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By Steve Fillmore
Growing up, how often was it drilled into your head that the typical human lifespan is 60-80 years? Though this may be a legitimate average, it’s not an inevitable fate, at least not for everyone.
Regardless of what anyone says, the body you live in is yours and yours alone and that means you are in charge of it. You are in charge of what you think, what you eat and how it’s treated.
That’s a pretty powerful truth!
Do you want to live past 80, 90, even 100? It’s possible and to do so, you need to start fine-tuning how you live your life – mind, body and spirit. If you start making a life geared towards vitality and longevity, you will find that achieving this is in the little details.
Here is a list of 100 things you can start doing to make your way to 100 and beyond!
1. Be Attentive – Interact with all of your senses. Feel the weight of your clothes. Smell the roses. Think “I am alive!” and know that life is not a rehearsal. This is it. Live it!
2. Be Still. Do nothing – We spend most of our lives so busy planning ahead. Spend 10 minutes and just do nothing. Enjoy these moments of stillness.
3. Say ‘Thank You’ – Be grateful and say “thanks” for all the greatness in your life. Do this before bed and when you awake for the new day.
4. Savor And Take Delight In The Moment – Simply walking barefoot in the grass can reduce stress. Take each moment as if it’s the first time. Savor that moment each and every time.
5. Sit. Still. – Scientists have proven that simple meditation reduces stress and, in turn, prolongs longevity. So find a quiet spot. Be still.
6. Are You Really Listening? – Typically, when we are talking, it triggers thoughts of what we need to do next. To not lose focus, look at the person directly in the eyes and actually listen – hear what they are saying.
7. Snail Mail – When’s the last time you received a physical card or letter? Didn’t it feel great to receive and read that? Granted, email is faster, but sending a personal, handwritten note or card is more personal and gratifying. Do the same for someone else.
8. Snap Back To Present Time – Ever find yourself going through life unconsciously? Snap yourself back to the present moment. Either clap your hands three times or snap a rubber band around your wrist three times. Say out loud, “I am present and alive!
9. Enjoy The View – Just as in nature, everything changes every day. Perhaps you will see a new sunset. Enjoy these moments as if you are experiencing them for the first time.
10. Get Disconnected – As we get more connected electronically, we are becoming more disconnected in reality. Take a 24 hour electronic cleanse. Do this on a regular basis.
11. Peace And Quiet… Shhhh – Take yourself away from the city and into the country. Experience true quietness and solitude.
12. Dear Diary – Write in a diary each time you seek calm, need some clarity or need a moment to be with yourself and your thoughts.
13. Vow Of Silence – “Make a commitment to maintain silence for a certain period each day – even for a single hour,” says Deepak Chopra, author of The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success. “Initially, your internal dialogue becomes even more turbulent. After a while, the mind gives up; it realizes there’s no point in going around and around if you – the Self, the spirit, the choice-maker – are not going to speak.”
14. Turn On, Tune In – Be mindful, even while watching TV. What is the true message of that TV program you love? Is this message serving to grow you? Expand your consciousness?
15. Eat. Chew. Taste. – Before you pick up your food, be mindful of the food. Take time to chew your food. How does it feel in your mouth? What are the flavors? Appreciate it, savor it and enjoy the food for what it is – fuel for your body.
16. Slow Down While Eating – When eating your food, place your utensils down and chew your food up to 50 times. Eat with no distractions. No TV, internet, or cell phones. Just you and your food and possibly some great company.
17. Write Your ‘I AM‘ – Have a positive affirmation each day when you awake. The mind is powerful when you affirm it in the “I AM.” When you state things in the present as if they are, they become easier to realize and manifest into your life.
18. Think Positive – If you’re gonna think, think positive! Why worry about things that you have no control over? Think in the moment and keep your thoughts happy and beneficial to yourself and those around you.
19. Stop Blaming – The very act of blaming creates stress in the body (which creates inflammation, which leads to disease). Instead of blaming, try to instead ask for positive solutions and seek them out. There is always a different approach, sometimes it’s hidden, but it’s there.
20. Use Laughter As Medicine – Laughter boosts oxygen levels and improves circulation and immunity response. Plus, you get a good belly workout! Who doesn’t want awesome abs?! Ha ha!
21. Admit Your Mistakes – We are human , right ? No one is ever perfect. Accept yourself and carry on.
22. Today Is Special – Imagine you have lived to 100 years and are looking back at your life. Would you have any regrets? We are often so worried about the future that we forget about the journey in the present moment. Enjoy the journey and let the future come in it’s own time. Each day is a gift, remember that.
23. Don’t Limit Your Potential – Experience more by taking on more. Perhaps you are bored at your current job. Taking on a new task may help you discover what you’re really meant to be doing! If you are feeling stuck in a situation, be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to explore other avenues to soar to new heights and see all that you’re capable of. You’re limitless, I mean that.
24. Go Nuts! – Eating nuts could keep you from dying early. Studies have shown that walnut eaters have a 45% lower risk of early death. Have you ever noticed how walnuts resemble a brain? This is not an accident. Walnuts are loaded with healthy fats, making them an amazing snack for brain health!
25. Walk A Lot – The 123-year-old Carmelo Flores Laura, potentially the oldest living person documented, says he owes his longevity to regular exercise. “I walk a lot, that’s all. I go out with the animals,” Flores told the Associated Press.
26. Go Shopping – Who doesn’t love an excuse to go shopping?! A 2011 study found that frequent shoppers live longer. The study examined Taiwanese men and women over 65 and found that daily shopping lowered risk of death by 28% for men and 23% of women, AARP reported. And if you’re worried about the state of your wallet, you’re in luck: the benefits hold up even if you don’t buy anything, WebMD reported.
27. Win An Oscar – Researchers from Toronto’s Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre found that Oscar-winning actors and directors tend to live longer than their losing peers, with winning actors and actresses living nearly four years longer than their losing peers. Perhaps there’s more to those trophies on your shelf than meets the eye, eh?
28. Head For The Mountains – You may hear more about the perils of altitude sickness than anything, but it turns out that heading to new heights may be a good move. A 2011 study from the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that the 20 U.S. counties with the highest life expectancy had an average altitude of 5,967 feet above sea level. That added 1.2 to 3.6 years to a man’s life, and six months to 2.5 years to a woman’s and lowered all residents’ risk of dying from heart disease, the researchers found.
29. Take Care Of YOU – Fitness guru Jack LaLanne, who passed away at the age of 96 in 2011, knew the importance of looking after yourself. “This is where I take care of the most important person in my life: me,” he joked of the gym in the documentary “How To Live Forever.” “Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kindom.”
30. Stay Home And Cook – A 2012 study published in “Public Health Nutrition” found that people who cook at home up to five times a week are 47% more likely to still be alive after a decade. The researchers looked at 1,888 men and women over the age of 65 who lived in Taiwan to reach this conclusion.
31. Practice Yoga – There are some exceptional benefits to hitting the mat, including stress and anxiety relief, better balance and and increased flexibility. Just ask yoga instructor Tao Porchon-Lynch, who, at 95-years-old, credits the practice for her long, healthy, happy life.
32. Go Vegetarian – Vegetarians may have a 12% lower risk of premature death than their meat-eating peers, according to a JAMA Internal Medicine study published earlier this year. The study included 73,308 Seventh-Day Adventist men and women who do not eat meat for religious reasons.
33. Get Married – Permanently-partnered baby boomers are less likely to die early than their single peers, according to a Duke University Medical Center study. The findings were based on 4,800 people born in the 1940s.
34. Have A “Happy Hour” – Make time for a “ Happy Hour.” This is where you take 60 minutes engaging in an activity that you enjoy. It could be hiking, knitting, perhaps biking that trail you’ve always wanted to do.
35. Change Little By Little – The Eiffel Tower wasn’t built overnight. Any significant change in your life takes some time. Enjoy it and just let yourself take your time. Small Change Over Time + Consistency = Big Positive Change!
36. Spring Clean – Yes, spring cleaning improves your life. What is causing you distractions? Just like a cluttered desk causes a chaotic work space, so does a cluttered mind. Write down what is important to you and focus on those things first.
37. Keep Those Teeth White – Poor oral hygiene has been associated with shortened life expectancy. Maintaining a healthy mouth by habitually brushing and flossing can lower risks for heart disease, dementia and stroke.
38. Find The Zone – Ever been in the “zone?” You ever get the feeling of lost time when hanging out with a good friend? Then you were in your zone or bliss. Find something that will get you your bliss.
39. Jar Of Gratitude – Take a big glass jar, decorate it the way you like it. And throughout the year, write notes of gratitude. These notes are events and things that you are most grateful for. Then on New Year’s Eve, read your year’s worth of gratitude. Happy thoughts!
40. Enjoy Greek Coffee – A daily cup of antioxidant, polyphenol-rich Greek coffee could be the secret to living a long life, according to a study in the journal Vascular Medicine. Researchers from the University of Athens Medical School conducted their study on 71 men and 71 women who live on the Greek island of Ikaria – an island where residents tend to live to age 90 or higher.
41. Bike Fast And Ride – Just like brisk walking, biking at a fast pace has also been shown to prolong life compared to bikers that pedal at a slow pace.
42. Stop Smoking – This is a no brainer. When you stop smoking, you can increase your lifespan by 10 years.
43. No Distractions In The Bedroom – Are you watching TV in the bedroom? To get a restful nights sleep, you need to have a dark room with no electronic distraction. So turn off that TV! Move it to another room if you have to.
44. Snack Healthy. Snack Often – If you’re gonna snack, snack on some fresh veggies, colorful fruits, nuts and clean proteins and snack often to keep your metabolism up.
45. Eat Fish – Consuming omega-3 fatty acids – which are found in fish, as well as some vegetables and seeds – could boost your longevity.
46. Help Others – Helping others may prolong life, but only if you are helping others and not just yourself. Be selfless, not selfish.
47. Hanky Panky – Spending a little extra time in between the sheets may add extra years to your life. Having sex two to three times per week is good, according to WebMD.
48. Get A Pet – Research shows that both cat and dog owners tend to live longer than their petless peers. One study found that owning a cat could cut your risk for heart attack by nearly ⅓ .
49. Eat Broccoli – One study found that those who munched on plants from the mustard family – like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage – tend to live longer lives. Researchers suggest this may be tied to the high vitamin C and nutrient count in these kinds of veggies.
50. Get A Buddy – Making friends at work is good for more than just productivity. Tel Aviv University researchers followed 820 adults for 20 years and found that the people with the most social support from coworkers lived the longest. The lone wolves with no pals in the office? They were 2.4 times more likely to die during the study.
51. Hit The Gym – The World Health Organization’s recommendation to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week can add about four years to your life, as compared to never exercising, US News reported. Just getting half the recommended amount of gym time can add on about two extra years to your life.
52. Cut The Bacon – A 2013 study linked diets heavy in processed meats – like sausage and bacon – to a higher risk of dying from cancer and heart disease.
53. Take The Stairs – Simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator amounts to enough physical activity to burn body fat and lower blood pressure enough to cut your risk of an early death by 15%.
54. Resting Heart Rate – A fast heart rate may be a sign that you’ll meet an earlier end. Danish researchers discovered that a key predictor of long life in otherwise-healthy middle-aged and elderly men was resting heart rates – regardless of fitness levels or other health behaviors.
55. Cut The Sugar – Consuming sugar can decrease your lifespan by 20%. Sorry sweet lovers!
56. Eat An Andean Or Mediterranean Diet – This one is pretty simple. Avoid processed foods and stick with all natural, organic foods, focusing on healthy fats, fresh vegetables and quality protein.
57. Check Your Boobs – Women face a higher risk of getting cancer when it’s not detected early. Listen to your body and do self-exams.
58. Check Your Junk – Men, be sure to check your testicals for any unusual lumps or pains. Testicular cancer typically hits men between ages 15-35, although it can hit men at any age.
59. Live A Life Of Spirit – In WebMD’s 2008 survey of centenarians, 84% said that staying in touch with one’s spirituality is “very important” for healthy aging.
60. Healthy Hobbies – Find your fun hobbies and do them. Whether it be gardening or zumba, these fun hobbies can help one reduce stress and increase pleasure.
61. Practice Positive Self-Talk – You become what you tell yourself. May as well tell yourself positive things, right?
62. Live In The City – According to the Wall Street Journal, city dwellers typically live longer because their rural dwellers tend to smoke more, be obese and have more health issues such as heart disease.
63. Nap Time – A good old nap of 20 minutes does wonders for the soul and your overall health. See the kitty napping? You should too.
64. Breastfeed Your Baby – Cancer and other diseases are reduced by 17% for women that breast feed.
65. Get Higher Education – Highly educated people tend to have better, healthier behaviors. So go and get that degree or certification you’ve been wanting to get.
66. Floss Those Teeth – Flossing gets rid of all that inflammation-causing bacteria that can cause heart disease and stroke.
67. Get Uncomfortable – Consciously going outside your comfort zone every day, such as reading upside down, puts the brain under mild stress, damaging the cells – while repairing this damage, your body also repairs age-related damage.
68. Eat Red – A red pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange, beetroot contains nitrates that help to relax blood vessels and tomatoes are packed with lycopene (a powerful antioxidant), especially when cooked, which may help protect against cancer, heart disease and other health problems.
69. Drink Wine – Red grapes are rich in resveratrol, thought to have anti-inflammatory, cancer-preventing and cholesterol-lowering properties.
70. Eat Like A Monkey – Eat a banana, that is! Reduce your blood pressure and chance of getting a stroke by eating potassium rich foods such as bananas.
71. Eat Less – Studies have shown that a reduction in caloric intake can increase life expectancy.
72. Tea Party – Tea is best enjoyed by most centenarians. There are so many free-radical inhibiting properties in tea. There are also certain teas that are loaded with catechins and polyphenols. All are helpful antioxidants that help ward off diabetes and cancer.
73. Ginger Snap – The chinese have long used ginger root for many things, but mostly for cooking to help with upset stomachs. Ginger has a potent cancer-fighter ingredient called geraniol.
74. No Vampires! – Garlic is great in italian cooking. Studies have shown that garlicin, the active ingredient in garlic, helps prevent coronary blockage, lower cholesterol and prevent cancer.
75. Sea Vegetables – Seaweed and marine algae have long been considered to be able to prolong life and prevent disease. Common seaweed are nori, kombu, kelp and Irish moss.
76. Don’t Kill Your Food – High heat will kill most – if not all – of the nutritional value that was in your food. If anything, try to steam, lightly bake or eat your food raw the majority of the time.
77. Open Sesame! – Sesame oil is rich in phytic acid, an antioxidant that may prevent cancer. It also helps reduce cholesterol levels in the liver and bloodstream.
78. Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar has acetic and butyric acids, which promote gastrointestinal health by balancing pH and encouraging good bacterial growth.
79. Mushrooms – Many mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake and reishi have very good anti-aging properties.
80. Burdock Root – Burdock root is traditionally used as a nourishing tonic to speed up recovery from illness. It’s also good for liver disease and cancer.
81. Evergreens Forest – A potent antioxidant called pycnogenol in pine trees is able to cross the blood brain barrier and protect the brain cells from free radicals in the blood.
82. Spice It Up – Many spices such as garlic, onions, turmeric and cayenne have been shown to prevent blood clots and improve circulation.
83. Clean Out Your Body – Plant fiber called cellulose acts like a broom to sweep the intestinal tract of toxins. Foods rich in cellulose are oat bran and grapefruit.
84. Popeye’s BFF – Spinach is full of antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect the retina from age-related macular degeneration.
85. Artichokes For Your Liver – There is a potent flavonoid called silymarin in artichokes, which has a strong antioxidant property and may protect against liver toxicity and cancer.
86. Bittersweet – Most artificial sweeteners are carcinogens. If you need your sweet fix, try honey, pure maple syrup, stevia or sucanat.
87. Drink Celery Juice – The chinese knew about this a long time ago. It has been shown that celery juice can prevent high blood pressure and restore it to normal.
88. Chicory For Heart Health – Chicory contains a compound called inulin that has been found to be useful in preventing and treating congestive heart failure.
89. Fountain Of Youth – The Hunza people held a long time secret… apricots. Research shows that apricots possess the highest levels and widest variety of carotenoids of any food. They help prevent heart disease and protect against cancer.
90. Nature’s Pollution Fighter – L-cysteine is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. It helps protect your body from the effects of pollution, radiation, alcohol and smoke.
91. Build Immunity – Astragalus has been known to stimulate the body’s own production of interferon, a powerful immune protein that increases your ability to fight against infectious diseases.
92. Secrets Of Chinese Women – Dong quai has been known by the chinese to regulate menstrual cycles, maintain healthy hair and nails and increases immune function.
93. Bargain Protein – One teaspoon of chlorella and spirulina have as much protein as one ounce of beef. The chlorophyll is cleansing and detoxifies the body.
94. Tai Chi To Long Life – The practice of Tai Chi has been shown to lower blood pressure, enhance circulation and improve cholesterol.
95. Breathe Clean – Practicing deep, slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing daily will reward you with better energy, improved skin complexion, a clearer mind and elevated moods.
96. Massage – The benefits of massage include a boost in the immune system, improved circulation of blood and lymph, relief from muscle pain and much more.
97. Snuggle, Cuddle, Hug – The human touch has been shown to elevate the production of endorphins, growth hormones and DHEA, all of which lengthen your lifespan.
98. Happy Heart, Healthy Heart – Cancer researchers have found that the pleasurable emotions are able to increase the levels of natural killer immune cells. So, be happy and let joy fill your day!
99. Don’t Be Greedy – Many centenarians know that the key to long life and health is having control over desires, not being controlled by them.
100. Gymnastics For Your Brain – Brain exercises such as crossword puzzles and learning new things can stimulate brain cell activities and, in some cases, even grow new brain pathways. Let’s do some crossword puzzles!
Image Credit: Gig Salad
Zumba Teacher and 2-time cancer THRIVER at Steve Fillmore
Steve Fillmore is a 2-time cancer THRIVER! His motto in life is: Love, Laugh, Live – Love yourself first; Laugh through all the crazy times; Live for life right now! Through proper diet, exercise and mindfulness, Steve has been able to recreate his body to work with and for him.For fun, you can find Steve either teaching a Zumba class, or creating websites for clients.
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