Worldwide there are an estimated 450,000 centenarians, people who are living to 100-years-old and beyond. In Japan alone, the centenarian population has quadrupled in the last decade. We have also seen a rise in the number of supercentenarians, or those individuals that live past their 110th birthday.
By studying the lifestyle habits of the Okinawans of Japan, some of the longest-living and healthiest people on Earth, we are able to adapt their best practices to encourage healthy longevity and quality of life. Home Care Assistance developed the Balanced Care Method™, a unique approach to senior care based on five key lifestyle behaviors of the elders of Okinawa: healthy diet, physical exercise, active social ties, mental stimulation and a sense of purpose and calm.
Below we offer 5 ways to satisfy these lifestyle behaviors so that you may join the ranks of the centenarian elite.
- Go on a culinary adventure! Avoid boredom in the kitchen by adding new, fresh fruits and vegetables to creative and exciting dishes. Substitute coconut milk in your morning cereal for a refreshing improvement, or try quinoa, a wildly popular ancient grain. Exploring your culinary creativity at home has the added benefit of allowing you to try an assortment of nutritional foods until you find a dish best suited to your taste buds!
- Enjoy the company of loved ones and pets! Register for classes at a local community center or organize weekly activities with friends. Socializing has a slew of health benefits and, more importantly, can boost your mood! Companionship from a pet can also help reduce stress and boost mood, too!
- Show off new skills! There is no age limit to learning, so pick up a book, join a class or research online to learn something new! Youtube.com has a vast library of videos and is a great place to learn how to play a new instrument, speak a new language or pick up expertise on a variety of topics.
- Get moving, get grooving! Physical exercise has proven benefits for both the body and the mind. Instead of sitting around, try adding some fun into your exercise routine by playing your favorite tunes! In addition to boosting your mood, research has shown that music increases physical endurance, so turn up the volume and get moving!
- Find your passion and follow it! If you don’t already have a favorite hobby, don’t fret! Try new things by enrolling in a local yoga class, organizing a hike with friends, or traveling to a new country. You never know when–or where–you’ll find your passion!
Adapt these 5 tips for healthy longevity so that they best suit your lifestyle. In our blog, “Audrey Hepburn: Life, Love and Longevity”, you can see how the style icon adapted healthy habits to fit her lifestyle. Most importantly, we hope to inspire you to live a happier, healthier life at any age. For more information on improving happy and healthy longevity, read Happy to 102: The Best Kept Secrets to a Long and Happy Life from our critically-acclaimed senior wellness book series.