It’s a question that many people ask themselves: what is the secret to centenarians’ longevity? Here are ten tips to follow to try to live an old and healthy life, according to Dr. Christophe de Jaeger, physiologist and member of the TipsForWomens expert committee.
Every time a journalist interviews a healthy centenarian, they ask them what their secret to longevity is. If there is no “miracle” recipe for living to an old age, certain good habits maximize the chances of reaching this age. Indeed, confirms Dr. Christophe de Jaeger, “we know very well the essential factors for longevity, making it possible to improve health and delay illness“. Discover them quickly!
One of the first tips we can give to stay healthy is to move. “We know that a sedentary lifestyle is a major scourge of our current Western societies. It promotes inflammatory diseases, cancers and all pathologies of the cardiovascular and metabolic system“notes the specialist.”But unfortunately, it is not enough to say it for people to start moving, they must have motivation, a real desire to do it.”
Maintain social connections
Sociability is an essential element in aging well. “Remaining socially integrated, having friends, talking… All of this slows down cognitive decline, it’s proven!” confirms Dr de Jaeger.
Have a good sleep
Important at all ages of life, sleep must be of good quality to hope to reach the age of one hundred. “Generally, sleep deteriorates with age. It is also greatly disturbed by the stress that an individual may feel, whether internal or from an external source, such as noise or light pollution, in large cities.” adds the doctor.
For Dr de Jaeger, this point is still too little developed in Europe. “It is rather a typically American reflection. They understood the benefit of taking vitamins, which involves knowing what you might be deficient in… This is important, because just because you eat a little fruit and vegetables doesn’t mean you are not lacking in certain vitamins” says the doctor, who recommends regular preventive medical check-ups and correcting any deficiencies.
Opt for a balanced diet
The benefits of a diet based on the Mediterranean diet have been known and scientifically proven for many years. “You must both opt for a quality diet, but also adhere to calorie restriction. The benefits of fasting are also interesting for the body” specifies our expert.
Avoid ultra-processed products
This goes along with the previous tip. “It is important to avoid this type of food which promotes inflammation, it is not always easy, depending on lifestyle, whether you cook your meals or not… Beyond these products, These are also all other toxic substances for the body, such as tobacco, alcohol or drugs that must be avoided. underlines the doctor.
Take a cold shower
We know that cold water has many benefits for the body. “It is often in the Nordic countries that this is practiced.” indicates the expert. “This stimulates the immune system, but also the cardiovascular and neurovegetative systems, but we still have to be able to do it!“.
Do regular health checkups
Regularly doing tests and check-ups to know your state of health is one of the measures to take care of your health and in fact promotes longevity. “But you still have to have the desire” estimates the doctor. “Too often, patients do not see the usefulness of this type of examination, and lack the motivation to question their lifestyle.”
Maintain an intellectual curiosity
Go to an exhibition, learn a new language… To live a long life, it is essential to maintain intellectual curiosity. “It’s part of the dynamics of life“for Dr. de Jaeger.”It is a strong element for aging well. But sometimes, at a certain age, people lose this taste and become depressed. We can then help them with antidepressants, but it is not always easy to get them to follow treatment of this type at an advanced age.“.
Give meaning to your life
Finally, you have to give meaning to your life, whatever your age. “This is perhaps the criterion that I will put first, because it conditions all the others“notes the specialist.”When we give meaning to our life, when we feel useful and not excluded from society as some people may feel when they retire, we naturally reach out to others, we will take care of our health. , we’re going to do sports, we’re going to eat better… Everything ultimately comes from this”.
And who are the people who do it best? For Dr de Jaeger, these are those who are invested in a mission like reaching out to others, “as part of a religious or political investment for example, or through volunteering, quite simply”.