MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new study from Stanford and Time Magazine finds 77 percent of us want to live to 100, but aren’t putting in the work to get there. We always hear we should eat well and exercise, but what does that mean?
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Last month, many of us watched the viral video of Richard Mann, a 101-year-old man living in St. Paul, shoveling his neighbor’s front yard. He said at the time, “I could use the exercise, I don’t exert myself.”
On Thursday, he said he didn’t have any special secrets other than good diet, limiting alcohol, moving each day and sleeping well.
“I love my life, I enjoy my life,” he said. “I try to take care of myself.”
Some of how long we live depends on our genetics, because family history can play a big role as to whether we develop things like cancer or heart disease.
“Part of it is your genetics, but there’s a lot you can do to help it out,” says Dr. David Hilden, an internist at Hennepin County Medical Center who gives a talk called How to Live to 100.READ MORE: Family, Friends Use Kayaks To Save 2 Teenagers Swept Out Into Northern Minnesota Lake
He says the number one behavior would be not to smoke, followed by keeping your weight in check.
“It’s a good idea to check your BMI, but it’s not just that,” Dr. Hilden says. “If you’re carrying too much weight – 10 to 20 pounds – over your ideal weight, you should get that down. If you’re carrying more – 50 to 60 pounds – that’s clearly unhealthy.”
He says limit alcohol intake to one to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Don’t overindulge on the weekends, assuming it will all even out.
He also recommends people move as much as they can – everything from gardening to taking stairs to parking further away from the grocery store.
“It doesn’t have to be at the gym for 90 minutes a day,” he says. “You should get exercise most days of the week, in your normal activities.
Everyone over 50 should get routine colonoscopies and women should get mammograms, according to Dr. Hilden. He also says know your family history, keep your blood pressure in check and make sure you know your cholesterol.MORE NEWS: Next Weather Alert: SE Minnesota Remains Under Tornado Watch
“You have to enjoy your life, take time to do thing you enjoy and not worry so much about all the things you can’t control,” he says. “That comes to your health as well.”