5 Habits of Centenarians and How to Live Longer

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Genetics do play a role in super long lives. Those blessed with extreme longevity usually have others in their family that were centenarians as well, but it’s not the only component. According to research at Boston University it’s 70-80 percent environment and 20-30 percent genes. That says that how you live your life can play a major role in how long it is. Here's how to live longer:

1. Cut the meat.

Centenarians often don’t eat a lot of meat. If you want to know how to live longer, cut the meat. In Okinawa, Japan, the mother land of centenarians, those blessed with super long lives eat a plant-based diet that includes a little bit of pork on special occasions. Meat is not an everyday occurrence but whole soy (in the form of miso and tofu) is a regular part of their diet. Fish is also eaten in small portions.

2. Live with a purpose.

It’s called ikigai and it means your purpose. Okinawans don’t just float through life, they wake up every morning with a purpose and they strive to live for their purpose. This makes good sense because when you live with a purpose you’re more likely to feel fulfilled and as a result, happy.

3. Learn to garden (and eat the loot!).

Centenarian Okinawans still garden or have had a garden at some point in their lives. Gardening is great daily exercise, it relieves stress, and it produces the best in local grub. This makes a difference considering that an Okinawan’s diet contains 30 percent vegetables.

4. Chill out.

A study in the journal Aging found that personality is also tied to longevity. Centenarians tended to be more easy going. "The results indicated they had two things -- a positive attitude for life, meaning they are optimistic, easygoing, extraverted, laughed more and expressed emotions rather than bottling them up," Dr. Nil Barzilai, a study co-author and director of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Institute for Aging Research said to ABC News.

5. Get outside.

Centenarians are active people and they love to get outside, which is important in both regards because both exercise and vitamin D extend lives. These are both habits that started early and maintained can help you feel and look great down the road.

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Image: Mr Hicks46

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