Do you want to live to 100?

What do you answer when asked, “Do you want to live to 100?”
Many hedge. “If I have my health,” they say. Some reply with a decisive “No!”
And a few answer with a resounding “Yes.”
If we were the masters of our fate, any answer would be all right. However, we don’t know which of us will live to 100 and which of us will die too young.
The number of centenarians is growing rapidly, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 1990, there only were 37,000 centenarians in the United States. Now there are almost 97,000—and the census bureau expects the centenarian population to double every decade.
So any of us could become centenarians, and all of us should be ready to enjoy long life if it is granted to us.
Did you ever wonder why some people are so active and sharp when they reach 100?
Now you can discover the answer.
Genetics is part of it, for sure. But there’s much more than that involved, say David Mahoney and Richard Restak, the authors of “The Longevity Strategy: How to Live to 100 Using the Brain-Body Connection.”
“The Longevity Strategy” has been called a landmark collaboration between two remarkable authors. Mahoney is a prominent business figure and the nation’s foremost layman involved in brain research.
Restak, meanwhile, is a best-selling writer and nationally-known neurologist and neuropsychiatrist.
The authors cite research from around the world that “pinpoints the importance of the brain in keeping us healthy, recovering from illness and improving both longevity and its quality.”
The brain-body connection is the interaction among three factors: our attitudes and thought patterns, the health of our brains, and our physical health.
“The Longevity Attitude” is fundamental.
“Start looking forward to living to 100 years of age or older,” the authors say. Discard your negative stereotypes about aging, assume the odds are in your favour, and develop good mental attitudes now to improve your chances of being a successful centenarian.
Restak’s wife also is a researcher, and she says we have to learn to be “age blind.”
In addition to a good attitude about longevity, develop an optimistic attitude toward life. Optimists not only live better, they live longer.
Researchers report that an optimistic attitude can speed your recovery when you’re sick and it can enhance your ability to cope with stress.
And most of all, remember that “use it or lose it” is not a truism. It is the truth.
“Every talent and special skill that you’ve developed over your lifetime is represented in your brain by a complex network of neurons. And each time you engage in any activity that involves your talents and skills, the neuronal linkages in that network are enhanced.”
Conversely, if you don’t practice your skills, the linkages atrophy.
This important principle applies to both your brain and your body. So exercise your body regularly, too.
With a good attitude, a sharp brain, and a healthy body, you need only one more thing to live a long and healthy life–a good social support network of caring family and friends.
So now you know “The Longevity Strategy.” Why not adopt it today?
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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