Do you want to live to be 100 years old?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

aging woman
Doesn’t she look so joyful? That smile is contagious!

Did you know that back in the 1880s, people were only expected to live until the age of 40 years old? It’s kind of hard for me to imagine, especially because my great aunt Linda is over 80 and still thriving. Apparently, she’s not the only one still shuffling about at a ripe old age!

There are currently 50,000 Americans who are more than 100 years old, and according to Census data from 2010, this number is expected to grow to 1 million by 2050. Wow, most people nowadays are living to be more than twice as old as individuals from the past! What’s changed since then?

According to Dr. Jon LaPook, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, it’s mainly due to advances in medical technology. Deadly diseases that kill tons of people every year – like cancer, heart disease, and stroke – can be detected earlier and treated faster than ever before! Wait, so the whole reason we live longer lives is because of… machines? Nope, there’s more! Dr. LaPook also said healthy eating habits, constant exercise, and other positive lifestyle changes allow people to live longer as well. In fact, a recent study showed that men who adopted these kinds of practices were able to increase their lifespans.

If you want to live to be 100 years old, take care of yourself now. Visit the doctor for regular check-ups and make sure your body is in tip-top shape. Eat tons of nutritious foods while exercising regularly. Lastly, read books to keep your mind sharp. After all, if you’re going to reach the age of 100, why not make sure your body’s in prime condition!

Featured image courtesy of Marg on Wikimedia. Image of senior woman courtesy of T sundup on FotoCommunity.