How to Live to Over 100 in Good Health

Certain women and men live more than 100 years while remaining healthy. Even more astonishing? They seldom pay a visit to the doctor’s office.

So, what’s their secret? In this article, we unveil the age-old wisdom that can pave your way to joining the exclusive centenarian club while maintaining vitality. By adapting your lifestyle in a certain way, you too can pass the 100-year mark while remaining in good health.

In America, Asia, and Europe, regions are renowned for their exceptional longevity rates, aptly named “Blue Zones”. These places offer a wealth of inspiration for those pursuing a longer and healthier life.

The Blue Zones

Blue Zones are geographic areas where life expectancy reaches astonishing heights.

Sardinia, in Italy, was found to have the highest concentration of centenarians in the 2000s. To date, five zones stand out globally for their high concentration of centenarians in good health:

  • Loma Linda, California
  • The island of Ikaria, Greece
  • The island of Okinawa, Japan
  • The Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
  • The region of Ogliastra, Sardinia

These extraordinary regions were identified by demographers Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain, alongside journalist Dan Buettner, the author of the enlightening article “The Secrets of Longevity” published in National Geographic magazine.

Buettner, the author of the book “The Blue Zones” has since travelled the world in search of new blue zones, leading to adopting their life-enhancing principles in various regions of the USA.

Their longevity secret lies partly in their strong faith communities, deep social networks, and habits of regular, low-intensity physical activity.”
Dan Buettner

Dan Buettner's book on Blue Zones

Centenarians Around the World

Blue Zones aren’t the only place to find centenarians in great shape. As long as you live in a society that can provide security and a healthy lifestyle, living beyond 100 is within everyone’s reach anywhere in the world. For example, there are dozens of healthy centenarians in Los Angeles alone.

Tips for Living a Long and Healthy Life

The following paragraphs offer advice on becoming a centenarian, inspired by common factors revealed in the testimonies of centenarians across five continents.

Work and Environment Matter

Your occupation and living environment play pivotal roles in determining your life expectancy. Physically demanding jobs like construction or agriculture can affect your health. If your circumstances permit, consider a career change that prioritises your well-being.

Similarly, feel free to explore alternatives if your current living space doesn’t foster well-being. Opt for locations with pristine air and water quality and access to unspoiled nature and nutritious food.

Prioritise Everyday Activity Over Strenuous Exercise

You needn’t become a professional athlete to secure a long life. Simple activities like walking for at least 60 minutes daily can strengthen your immune system. Choose natural settings for your walks, as the air quality makes a difference. Associate pleasure with your daily walk; the dopamine rush and sense of freedom contribute to your well-being.

Sleep Deeply for 6 to 8 Hours Per Night

A lack of sleep is a recipe for illness and weakened health. Establish bedtime routines that ensure deep and restful sleep.

Going to bed early and getting up early is the best way to care for yourself. Consider incorporating a daily nap of 30 to 60 minutes, a practice commonly embraced by centenarians.

Eating light in the evenings is essential, as well as avoiding alcohol, coffee and fizzy drinks. Screens and their brightness have the effect of agitating your nervous system, which will prevent you from falling asleep quickly. So, avoid spending hours in front of the TV or on your phone before bed.

Do you want to know a handy trick to help you sleep well night after night? Drink an infusion of verbena, orange blossom or chamomile two hours before bed. Then, spend some time reading. Reading various books has prolific effects in helping you fall asleep soundly.

Nutrition Matters

Maintain a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, either raw or cooked, to fortify your immune system.

Avoid saturated fats and processed foods. Opt for lean proteins like fish and seafood while steering clear of red meat and processed meats. It is also vital to dose accordingly when it comes to spices, salt and sugar.

Secrets to living over 100 years

Water: The Source of Life

Water is the elixir of life. Ensure you consume 1 to 2 litres of water daily to support bodily functions. Sip a glass of water upon waking and before meals, with occasional sips throughout the day. Avoid sugary and carbonated beverages.

Shopping and Cooking

Take charge of your nutrition by shopping for fresh ingredients daily and learning to cook. Cooking is an enjoyable and enriching activity that fosters a harmonious relationship with your surroundings.

Kick the Habit: No Smoking

Bid farewell to cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes. Seek assistance if you’re a smoker, as it dramatically reduces life expectancy.

In fact, smoking a pack of 20 cigarettes a day reduces life expectancy by at least ten years. The good news? It only takes 30 days to quit smoking. It may be easier said than done, but you’ll get there if you decide to prioritise your health.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Moderation is key when it comes to alcohol. Steer clear of strong and cheap alcoholic beverages. Favouring naturally produced alcohol like craft beers and sweet wines can benefit your body. Enjoy your drink in the company of friends and family for maximum joy.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Chronic conditions like diabetes, cholesterol issues, cardiovascular disorders, and obesity can dramatically curtail life expectancy. In the case of obesity, the situation becomes dramatic due to the risk of cardiovascular problems. Gradually adapt your eating habits, avoid snacking between meals, and regain vitality.

Exercise Your Brain

Stimulating brain activities is the best remedy for good mental health. Combining study and learning habits means avoiding diseases linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s. The brain is a muscle! Stimulating your neurons creates pleasure while allowing your brain to oxygenate.

Choosing activities that interest you is the best way to ensure consistency. If you like crosswords or Sudokus, great! But many other hobbies, like reading or learning various skills, are just as beneficial.

Cultivate a Social Life

Maintain meaningful connections with family, friends, and neighbours to enrich your life personally and socially. Engaging in dialogue, sharing ideas, and expressing emotions contributes to your overall well-being. Moreover, you should avoid associating with people who exert a negative influence.

A social life allows you to live healthier. Experience proves that social connection is an essential factor in fighting illness, and it has a real influence on the body and well-being. Conversely, isolating yourself risks cognitive deficits such as dementia or amnesia.

Embrace a Simple, Active Lifestyle

Many centenarians lead uncomplicated lives, valuing daily routines and a purposeful existence. They prioritise active pursuits and maintain a simple, non-materialistic outlook. Engaging in daily activities with a sense of purpose helps define their lives.

Many centenarians remain active, with a purpose and daily activity. By having a daily goal, centenarians have succeeded throughout their lives in giving meaning to their lives. Worship or other regular communal activities are a great way to be part of a community and interact with others.


Genetics is crucial in life expectancy, particularly genes linked to cholesterol levels and immune system function. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can enhance your genetic predisposition for a longer and healthier life. Whether you’re 20, 40 or even 60, there is always time to do the right thing.

Supercentenarians Around the World

While scientists believe the upper limit for human life expectancy is around 120 years, some exceptional individuals have surpassed this milestone. Jeanne Calment, a Frenchwoman, lived to the remarkable age of 122. Among men, Japanese citizen Jiroemon Kimura holds the record, living to the age of 116.

Supercentenarians Reach the 110-Year Milestone!

Supercentenarians—those who surpass 110 years of age—continue to emerge worldwide. China, Spain, Japan, Italy, Portugal, and the USA boast notable concentrations of these remarkable individuals.

Here, we unveil the official list of the ten longest-lived supercentenarians, all of whom are women:

1. Jeanne Calment France
122 years and 164 days 21.02.1875- 04.08.1997

2. Kane Tanaka Japon
119 years and 107 days 02.01.1903 – 16.04.2022

3. Sarah Knauss USA
119 years and 97 days 24.09.1880 – 30.12.1999

4. Lucile Randon France
118 years and 341 days 11.02.1904 – 17.01.2023

5. Nabi Tajima Japan
117 years and 260 days 04.08.1900 – 21.04.2018

6. Marie-Louise Meilleur Canada
117 years and 230 days 29.08.1880 – 16.04.1998

7. Violet Brown Jamaica
117 years and 189 days 10.03.1900 – 15.09.2017

8. Emma Morano Italy
117 years and 137 days 29.11.1899 – 15.04.2017

9. Chiyo Miyako Japan
117 years and 81 days 02.05.1901 – 22.07.2018

10. Delphia Welford USA
117 years and 66 days 09.09.1875 – 14.12.1992

According to stories from China, there are women and men over 130 years old in remote micro-regions of the country. These rural and out-of-reach regions would be conducive to the longevity of human life.

One last interesting note is that when very old people die, they peacefully leave our world in their sleep. It tends to be that their hearts stop beating, just like a battery that can no longer provide energy. It’s not some nasty illness forcing them to leave the earthly world, but simply the clock of time reaching its end.

Last Updated on January 19, 2024


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