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This chapter is from the book

Lifestyle Secrets: Live Long and Prosper

If genes are 20 percent to 30 percent of the longevity equation, then what accounts for the other 70 percent to 80 percent?

Simple. How you live your everyday life.

Your lifestyle significantly affects how long you live. There are some very specific choices you can make that will give you a better shot at a long life than if you are more cavalier about it. It’s supposed to be quite simple: eat nutritious food and engage in regular physical activity. These are the basic health rules most medical professionals advise today (and most of us ignore). To a certain extent these ring true from the research that has been done, though drinking diet “anything” and getting your exercise from video games, doesn’t appear to be the solution to a hyper-long life. Jane Fonda aerobics and fruit smoothies aren’t either, at least not according to the longevity doctors.

Most of the common sense rules (that are backed up by longevity science) we list here are generally intuitive, although you might find a few surprising:

  • Eat less of everything

  • Eat nutritiously and consume less animal protein and more beans

  • Avoid obesity

  • Live with purpose

  • Live in a supportive community

  • Stay married

  • Drink wine in moderation

  • Stay active

  • Manage your stress

  • Don’t smoke or abuse drugs, including alcohol

  • Buy lots of books by Kay Walker, Sean Carruthers, and Andy Walker

Although this is by no means a complete and definitive list, it is a general snapshot of what scientists know about lifestyle choices that extend longevity. All except buying our books. That one will just keep you entertained, and it helps us pay for our fleet of yachts.

Longevity scientists have gleaned a lot from their research in the last couple of decades, which extensively includes the study of centenarians. Following is a look at some of the more significant research done on Super Agers.

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