“Don’t fight the day, just let it be. Get up and be positive.”– Gussie Levine, 100 years old
With age often comes wisdom. Centenarians – people that have reached a hundred years of age – have plenty to share in that regard. Consider this: the average life expectancy worldwide is about 70 years old. So, what do those that outlive this statistic by thirty-plus years have to say about that?
Well, some of the answers and shared wisdom may surprise you. Not everyone reaches this rare milestone the same way. Some continue habits that many don’t find conducive to living to 100-plus years, while others swear by eating healthy, exercising and, of course, embracing treasured relationships.
Regardless of how these amazing folks have gotten to such a phase in their lives, many of them have something to say about simply living, being and enjoying the undeterminable time given to each of us.
Here are 15 shared secrets of staying young from centenarians:
1. “Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you.” – Gertrude Weaver, lived to 116 years old
Ms. Weaver lived to be 116 years old, and attributes her long life to simply being kind and loving to others. She sadly passed just five days after becoming the world’s oldest person.
2. “The trick is to not act your age.” – Marvin Kneudson, lived to 101 years old
Mr. Kneudson was indeed a young soul, but he also left a remarkable legacy. He helped develop the community college system across the Midwest.
3. “Attitude, attitude, attitude.” – Trudi Fletcher, 100 years old
A lifelong creator, Ms. Fletcher attributes her longevity to keeping a positive and realistic attitude about life.
4. “I was a good advertisement for the merchandise I selected on my frequent buying trips to New York.” – Lillian Cox, 107 years old
Ms. Cox remains a stylish and trendy woman well into the twilight her life. She confides that her resolve to simply eat less plays a key role in keeping her healthy and vibrant.
5. “Move it or lose it.” – Louise Calder, 101 years old
This woman is a poster child for exercise. She does 30 minutes of stretching before leaving her bedroom and walks a mile each day.
6. “Perhaps we are here to be an example to others in hard times.” – Robert McRaney, 101 years old
Ms. McRaney is a model of resilience, having rebuilt her home after it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. She attributes her good fortune to a higher power and a strong will.
7. “Just stay out of trouble.” – Harry Adler, 101 years old
Mr. Adler maintains that doing what we know is right and following one’s conscience in key to living a long life.
8. “A wonderful and loving family, the good Lord and a rum and coke every afternoon.” – Anonymous centenarian
One respondent to a survey to Forbes magazine wished to remain nameless, but left us with a good example of enjoying and appreciating family, faith and guilty pleasures.
9. “I picked the right parents and genes!” – Andy Weinandy, 100 years old
This smart gentleman is simply thankful to his parents and his favorable genes. He has a point: scientists do indeed credit genetics as having an influence on longevity.
10. “They’re (men) are more trouble than their worth.” – Jessie Gallan, lived to 109 years old
Okay, so this may not be a favorite quote of our male readers. Ms. Gallan was an independent woman that never married. She instead devoted her life to getting regular exercise, maintaining a close circle of friends, and working hard.
11. “I’ve never been to a beauty shop and I’ve never been vain.” – Adelina Domingues, lived to 114 years old
Ms. Domingues medical records are nearly empty – she never took any medications, broke a bone or went to the hospital. Then again, she never drank or smoked…amazing.
12. “I attribute my great longevity to a great extent to walking, not being in the back of the car strapped down.” – George Boggess, 103 years old
Mr. Boggess marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and served on the D.C. Superior Court. Aiming to live to 105 years, he credits his vociferous walking instead of driving as his main health secret.
13. “One, you gotta have good genes. Two, you gotta be damned lucky for 100 years. And three: try not to eat anything that’s healthy. It’s true. I eat whatever I want. The secret to longevity is ice cream.” – Paul Marcus, 101 years old
Remember how we said that not everyone achieves this age using common wisdom? Well, Mr. Marcus is Exhibit A. Good for him.
14. “Health, sleep and relaxation.” – Misao Okawa, lived to 117 years old
Ms. Okawa was not one for words, hence the absence of a quote. However, she credited her long life to a diet of sushi, eight hours of sleep and remembering to relax. A Japanese native through her entire life, her countrymen are notorious for living to an old age. Japan is currently the home country to over 50,000 centenarians.
15. “Sleep, bacon, eggs and grits.” – Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116 years old
No quotation needed. Ms. Jones is one to enjoy food and the simple pleasures of life. She turned 116 in July, 2015, and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, she is the oldest person currently alive. Her family states that they are inseparable, and that Ms. Jones also credits her healthy life to her family’s love and her generosity to others.