a 2012 study published in the journal Aging, researchers identified certain personality characteristics of a group of centenarians had in common. These included a love of laughter. People who consider laughter an important part of life tend to live longer.

Find a life purpose.

People who feel their life has purpose live longer than those don’t, according to a new study. It doesn’t matter what the purpose is – it can range from the mundane (to visit all 50 states) to the lofty (ending world hunger). The important thing is that the person feels the goal or purpose in important to them. In Nicoya, Costa Rica, which has one of the highest life expectancies on the planet, residents cultivate a plan de vida, which means “reason to live.”

These are just some things that can help you live a longer and more healthful life. To hear advice directly from some centenarians themselves, please take a look at my video “How to Live to Be 100,” available at