May You Live To Be 100!
Smart And Spicy
September 14, 2017
Congratulations to cities and people who are 100. In the UK, the Queen sends a greeting card to everyone on their 100th birthday. It's a silver cup in Japan; royal greetings in Sweden; a President's letter in Italy. But in Ireland, you get money: €2,540 ($3017). In the U.S., the President congratulates you. * In 400 BC, life expectancy was 30 years. Centenarian: lives to 100 or beyond. Supercentenarian: lives to 110 or more (only 1 in 1,000 centenarians.) There were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide in 2012 (UN). 115 is the gold standard: only 43 people have indisputably reached 115. 120: Only one person reached it: Jeanne Calment lived to 122 years, 164 days. Most centenarians? The U.S. has 53,364, or 17.3/100,000 (2010 census). 82.8% were female. Japan's next, with most centenarians/capita, 40/100,000 in 2009 (Guinness). By 2050, Japan anticipates 272,000 centenarians. Longest male undisputed lifespan: Jiroemon Kimura, Japan, lived to 116 years, 54 days. Oldest living person? 117-year-old Violet Brown, Jamaica. Zheng Ji, Chinese, founded modern nutrition science in China, and lived to 110. Luise Rainer (actress), lived to 104, 13 days before 105.
Terentia, Cicero's wife, divorced him, then outlived him. She lived to 103, Cicero to 63. Queen Elizabeth's mother lived to 101. George Burns, Bob Hope, and Gloria Stuart lived to 100. Zsa Zsa Gabor lived to 99. Gardener Ruth Petersson Bancroft is 109; Norman Lloyd is 102; Author Herman Wouk is 102; David Douglas Duncan, photojournalist, is 101; Olivia de Havilland is 101. Who's 100? Kirk Douglas; conductor Antonio Coppola; architect I.M. Pei; Florence Knoll, furniture designer. Hoping for 100: Carol Channing (96); Nanette Fabray (96); Betty White (95); Carl Reiner (95); Doris Day (95); Eva Marie Saint (93); Dorothy Malone (92); Honor Blackman (92); Angela Lansbury (91). Queen Elizabeth II is 91. Dick Van Dyke (91) looked fit when he introduced Bernie Sanders in LA last year. Girl Scout cookies turn 100, first sold in 1917. * * * National Centenarian Day is September 22. Myrtle Feenberg, 101, credited positive attitude, volunteer work, and exercise. And willingness to forgive people. "I think a grudge or something like that absolutely eats on you." (ABC) * Want to live to 100? Outlook counts, says neurologist Dr. Gayatri Devi. One patient who thought old age was ugly, died at 84. When another patient said she'd resembled Elizabeth Taylor when young, the doctor said it must be difficult to have aged. Her answer? "What do you mean? Am I not still beautiful? She's now 100. Dr. Devi says friends from multiple generations help, plus learning, helping others, and not letting images get you down.
* VO2 max measures how well we use oxygen; the most widely accepted scientific indicator of fitness, it falls after 50, even with frequent exercise.French athlete Robert Marchand, 105, set a world record in one-hour cycling, pedaling over 14 miles. French professor Veronique Billat tested Marchand at 103, increasing strenuous training to 20%. Two years later, his VO2 max was 13% higher, comparing to a healthy 50-year old's. * UCLA researchers found that active people have substantially more brain matter related to memory and higher-level thinking, correlating with 50% less risk of memory decline/Alzheimer's. "For the purposes of brain health, it looks like it’s a very good idea to stay as physically active as possible," said Cyrus Raji, senior radiology resident, suggesting gardening and ballroom dancing. "If we want to live a long time but also keep our memories, our basic selves, intact, keep moving," Dr. Raji said. * "The most important thing that people can do to live a longer life is to be a self-directed individual," said Guinness' Senior Gerontology Consultant Dr. Robert Young. "That means they take charge of their daily routine; they go to bed the same time every day; they get up the same time every day; they control their food portions; they stay physically active; they stay mentally active; they stay socially engaged." * Misao Okawa held world record titles for Oldest living person and Oldest living woman; she lived to 117, one month. Her key to a long life: eat sushi and sleep at least eight hours. She told journalists, "You must be tired." * When Bess Cooper, of Monroe, Georgia, turned 115, Guinness called her the 'World's Oldest Living Person." Her secret: "I mind my own business, And I don't eat junk food." *
In 2016, Italian Emma Morano was the world's Oldest living person, at 116. Her diet, for 90 years: three eggs a day (two raw, one cooked), fresh Italian pasta, and raw meat. * Yisrael Kristal, the worlds oldest man, died August 11, at 113, 330 days. The oldest living Holocaust survivor, he weighed 37 kg. (81 lb.) when rescued by the Allies. "I don’t know the secret for long life. I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why. There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men than me who are no longer alive. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost." * Jiroemon Kimura was the oldest male, living to 116, 54 days. He believed the key to longevity is to be a healthy, small eater. "Eat light to live long" was his motto. * When he turned 100 on July 10, George Jedenoff went summer skiing. Married 74 years, he travels 10 miles to a nursing home to feed his wife, who has Alzheimer's. "I just feel so fortunate that I still have her and it’s not a chore, it’s a blessing to be able to pay her back for all the wonderful things that she’s helped me with all my life." Exercising 45 minutes a day, he says, "Make that part of your daily living, not a thing you sometimes do. I get up, brush my teeth, shave and go right down and exercise, and then I have my breakfast. If you do that, you won’t talk yourself out of it." He avoids rich, greasy foods; doesn't drink; and watches desserts. "Life is short, even if you go to 100 years. You have to spend time doing constructive things. Try to utilize your life for something important; try to do something good for someone else — that’s wonderful therapy in itself." * Jeanne Calment, the oldest person who ever lived, saw the Eiffel Tower being built. At 85 she learned fencing, and cycled at 100. She liked olive oil; had wine rarely. But she ate chocolate, 2+ pounds a week, and smoked from 21 to 117. At 120, she recorded a CD. She walked till falling a month before 115.
She credited her sense of humor to thinking clearly; she passed away at 122, 164 days. "What kind of future do you expect?" she was asked at her 120th birthday party. "A very short one." * May you live to be 100! And in good health! ______________________________________________ ©Carole Bell 2017 Carole Bell is a writer interested in everything. You can write to her at: email@example.com