Regular Contributor

What is the secret to long life?

I have 98 year olds in my family who never watched what they ate, smoked a pack-a-day since their early teens, never read how-to books,never saw a psychiatrist and never exercised a day in their lives while we have 50-year olds who have had massive heart failures.


Do you have a secret to share?

Bronze Conversationalist

My approach is to act like an adult whenever I have too 👴, and act like the 10 year old who's locked inside of me every chance i get . 👦  So far so good.

Periodic Contributor

1. Be dealt a good genetic hand

2. Keep moving and stay active
Regular Contributor

Above all thank God everyday for His blessings.  Honor parents and care for them each day, be a decent, moral person and follow the Golden Rule.  Set reachable goals, live an active life and learn to rest and relax.  Eat nutritious food and get a good night's rest, enjoy being around others and be satisfied and happy with your surroundings.  That to me is the secret of living a long, well deserved life.





Regular Contributor

Seems to me, the secret to long life is to put off dying, just as long as possible.

Bronze Conversationalist

You also have another secret to long life; a good sense of humor!
Sir Granny Tracy

Starting new things to do.  Just begin and let your mind flow with it,  if you feel this is not for me, then try something else.

I started Qigong, because of tripping, literally.  They say as you stand, you become a tree, your feet are your roots and your head is in the heavens, gathering all the Qi from above and sending it down to your roots.  I love that idea! Your arms are your branches, so let them sway in the air.

Then, I started to embroidery.  I started small, butterflies, which makes me smile everyday and orange leaves that reminds me of fall days- jumping in the leaves, dancing and singing, it brings such beauty and happiness to your mind. I remember embroidering as a young girl introduced by my Mom.

I love talking with my grandchildren, their minds are opening and searching.  They have plenty to say as you sit with them. Each of them has their own personality, so let them blossom, even if one is so quiet like a tomb.

Exercising not so much until I ran into, then it became fun, relaxing and very enjoyable.  You can play your own music with them as they guide you to the next exercise, building your muscles, and they have so many to choose.

I love to read and found out you can read your favorite books right on your iPad. That means traveling into other worlds, and excitement.

Are you a gamer? Begin on your computer or iPad and meet people all over the world, which Love to meet you.

The key is To Open Your Mind and explore, no matter what it is!



Trusted Contributor

I thought I knew all the do’s and don’ts for a long life. The regimen generally revolves around a good diet, moderate exercise, socialization, etc. and then I came across an article on the Internet: Why People in "Blue Zones" Live Longer Than the Rest of the World. The first things I wanted to know were -- What are Blue Zones and where can I find them?

Blue Zones are places where people consistently have fewer chronic illnesses and seem to thrive longer than most. So, where are they? Italy, Japan, Costa Rica, and the only city in the U.S. that qualified -- Loma Linda, CA. In these places, people can exceed 100 years. Surprisingly, their diets are not too dissimilar from what we should already be following although I like the idea of the 80% rule. Eat until you are 80% full and not 100%. Intermittent fasting is also recommended. Fasting is whatever works for you. I find fasting not only good for my body, but good for my soul.

Maybe the one thing that people seem to be doing in Blue Zones is practicing what they preach. We know what we’re supposed to do. People in these locates actually do it – habitually; no exceptions.

While I have no plans to relocate, I concluded that there’s no earthly reason why I can’t add more years to my life. Some might say that the most difficult part of any new journey is getting started. I would say it’s maintaining the momentum, so take it a day at a time.

I encourage you to read the online article that inspired me to want more time. Just imagine making a few changes that could potentially pay off in big dividends such as a healthier, more rewarding, and longer life.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”    --Rumi


In addition to the regular things such as eating right, sleeping 7 hours minimum, exercising on a regular basis, no smoking, and an occasional alcoholic drink this 80 year old volunteers. Working for a chamber of commerce as a citizen member with a business background and mentoring/counseling small business people as another volunteer opportunity gives me the chance to contribute to the betterment of society but also allows me personally to learn more from the combined experiences far more than than the sum of my contibutions to each individual task. Continuously challenging ones mind keeps a person young.

Social Butterfly

My secret is keeping it to no more than two beers and one cigar a day.  Hmmm, I guess it is no longer a secret!

Periodic Contributor

Doing everything in moderation. No smoking and no excessive alchol or other drugs. Keep the body and mind moving. Have ambitions. Don't just stay alive; live. And, lastly, good genes help.


     One must take care of oneself in the thought of to survive.


     Finding true happiness can be of help.


     A good interaction with other people is nice.


     Eat good food. Find a nice occupation. Live in a nice home.


     Relax. Enjoy alone time.


The secret to long life is the fountain of youth, but until I find it this is what I do:


1. Early to bed early to rise, avoiding night time stimuli such as tv, cell phone, internet, late night eating.


2. First thing upon awakening put a smile on your face (endorphine release) and give yourself a           positive message. I say "I am thankful, grateful and blessed" you choose.


3. Practice qigong energy breathing, active movements and meditations (every day). I chose Spring Forest Qigong. This has had the single BIGGEST impact on the quality of my life.


4. Diet, study diets and then create your own. Know one knows you better than you and this will     work best. I believe in supplements too, but you really have to do your homework here. There is a lot of expensive snake oil out there. Try as best as you can to use pharmaceutical grade products, because here you do get what you pay for and cheap can do more harm than good.


5. Exercise, again you choose. I love the mini rebounder (trampoline) for the aerobics portion, 6 minutes equals one mile (decide how far you want to go). This is the best exercise for your lymph system and is the most fun for the buck. Play some upbeat music to go with it and jump away. Also strength training, don't forget this part, it is very important.


6. Add ons are acupuncture, chinese cupping, hydrotherapy, and sunshine (I live in Arizona) but you can use an earthing mat indoors I enjoy that too. Last, my qigong mentor always says "what will be will be, what won't be won't be" Just chill, because if not today then tomorrow if not tomorrow then the next day but it will happen. The goal no matter what you choose is Good, Better, Best!


I am a 96 year old WWII vet who enjoys volunteering two or three 8 hour days each week in a local hospital. I visit about 25 to 35 patients each day with puzzles and magazines to help them pass the time.  If you are able to help others, I find it adds a true purpose and possibly years to your life.


My grandmother died one month shy of one hundred and three and was flushing the butts down the toilet when ever she could get a sigeret.


Always inhale. As long as you inhale, you're fine. It's the exhalation, without the inhalation that'll kill you! 


Move as much as you can or go to a gym for exercise at least 3 times a week doing at least 20 minutes 2 times a week of doing some weight lifting.  That takes care of your body.  So far to keep your mind busy, read at least 3 books a month of any kind of issue.  I prefer reading James Patterson a great novelist of fictional books.  I do not buy the books, I go to the library to get them.  I am also taking free on line courses from Hillsdale College, which I highly recommend.  They have many interesting themes like a study of the Constitution of the USA (101) followed by Constitution 201, Aristotles' ethics (one of the finest on line courses that I have ever taken), The Presidency and the Constitution, etc. You learn a lot (at least I do) and keep your brain working as you have to read certain excerpts from books about the subject matter and take quizzes all along.  Good luck!  And by the way stay out of the TV as much as you can.   


Enjoying the job you have,It is a third of your life.And taking care of your health,Hobby you enjoy,


Regular Contributor

Genetics, exercise, and eating habits 


The secret to long life is to never stop breathing!

Periodic Contributor

1) genetics

2) genetics

3) genetics

4) Diet. I drink ProFiber Food meal replacement in morning, something light for lunch, and a savory meal for dinner. Good to enjoy food, too.

5) be active

Periodic Contributor

I really think the answer to this is a good routine which is not unnecessarily inflexible and being a person who can amuse themselves even in solitude and also a reader. I just feel like readers are people who get others' perspectives better. 

Social Butterfly

I have a 98 year old acquaintance that has a daily cigar and shot of bourbon.  Now that’s what I'M talkin about!

Bronze Conversationalist

My grandparents all passed away in their 80's, and so did my father. My mother passed away quite young from blood poisoning, so we can't count her.

I'm fairly young at heart, and I see humor everywhere; that helps I think. I'm blessed with 3 sons and 8 grandchildren so I see them when I can. Playing with children is great for stamina and keeping our brains active, at least I feel so.

When I married at 22 I weighed 128, and my weight stays close to that, (125-128). I exercise  moderately 5 days a week and I walk 5 days a week for about one hour, but I don't make myself crazy. I've had hip and knee replacement so I work on not having to have the other 2 done. (Arthritis)

I eat 3 meals a day and don't snack, because it has been my life pattern not to snack. Though I watch what I eat, I don't deny myself, and I have a glass of wine every night. I don't eat out a lot though and I cook my meals and seldom eat prepackaged foods. Blood pressure and cholesterol are normal for my age which is 69.

btw: I smoked for MANY years, but quit 19 years ago; that could be the great equalizer.

Genetics I think has a lot to do with growing older, but so does lifestyle, friends and family. Ten years from now I'll have a better idea of what works and what doesn't and I'll weigh in again with an opinion.

Sir Granny Tracy
Regular Contributor

I am 69 & I exercise like I'm 30 five days a week. I ski most of the winter on expert slopes, bicycle 35 miles in 2 1/2 hrs. on a hybrid bike, kayak 3+ hrs., & work out at the gym like I did when I was 30. I admit my greatest fear is not dying, but not being able to do the things I do now. It's not how long you live, it's how you enjoy the time you have on this planet. I want to go out in a blaze of glory! Except for one separated shoulder I did skiiing in Canada, I am blessed with great physical conditioning. I get exhausted, have pains, but I work through it. The secret is work out like you are 30 & never, ever let yourself get out of shape in the first place.


Simple as a, b, c.

Attitude, action and acceptance. 

   Balance, breathing and brotherhood.

     Caring, communing and changing.


I think it is keeping a positive attitude, eating as healthy as possible, socializing and willingness to help others.  Oh, and sleeping at least 7-8 hours each night.

Regular Contributor

Thanks for the views, the encouraging comments and advice! For me I swear never to 1) increase my pant size which was an 8 Petite from when I got married 55 years ago, 2) to see my grandchildren have children and 3) working on the bucket list to leave behind, which gets longer every day!


Do interesting things, learn, share, eat well, and be grateful.

Regular Contributor

I have said this on several similar Forums. The key is being Happy, Having a Great Partner and keeping Active. Stop feeling sorry for all things that happen as you age. I am 84 years old and my wife is 83 yrs old. We are very active I still work 2 days a week and Volunteer and my wife is also very active. The old saying is true "A happy wife, a happy life"


Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Need to Know

Bring back your memories for a chance to win $1,000 each week. Enter Now For a Chance to Win! Ends 4/2/23.

AARP Throwback Sweepstakes

More From AARP