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episode #361

Seven Healthy Patterns of Centenarians

June 3, 2024 in Podcast

Intro

This week I explore seven healthy patterns commonly found in individuals who live past the age of 100.

These patterns include regular physical activity, a balanced diet, strong social connections, a positive outlook on life, getting enough sleep, engaging in lifelong learning, and practicing mindfulness.

By incorporating these habits into our daily lives, we can improve our chances of living a long and fulfilling life!

Citations:

PMID: 22811911

https://doi.org/10.1093/af/vfac093

PMID: 30202372

https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.1900712116 

PMID: 37831896  

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/learning-new-skill-can-slow-cognitive-aging-201604279502

https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-015-0482-8 



Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the GETLEAN and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. As we age, it's natural to wonder what the secret is to living a long and healthy life. We often hear stories of people who've reached impressive milestones of living over a hundred years, and we can't help but be curious about their habits and routines.

Brian (47s):

Today we're gonna explore Seven, Healthy, Patterns that are commonly found in individuals who live past the age of a hundred. By incorporating these habits into your life, hopefully we can strive for a longer and healthier future. Number one is regular physical activity. Whether it's daily walks, yoga or gardening, staying active is key to maintaining good health. As we age, exercise not only keeps our body strong and flexible, but also can improve our overall mental wellbeing. Physical activity reduces many major mortality risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

Brian (1m 30s):

Results of 13 studies describing eight different cohorts suggest that regular physical activity is associated with an increase in life expectancy anywhere from 0.4 to 6.9 years. So it's never too late to start incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. I truly love going on daily walks and I would say that's a great place to start. Next is a balanced diet. Another important factor in longevity is maintaining a balanced diet. Follow our diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and animal proteins. By fueling our bodies with nutritious foods, we can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and maintain optimal health.

Brian (2m 11s):

It's important to remember that balanced diet doesn't always mean restricting certain foods or food groups, but rather finding a healthy balance. Avoid boxes and barcodes. Eat single ingredient foods as much as possible. Cook for yourself rather than eating out or ordering in. Next is strong social connections. Building and maintaining strong social connections is crucial for both mental and emotional wellbeing. Individuals who live over a hundred often have close relationships with family, friends, and community groups. These connections provide support, companionship and a sense of belonging that contribute to overall happiness and longevity.

Brian (2m 54s):

From the current body of medical research, it's, it is evident that social connection has substantial impacts in many categories of health, from weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression. Some psychiatrists go as far as comparing social connections to vitamins just as we need vitamin D each day. We also need a dose of human moments, positive contacts, and social interactions with other people. So get out there and start socializing and meeting some new people and make connections and build new communities. Having a positive outlook on life is next.

Brian (3m 35s):

This is a big one. Having a positive attitude towards life can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. People who live past the age of a hundred tend to approach challenges with resilience and optimism. Cultivating a positive mindset can help reduce stress levels, boost immune function, and increase overall life satisfaction. You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process can be simple, But, it does take time and practice. Make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people who are positive, supportive, and they give helpful feedback and advice. Start by following one simple rule.

Brian (4m 17s):

Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Be gentle and and encouraging with yourself. If you have a negative thought that enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations about what is good about you. Think about things you're thankful for every day. And eventually when you start practicing positive self-talk, you'll, you'll learn to have less self-criticism and more self-acceptance, and you'll also become less critical of the world around you. So start having more positive self-talk, and this will go a long way to creating a positive outlook on life. getting enough sleep, we often hear this quality sleep is essential for our bodies to repair and rejuvenate.

Brian (5m 3s):

This is something that I've put a a huge priority on in my health. And individuals who live past the a hundred often get enough rest, quality sleep and maintain a regular sleep, sleep schedule throughout the year by ensuring that you're getting at least seven, eight hours of quality sleep each night. we can improve cognitive function, mood, and overall health. According to some recently published research, including 172,000 adults, men who get adequate sleep tend to live about five years longer than men who don't. So how can you tell if you're sleeping enough? Well, for one, do you wake up naturally without the help of an alarm clock and do you feel rested and restored during the day?

Brian (5m 45s):

If you answer yes to both of these questions, you're likely getting enough sleep. However, about a third of adults cut sleep short, which could raise their chances of heart attack, dementia, diabetes, among other health conditions. So definitely start prioritizing sleep. Have a consistent sleep schedule. Make sure you're sleeping in a dark, cool space and put this on the top of your, your priority list, engaging in lifelong learning. Continue to learn new skills and pursue hobbies throughout your life that can keep your mind engaged and sharp. engaging in lifelong learning can help in maintaining and improving cognitive function as you age, especially your memory, attention and processing feed is good too.

Brian (6m 29s):

Just as nourishing, your body is key to good health. Nourishing your mind can strengthen its defenses. Learning new things and expanding your passions can increase happiness, reduce stress, and improve overall sense of satisfaction with your life. People who often live past the age of a hundred enjoy reading books, learning an instrument, which is what I'm learning right now. Taking classes or engaging in creative activities that can stimulate your brain. Lifelong learning, not only enhances cognitive function, but also provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose. So, we go out there and start learning something new. I've recently taken up guitar and I've really enjoyed it. Before that I was learning piano. So learn an instrument, learn how to paint.

Brian (7m 12s):

Whatever it is, just engage in lifelong learning. Next practice mindfulness. Mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress levels and promote overall wellbeing. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are, And what we are doing, and not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what's going on around us. Muscle control and sensory perception are controlled by regions of the brain, known as brain matter believed to decrease as we age. A study by Dr. Ling looters at the UCLA School of Medicine and Nicholas Rein at the Center of Research and Aging in Australia show that the brains of long-term mindfulness practitioners are often protected from grade matter atrophy more than non practitioners.

Brian (8m 6s):

So individuals who live over the age of a hundred often incorporate mindfulness techniques into their daily routines to cultivate inner peace and resilience in the face of life's challenges. This is really important. This is something that I've incorporated into my life and I try to do yoga at least one to two times per day and do a little bit of meditation every morning. So to conclude, there are several healthy patterns that are commonly found in individuals who live over the age of a hundred. And by incorporating regular physical activity, following a balanced diet, building strong social connections, maintaining a positive outlook on life, getting enough quality sleep, engaging in lifelong learning, and practicing mindfulness techniques, we often improve our chances of living a long and fulfilling life.

Brian (8m 57s):

It's never delayed to start implementing these habits into our daily lives. Let's take some inspiration from those who have lived long lives full of vitality and make positive changes for our own wellbeing. So hopefully you got some good takeaways from these seven habits, and I would say start with one, incorporate it. Once it becomes ingrained, then go on to the next. Start small and continually add on. Hopefully you'll start implementing these changes and it'll help improve your quality of life. Thanks so much for listening. If you're loving the podcast, leave a review tunes Spotify, whatever your listening device is, and I look forward to talking with you on Friday with another great interview.

Brian (9m 39s):

Have a great day. Thanks for listening to the GETLEAN e Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there, and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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