From Our 2008 Archives

10 Healthy Aging Tips From Centenarians

Relationships, an Active Mind, Humor Make the List in Centenarian Poll

By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

July 29, 2008 — Staying close to family and friends, keeping your mind active, and having a sense of humor are keys to healthy aging, centenarians say in a new poll.

The poll, conducted by phone, included 100 U.S. centenarians. Here are their top 10 tips for healthy aging — along with the percentage of how many said the tip is "very important" (they could call more than one tip "very important"):

  • Stay close to your family and friends: 90%
  • Keep your mind active: 89%
  • Laugh and have a sense of humor: 88%
  • Stay in touch with your spirituality: 84%
  • Continue looking forward to each new day: 83%
  • Keep moving and exercising: 82%
  • Maintain a sense of independence: 81%
  • Eat right: 80%
  • Keep up with news and current events: 63%
  • Keep making new friends: 63%

"If I could leave any message, never stop learning. Period," centenarian Maurice Eisman says in the poll report.

"I think the worst thing is stress, and you can avoid a lot of it by the way you manage your life," adds 102-year-old Marianne Crowder of Palo Alto, Calif.

Some of the centenarians — who were actually as young as 99 — have picked up some modern ways: 19% use cell phones, 12% have used the Internet, 3% say they've dated someone they met online, and 45% could identify 2005 American Idol winner Carrie Underwood.

When asked to pick a favorite celebrity to invite to a "fantasy dinner party," Bill Cosby was their top pick, followed by Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey. Britney Spears and Howard Stern were their least favorite choices; most knew who Spears and Stern are.

GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media polled the centenarians by phone in April and May for Evercare, a health care coordination program for the elderly and people with long-term or advanced illnesses or disabilities. Because the poll only included centenarians in good health, the results may not apply to everyone in that age range.

SOURCES: Evercare "100 @ 100 Survey."

©2008 WebMD, LLC. All Rights Reserved.





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