Lifestyle of the Century: Will You Live to 100?
by findingDulcinea Staff
The King James Bible caps an average lifespan at threescore and ten (70) years, but with modern advances in health, most of us are likely to live a few years longer. Numerous online life expectancy quizzes can’t offer any guarantees, but they weigh a variety of health factors to compute a number that should be more accurate than the one in the Good Book.
According to the Associated Press, “Americans 85 and older are the country's fastest-growing group of older adults.” Although genes and luck are certainly part of the equation, we’re learning that we can make daily decisions that will extend or shorten our lives. Things like regular doctor visits, exercise, a low-fat diet and even flossing your teeth can add years to your life. Even adults with chronic medical conditions have been able to extend the length and enhance the quality of their lives.
The AP article mentions lifestyle as an important factor in determining how long you’ll live, and the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator will estimate just how helpful (or detrimental) your lifestyle choices are. Spend 10 minutes, answer 40 questions and find out not only how long you’re going to live, but also how many extra years you’ll get for making changes in your habits, such as wearing a seat belt every time you get inside a car. So buckle up and sign up for a yearly reminder to retake the quiz and see how much your hard work is paying off.
If you don’t have time to answer 40 questions then a) you should investigate whether stress and lack of sleep are shortening your lifespan and b) you can get less comprehensive but equally valuable information answers from a slightly shorter MSN Money life expectancy calculator.
One of the first questions on the MSN Money Quiz asks you if your friends would describe you as “easy-going and relaxed” or “aggressive, intense and quick to anger.” Choose the latter and you’ll find out that your personality can shorten your lifespan. Luckily, the findingDulcinea Stress Web Guide provides resources to help you reduce the stress in your life.
Feeling harried, tired or sickly could increase your “real age,” which might be a lot higher than the number you celebrated at your last birthday. But if you take especially good care of yourself, 60 could really be the new 40 in your case. The concept of a “real age” might be scientifically suspect, but the Real Age Test (free registration required) can provide a helpful in-depth analysis of your habits and offer tips for feeling younger.
Diet might be a reason why you didn’t score so well on the Real Age Test. If you need to lose a significant amount of weight, you should first consult with your doctor. However, many of us can benefit from slight modifications in our daily diet that will add vitamins and help us get the most bang for our calorie-buck. The findingDulcinea Cooking Healthy Web Guide is a good place to get started, with tips for choosing and preparing tasty food that will keep you feeling fit. The guide includes a link to the World’s Healthiest Foods Web site, which provides a list of foods everyone should be eating.
Of course, achieving a century of life takes more effort than simply sprinkling some flaxseed in your morning cereal. The BBC offers “Tips to live to 101” with video advice from scientists and a few people who have successfully lived past 100. Their counsel includes reducing meat intake, eating nuts, cutting down on alcohol and maintaining a sense of purpose.
And of course, if you’re going to live to 100, you’d like to be thinking clearly the whole time. You might be surprised to know that the very same beverage that gets you going at 8 a.m. is the one that will keep you going at 80: coffee. Recent studies have indicated that caffeine protects the brain from cholesterol and, as such, may have a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.