Secrets of Living Healthy to Age 100
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June 27, 2013

By Anna Lee,  Columnist

Recently, when I was traveling to France on business, I
watched a local television show about a 90 year old woman
who regularly played tennis. The woman, named Helene
Salvetat, is shown skipping across the court, chasing balls,
laughing.  I looked closely at her legs—strong, toned, sun-
browned.  Intrigued, I sought out other videos of women or
men who are athletically active well into their 90’s and 100’s.
I found several, including 100 year old Fauja Singh, pictured  
on this page, who runs marathons.

Because my own mother-in-law, who is 93, and at the
moment is confined to a bed in a nursing home being fed
through tubes, I couldn’t help but stop and wonder at the
contrast between how two women had aged.

Why is that some of us age so well, live so long and remain
healthy while others of us decline rapidly? Of course, luck and
to a large part genes have to play a role but is there a secret,
a pattern of life, a collection of habits, that can tilt the odds in
our favor?  Research suggests the answer is “yes”.

Three Indispensable Secret Habits of Aging Well:

1.        Get on and Stay on a Regular Program of
Detoxification from Stress

All of us on planet earth have to deal with stress on one form
or another. For the lucky few, that stress does not include
figuring out how to feed ourselves and shelter ourselves and
clothe ourselves.  But even among the lucky few who have no
money woes, the stress of battling the grind of life itself –
getting up in the mornings, navigating troubling relationships,
staving off boredom and depression –eventually take a toll.   
Stress has been studied rather extensively in the scientific
literature. Sifting among the results of dozens of studies on
stress over the past 40 years, the results have emerge:

– Stress hormones, particularly cortisol and adrenaline, impact
us physically as intensely as drugs such as cocaine or opium
or morphine. Get that? Our bodies react to overloads of stress
in the same way as they react to hardcore drugs.  To see the
proof, look at these pictures of identical twins. One twin has
gone through a stressful event such as a divorce, job loss, or

-You can reduce stress through exercise. Exercise slows the
release of stress hormones significantly. Exercise also appears
to dampen the peak levels of stress hormones. Perhaps
exercise is the real reason that the two athletes on this page
have stayed healthy well into their 90’s and beyond. They
"rinse" their bodies clear of stress on a regular basis,
restoring their bodies to a robust, youthful balance.

It is also worth noting that these athletes are not just doing
moderate exercise.

They are doing intensive, vigorous aerobic and strength
exercise at least 4 times a week. They are not just strolling.
They are

Now, on a personal note, I will tell you that I recently started
jogging with a personal trainer once a week 8 weeks ago. It’s
made a world of difference. I’ve lost about 10 pounds and I
feel good.  But I do it the smart way ---I choose dirt paths to
avoid straining my knees and hips, I never jog on asphalt or
concrete and I never jog when I feel pain. But the
exhilaration I feel the next day has surprised me. After the
first two tortuous weeks of adjustment, I now actually
“crave” my weekly jog with my trainer. I even have started
jogging an extra day by myself.  Runners have long known
about the secret bonus of running. Running releases
endorphins and enkephalins, chemicals inside our bodies that
blunt pain and induce pleasure, similar to morphine.

Many studies have confirmed this natural high produced by
running. In a 1992 study published in the Journal of
Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychology, it was observed
that endorphins are released within 30 to 60 seconds of high
intensity exercise such as running but that these endorphins
are not released even after an hour of moderate exercise.

-some foods can help you to manage stress. Here, lean on
leafy green vegetables to regulate stress hormones and to
improve your resistance to infection by supporting your
immune system. Think kale, collard greens, turnip greens,
spinach, broccoli, and bok choy.

Avoid "Plaque Episodes" Such as Strokes and Heart Attacks

I call strokes and heart attack “plaque episodes” because that
is exactly what they are.

Strokes are caused by the build up of plaque in your arteries
which occasionally breaks free and travels to your brain
where it wreaks havoc, causing ruptures. This same process
of plaque build-up can cause heart attacks. So, to give
yourself the very best chance to arrive at age 100 healthy and
fit enough to play tennis or run a marathon, you have to
decrease the amount of plaque on board.

Here again, food can help. Avoid animal fats. They are the
source of the LDL (“bad cholesterol”) that is the building
block of plaque. Eat plenty of grilled fish. Avoid fried foods in
general. Even fried fish has been linked to greater risk of

Eat fish, as I’ve said and also try boosting your intake of
omega-3 fatty acids by eating walnuts and other nuts high in
omega-3, taking
fish oil pills or krill oil. If you are taking
statins or other blood pressure medications, see your doctor
before taking fish oil or any other supplement of course.

Drink More Water Than You Need to Satisfy Your Thirst.

Did you know that simply drinking more water cuts your risk
of heart attack? A 2002 study of Seventh Day Adventists led
by researchers from Loma Linda University discovered that
drinking 5 or more glasses of plain water a day had 59%
fewer fatal coronary heart attacks than women who drank 2
glasses or fewer. Men who drank 5 glasses of water a day
had 46% fewer fatal heart attacks.

The reason that drinking water reduces your risk of heart
attacks is that it thins your blood. Watery blood is less likely
to contain the dreaded plaque. Watery blood is less likely to
cause inflammation throughout your body.

Most of us are dehydrated because our thirst mechanism is a
poor judge of the amount of water we actually need to drink
to maintain optimal health. For this reason, you should drink
to quench your thirst, then add a glass more.

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Burning Mouth Syndrome-Natural Remedies
Sore Throat-Causes and Remedies
Swollen Lymph Nodes-Top 10 Causes and Remedies
Swollen Ankles-Causes and Cures
Chronic Cough-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies
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Why Is My Nose Dry? -Causes and Top 10 Remedies
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