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Your Life Expectancy Can Be 100 If You Follow The Rules

I was attracted to an article life expectancy by Deborah Kotz, published in U.S. News January 19, 2012. This is an edited version:

Getting to age 100 is quite probable if your parents did achieve that age, but there are other things you can do as well as choosing your parents carefully.

Here is the basis of medical research:

Rule 1. Don’t Retire

"Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic disease skyrockets after retirement," says Luigi Ferrucci, director of the

Now all this is based on hard evidence, which then get reflected in those IRS life expectancy tables.

So get into an active discipline, like the Experience Corps, a program offered in 19 cities that places senior volunteers in urban public elementary schools for about 15 hours a week.

Rule 2. Floss Every Day

Research has shown that those who have high amounts of bacteria in their mouth are more likely to have thickening in their arteries, another sign of heart disease.

"I really do think people should floss twice a day to get the biggest life expectancy benefits," says Thomas Perls, who studies centenarians at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Rule 3. Do regular physical exercise

"Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists," says Jay Olshansky, a professor of medicine and aging researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Don’t worry if you’re not a gym rat. Those who see the biggest payoffs are the ones who go from doing nothing to simply walking around the neighborhood or local mall for about 30 minutes a day.

Rule 4. Eat Cereals for Breakfast

Getting a serving of fiber-rich whole-grains, especially in the morning, appears to help older folks maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day, according to a recent study conducted by Ferrucci and his colleagues.

"Those who do this have a lower incidence of diabetes, a known accelerator of aging," he says

Rule 5. Sleep Six Hours Each Night (Minumum)

"Sleep is one of the most important functions that our body uses to regulate and heal cells," says Ferrucci.

"We’ve calculated that the minimum amount of sleep that older people need to get those healing REM phases is about six hours."

Rule 6. Consume Whole Foods, Not Supplements

Strong evidence suggests that people who have high blood levels of certain nutrients—selenium, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E—age much better and have a slower rate of cognitive decline, but strangely these nutrients transfer best from actual food.

Rule 7. Be Less Neurotic

"We have a new study coming out that shows that centenarians tend not to internalize things or dwell on their troubles," says Perls. "They are great at rolling with the punches."

Rule 8. Live Like a Seventh Day Adventist

Americans who define themselves as Seventh Day Adventists have an average life expectancy of 89, about a decade longer than the average American.

Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. They’re also very focused on family and community.

These are all factors affecting life expectancy

Rule 9. Be a Creature of Habit

Centenarians tend to live by strict routines, says Olshansky, eating the same kind of diet and doing the same kinds of activities their whole lives and keeping to a daily timetable.

Rule 10. Stay Connected

Having regular social contacts with friends and loved ones is key to avoiding depression, which can lead to premature death, something that’s particularly prevalent in elderly widows and widowers.

Rule 11. Be Conscientious

The strongest personality predictor of a long life is conscientiousness—that is, being prudent, persistent, and well organized, according to The Longevity Project, co-authored by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin who studied 1,500 children for eight decades.

Now a life expectancy calculator can be helpful, but you’ll have to do the hard yards if you want to exceed the years that it tells you’ve got left.Type your paragraph here.