The Secrets of Longevity?

  1. So...I've been thinking. My mother's side of the family is generally very long-lived, whereas my dad's relatives have, on average, developed diseases in mid life and or/passed away in middle age, generally between 40 and 60. I have a maternal grandmother (my only living grandparent) who has a twin sister, and they're both 91 and they both are still are basically fully independent, living in their own houses. They have younger siblings, I think there are three more of them still alive, all over eighty. Sometimes when I visit my grandmother, I ask, "What can I do to live as long as you?" She chuckles, and says she just takes it "one day at a time." With a few minor vision and gastric problems, she's still of sound mind and slightly frail body. We try to keep her active, social, and spry.

    Both my parents used to tell me that I "take after" my dad's side of the family, and this worries me, because I'd like to live to be in my nineties, too! I know that a lot of things I can control, but even more things are OUT of my control. My dad's side is predisposed to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers you name it...and sometimes I go crazy worrying about being similarly affected during middle age.

    Do any of you have any very elderly relatives still alive who have no significant health issues? If so, do you think you'll be long-lived as well? What do you think are their secrets for living such long, healthy lives? I searched for a similar thread and didn't find one, so any replies appreciated!
  2. my dad's aunt is 95 and she is still strong. she doesn't use glasses to see or even a cane or walker to walk. her secret is exercise-she walks in the mornings, tea everyday-green tea, and she eats alot of vegetables. i hope i am also blessed with longevity. it's not too late to start! :okay:
  3. Sometimes I have to make sure I'm not overly cynical, as I sometimes feel that being able to live a long time is pretty much a crap shoot. Then the logical part of me says, "You know, there are things that you can do to contribute to personal longevity." I know that exercise, as you mentioned, does play a key part, and so does good nutrition. I think I read someplace that a calorie-restricted diet can lead to longevity, and you can eat tons of veggies and not consume many calories. That's one reason why I like salads so much, and hopefully one day I'll be in my nineties and in great shape! A girl can wish!
  4. Having had relatives live into their nineties, but not all healthy, i can say diet and exercise is definitely an important part. When I listen to the ladies on TV who have live to be over 100, they always say that attitude has played a great part. They still have fun, do charity work and almost all had a deep religious belief. It really seemd to keep them grounded. My grandmother lived to be 93, but was quite ill. She ate perfectly and took lots of vitamins, however she was negative and was an athiest. She harbored resentments towards others that she felt did her wrong.
    I think a positive outlook, combined with diet and exercise is so important and not Sweating the small stuff!
  5. oops, double post.

  6. Funny you mention the use of substances. I guess the fact remains that just because you may "indulge" in a substance, like alcohol or tobaccor, on a regular basis, doesn't necessarily cut your life span short. My grandmother has been using tobacco products for as long as I've been alive, and probably for most of her own life. Yet she's still alive and kicking, and as far as we know, she has no health problems related to her tobacco usage. It's so weird, because some people can drink, smoke, use tobacco, etc. for "life" or whatever and develop all kinds of problems, including fatal problems such as cirrhosis (sp) or cancer or something. I have a great uncle in his eighties who has smoked for life, and it doesn't seem to have affected him much, either. But a lady in the community died earlier this year from complications of smoking, and she was only in her fifties. Life is so weird.

    :smile: Interesting video, though...thanks!
  7. My grandmother has been a lifelong church member, and is religious, as is her twin sister, who is to this day still a church officer, so the positive mindset brought on by religious adherance may likely have an effect. A lot of times, the long-lived may attribute their longevity to their religous beliefs or their diety, but you don't frequently hear people that old (or at least, I don't) say they don't believe anything whatsoever. That's why I was so shocked to find out that Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen (black actress, "Gone With the Wind") was an atheist her entire life. She lived well into her eighties. I do kind of believe in the religion/longevity link, though. In many churches, especially the one that I'm a member of, there are always a TON of elderly people.
  8. I dunno... my great grandma apparently lived to be 108, though she was home/bed-bound the last few years.... Mom says she remembers that her Grandma used to "yell at God" to take her already, bc she felt useless, and that her husband (my great grandfather) had passed a few years before that.

    I don't know about how healthy.... apparenly things were cooked with lard back in the days, though they had their own small farm, so definetly they were active.

    I don't put my luck in my own longevity, as I seldom exercise, have too much job stress, and eat waaay too much junk food.

    Diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease apparently run on the paternal line, too....
  9. 108...that is simply amazing.
  10. Funny you ask, I just had lunch with my granddad the other day and I ask him this very question. He is 93 , healthy, still walking on his own, and very sharp! He attributes it to meditation.
  11. My dad died at 93, he was sharp to the end, as I think back on why he may have lived so long, he worked hard but always found time for his recreation, golf, swimming, daily walks on the beach. He always kept his brain active, in his 80's he mastered the computer and would spend long hours writing legal opinions., loved to travel, and into his late 80's would go out for a latin dinner once a week and have pork, rice and beans. Every night he had a scotch on the rocks sometimes 2 and on fri and sats would smoke a good cigar. He was charming and had an awesome sense of humor till the end, my kids still laugh and enjoy talking about his stories. He remained happy with himself and when my kids would tell him they loved him, he would laughingly respond I love myself too!!!-I think this was his secret.:heart:H

  12. OMG I loved reading these stories...!!!!! All my grandparents died in their 70's...Eek!!! I'm gets ya thinkin'!!!!1
  13. I continue to find elderly people to be so amazing...I guess because there are SO many ways you can die at any age, from illnesses to accidents, to murder, etc., and being around people who have truly beaten those odds just...makes me feel so much in awe! Not to mention all they've seen in their lifetimes...It's also INCREDIBLE inspiration, so thanks for the replies so far!

  14. My grandmother died at 98, after surviving breast cancer, her husband, my grandfather died at 97, in his sleep. My dads dad died about one year ago, 8 months shy of his 100th birthday, in his sleep. My dads mom died at 89 from cancer. So not much disease in my family, we tend to live for a long time, yikes!