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The Six Habits That Can Help You Live to 100

Harry Rosen, 103, is charmer, according to The New York Times. He enjoys dinner out every night, often in fancy Manhattan restaurants, almost always ordering fish and enjoying conversations with other diners. When most of us envision a very long life, it’s that kind of vitality and engagement we all want.

Researchers call people like Harry Rosen “Super Agers”. They reach “old old” age with the physical and cognitive health of people much younger.

Living Better, Not Just Longer
The point of being a Super Ager isn’t just to live a long time — it’s to live a long, healthy life. “We have to age, but we can, to some extent, add years to life, and to a far greater extent, add life to years,” says David Katz, M.D., director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and author of the new book Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well, with Stacey Colino. “Living well is being able to keep doing the things you love to do. Aging well is preserving the capacity to live well — right up to the end.”

So how do you get to be a Super Ager?

It’s Not All In Your Genes
If your mom or dad is 95, bravo. You’ve got a leg up in joining the Super Ager club. But genetics is a surprisingly small part of the picture. Research at Boston University School of Public Health has found that genetics only accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the reason people live to be 86 or older. The rest is your lifestyle.

Top 6 Habits
What lifestyle habits have been shown to increase your likelihood of being a Super Ager? “Eating well, being active, not smoking, getting enough sleep, dissipating stress, and sharing love,” says Dr. Katz. “After that, everything else is vanishingly less important. I call these: feet, forks, fingers, sleep, stress, and love.”

One interesting point: Being an “ideal weight” isn’t on Dr. Katz’s list. It’s not that he thinks weight isn’t important, but that it’s primarily a function of exercise and good diet — factors we can control.

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