Sunday, May 25, 2008

Totally Unscientific Centenarian Tips

Here is a totally uncredible, unscientific article from some blogger on yahoo. The first line proves he's a real asshole, too. But, enjoy!

http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/13738/centenarian-tips-for-a-long-life/

Centenarian Tips for a Long Life
Posted Tue, Apr 29, 2008, 4:38 pm PDT

Everyone would love to live to a ripe old age, but not if it means looking and feeling like an over-ripe old vegetable. We need to understand that though getting older is inevitable, getting decrepit is not.

Being bent in half and wheeling around an oxygen tank should not be what we picture when we hear the phrase "the golden years." I have seen centenarians around the world who defy our stereotypes of the aging experience.

In fact, 20 years ago, while in Shanghai, I took note of the thousands of seniors - a great many of them centenarians - meeting up in parks each morning to practice tai chi. I was truly amazed by their agility, sharp minds, and overall state of health.

Intrigued by this discovery, I began studying the lifestyle of centenarians around the world and anti-aging therapies. I combined these discoveries and uncovered the secrets to longevity. Here are a few secrets that will have you looking forward to your 100th birthday!

Tai Chi: An Exercise in Anti-aging

Tai chi, the choreographed meditative exercises that have been a healing art in China for thousands of years, is practiced by over 100 million people worldwide and owes its popularity to a simple fact - it's enjoyable and it makes you stronger.

Recent studies confirm that when practiced regularly - 30 minutes, three times a week - it has numerous health benefits including: increased energy, decreased stress, an immunity boost against viruses, lowered blood pressure, better cognitive functioning, increased joint mobility, an improved cholesterol profile, relief from fibromyalgia symptoms, and even a better night's sleep.

It also increases leg muscle strength and provides better balance and posture. Perhaps the best part is that tai chi is a gentle exercise that can be performed by anyone at any age. Click here to find out more about tai chi.

Centenarians I have met also take advantage of other rejuvenation techniques the Chinese have known for thousands of years - like acupuncture, acupressure, and energy healing - that increase energy, promote health, and balance the body and the mind.

Diet: The Cornerstone of Longevity

It is no surprise that diet is an essential factor to health and longevity. So what should you be eating? In my studies, I found that the centenarians of two reputed "longevity capitals" - Okinawa, Japan, and Rugao County, a rural community four hours north of Shanghai - shared a nearly identical diet.

These long-lifers eat mostly fish, vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, corn, and buckwheat - and virtually no meat. Scientists have confirmed the health benefits of a diet high in fish and vegetables and low in animal products. These centenarians are living examples, as they suffer from very little heart and liver disease and have negligible rates of cancer and degenerative diseases.

Environ-Mentality

When it comes to longevity, environment is half of the equation. From the verdant valleys of Ecuador to the rugged mountains of Armenia to the pristine foothills of the Himalayas, centenarians live in environments that exhibit the same characteristics: clean air, good water, low stress, close communities, and unspoiled nature.

Take a tip from these centenarians and drink only clean, filtered water. Connect with your community in a positive way. Find every way you can to bring nature into your life, from planting more trees in your area to more plants in your home.

Avoid the environmental factors that are damaging to our wellbeing and know what to look out for. Just a few things to avoid include xenoestrogens, which are present just about everywhere, pesticides used on vegetables, hormones injected into meats and poultry, phthalates leaching from plastic bottles, and dioxins from bleached paper products. You can avoid these chemical compounds if you buy organic foods and use glass containers and unbleached paper products.

Keep it Simple!

Centenarians' lifestyles are simple. The centenarians I have known lead active lives and get plenty of rest. They are dedicated lifelong learners and avid travelers. Enjoy your years and you will have many more years to enjoy!


I hope these suggestions further your longevity goals! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

-Dr. Mao




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Here are some comments on this article:

3. Posted by ricecakecoaster on Wed, Apr 30, 2008, 9:29 am PDT

i have a relative that's almost 99 years old. i think the secret to his longevity is garlic. he ate it regulary raw or cooked.

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16. Posted by Miyen on Sun, May 04, 2008, 6:21 am PDT

Dr. Mao, you also have to take genetics into consideration. My maternal grandmother ate steak most of the time, hardly ate vegetables, and enjoyed her cigar every day. She lived to be 96 years old.

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20. Posted by mibrown9932 on Sun, May 04, 2008, 6:22 am PDT

I just read the other month of a man who turned 100+ who smoked and drinked almost every day of his life and didn't exercise very often. I don't think you can pin point why people live as long as they do. Just enjoy your time while your here, only live once.

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34. Posted by fereal c on Sun, May 04, 2008, 6:34 am PDT

My grandfather died at 101. His life was not easy and lived all his life in the city.

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45. Posted by Robert K on Sun, May 04, 2008, 6:42 am PDT

This article was interesting and I agree with most of it. Since moving to Thailand 20 years ago aged 44, I look younger now than I did when I got here. I also feel pretty good. I put this down to a healthier diet, Thai traditional massage, warm climate and facing new challenges. But most of all I've benefitted by remaining as active as possible and learning to understand myself.

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53. Posted by grannyg54 on Sun, May 04, 2008, 6:47 am PDT

My dad was 89, 92 or 94 when he died - (could not read his birth certificate) the last digit of his birth year was: 1903, 05 or 08 - he went with 1905. He drank bourbon every day. Smoked from age 4-54. He exercised moderately but I think his secret was his definite idea of right and wrong. His integrity was impeccable.

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57. Posted by busybee1953 on Sun, May 04, 2008, 6:50 am PDT

My Father just turned 87 a few days ago and he is as sharp as ever. He contributes his excellent mental faculties to his daily ritual of completing five search and find puzzles. He strives to complete each puzzle in ten minutes or less. He has excellent hand-eye coordination and his powers of observation exceed my own of 56 years. He is also extremely active outdoors and looks forward to doing yard and gardening work. He still drives his own car and even chops wood. I find it amazing that he still has his strength and stamina after all of these years. He recently drove from upstate NE NY to Fredricksburg, VA to help his sister of 70 years to pack up and move her belongings back to NE NY. My Dad left at 5am on a Monday and was back home by midnight on Wed. of the same week. There is no way that I would have attempted that feat, but he did it and I am amazed at what he can still accomplish.

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71. Posted by Merm on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:01 am PDT

I lived on Okinawa for six years. I saw some of the centenarians you mention, still productive, still farming. I would see one or two regularly. One rode a bike (and had no problem going uphill). The other would carry a large bundle of some kind of grass, to feed his ox I think. But, the thing I noticed about Okinawa, is that the people seem to eat a lot of pork. In just about every restaurant, it's an ingredient in many main dishes. Maybe it's just a food habit that's developed post-war.

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72. Posted by ldenomme6 on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:02 am PDT

I see you have commented that these diets (of centurians) are "meat-free", although they do have high protein. You have neglected to note that the diets also seem to lack sugar and wheat products - but buckwheat instead. Don't you think this might be significant? IE: fast food, donuts, cookies, soda pop.

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74. Posted by Gypsy H on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:04 am PDT

Great advice. My British grandmother lived to be 92 even though she drank wine or sherry...every day, smoked English cigarettes...BUT she ate fish, veggies, walked a lot, daily, loved to go out dancing, sense of humor, ENJOYED life. She was widowed, but had a boyfriend, 70, admitted she was still actively sexual, up to when she died at 92 of pneumonia from a cold winter in England. I am 63, ppl say I look 40. I work out at a fit center, I belly dance, meditate, go to beach, travel, garden, read, write...a lot. Very social. I still work part time, my own cleaning business and wash down RV's, mobile homes...good exercise. Keeping an OPEN MIND also is age reducing benefits. As a Pagan, very deeply involved in nature, cycles of seasons, moon cycles, study all religions, cultures, do a lot of meditation work. I plan to happily live to be 100. I am also in a 4th marriage, much HAPPIER than previous high stress marriages. Sometimes, divorce can HELP a person de-stress, have some freedom, some time to KNOW THEMSELVES. We're also Harley bikers! I appreciate this article. Thanks, Gypsy in Florida

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85. Posted by marvl5 on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:16 am PDT

. . . My dad lived into his 90s ... even though he smoked occasionally. He walked about 2 miles a day into his 80s but found after taking a few months off from walking regularly, could only walk a few blocks without becoming winded. Moral of the story : keep exercising regularly and don't take long breaks!


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95. Posted by trueliesjlc on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:25 am PDT

I notice one consistent thing about these long lived people. No fruits and no refined carbs, once again showing that our concentration on fruits and breads isn't helping us.

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118. Posted by SweetThing on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:37 am PDT

Grandma secrete was not to worry. She lived to be 109 yrs old, and she died in her sleep. I know it has something to do with genes, because I am in good health and aging slower. But, my nutrition has been different than grandma natural nutrition from the colonial and victorian times. I have been expose to canned spaghetti, fast food, and pollution from the environment. Still, looks like I will live a long time...

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122. Posted by runt on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:38 am PDT

I am glad for them. I have a lady friend who is almost 96 years old and is sweet as a button. She also is driving which I do not think is safe,but who I am I to say.. She never drank tea or coffee. Only cold drinks. She eats alot of chicken.. She has a great appetite..She denies that she needs help from anyone.. I pray for her and her safety everyday..

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130. Posted by Felix on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:46 am PDT

I agree with the article. My grandfather is 102 years old. He lives near the sierra mountains of Mexico and in a remote little town in Villa Hidalgo. He always eats fresh food with his main diet being corn, chicken, fish, rice and beans. There are no fast food restraunts and the water is not polluted. He gets up at about 530am and walks around town. Stress is not part of his life. I am always humbled and reminded by his life that money is not always everything in this world. Family is the most important above all.

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140. Posted by cclark1798 on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:50 am PDT

My grandmother turns 100 next week. She still lives alone and drives her car. She ran a hot dog stand for 40 years and ate hot dogs and pie. We will be serving hot dogs and pie at her birthday party. Cheers

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152. Posted by Rixey H on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:55 am PDT

I have family members who have lived into their late 90s and the thing they had in common was working on their farms into their very late years and eating food without pesticides. They grew up eating vegetables, fruits, grains, and now and then fish or meat. They went to bed early when the sun went down and arose early with sun-up. They clean air and water. They seemed stronger then the older people of today.

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154. Posted by Kazi on Sun, May 04, 2008, 7:56 am PDT

my grandmother will be 97 in June and all things considering, looks 20 years younger. She has no walking aids, lives independently, wears heels, short dresses, gets her hair done weekly, always dressed up when going out, inclined to have a beer or two (grin), and she volunteers weekly at the local St Vincent de Paul. One time I was at a family barbeque and grizzling about how overdone and burnt everything was (adding in how the charcoal wasn't good for you), my grandmother just said "agh stop worrying about everything and just eat it" lol.

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172. Posted by hari shanker d on Sun, May 04, 2008, 8:05 am PDT

Long life is dependent upon many factors, the most important is freedom from disease. In the Art of Living, we are taught that most diseases begin in the mind. So keeping the mind free is also as important as eating the right foods and exercise.


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219. Posted by D on Sun, May 04, 2008, 8:35 am PDT

Living in Okinawa for 18 years, I know moderation is their key to health. Fried pork, goat, and chicken has been a mainstay of the diet here for hundreds of years. Moderation of these foods is their key to health. The slower island lifestyle, smaller body types, and low stress levels play a major factor to their longevity.

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235. Posted by de on Sun, May 04, 2008, 8:56 am PDT

I really enjoyed the article. I feel that the secret is to never stop doing for yourself. When my grandmother moved to a place where she could no longer just walk to the store, post office, or just to get a bite to eat, she died. She moved to a "better apartment for seniors". The day she moved in she started dying. She lived there for one year before she was unable to do anything for herself. My point is NEVER STOP MOVING OR YOU WILL DIE.

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247. Posted by Poppet on Sun, May 04, 2008, 9:35 am PDT

People need to live their lives...there is a difference between existing and living, and I would have to say that "looking forward" to an old age instead of enjoying the here and now is asinine. Some seem to think that only if you live past, let's say, 80, you then have lived a full life. It is not the years of life that matter, it is the quality and the fulfilling of your life here and now. There is no magical formula of where you don't do this, and you do this instead...we all die when we are supposed to. Enjoy your life, and if you enjoy your life and the people you share it with, then it doesn't matter when you go; you will have lived. I think some people who are trying to find the means to live so long are afraid of death, or hoping that if they live long enough, then there will be some cure to all ills and we can then all live forever. Vain fantasies... Death is only the beginning; and there is nothing to fear in it.

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266. Posted by Myrna C on Sun, May 04, 2008, 10:07 am PDT

The best comment I have read re: being 100+ was from a lady when asked, "to what do you attribute your long life"? answered "when I work, I work hard, when I sit, I sit loose."

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279. Posted by papaya on Sun, May 04, 2008, 11:08 am PDT

My grandma will be 106 years old this November. She lives in a highly polluted big city. However, she is still in great health and looks like in her 80s. Her tricks: open minded, good balanced nutrition and the most important ones she told me: being very generous and kind to others, no ambition on money or power.

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