ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
CAREGIVING
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
Dr Churchill & Ashley Pelton Interview 1 of 4
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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The Healthy Habits of Centenarians



Looking for the secret to the fountain of youth? Alas, there is no real way to stop the aging process.

But studies on people who live into their nineties and beyond offer several clues that may play a role in living longer and enjoying a high quality of life at a ripe old age.

Studies of twins suggest that environment, diet and lifestyle combined have a far greater influence than genes in how long you live. In fact, about 75 percent of known longevity factors are in your control.

Though there is no one formula, several lifestyle behaviors can influence longevity and physical and mental well-being. These involve eating well, exercising and using strategies to reduce stress, keep your mind active and stay positive.

By taking charge, you can have a real impact on your health and well-being. To improve your chances for a long healthy life, adopt some of the following habits of healthy, active centenarians - people who have lived well into their 10th and 11th decades:

Mind what goes into your body. Centenarians tend to eat well (but not overeat), refrain from smoking and drink moderately (or not at all). Your best bet is to choose wholesome foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and a variety of fatty fish or fish oil supplements for a dose of omega-3 fats. These foods provide the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that can help prevent chronic disease and keep weight and blood pressure in check. Some animal studies have also shown a link with calorie restriction and longer life. More research is needed, though, to see how this may affect humans.

Get moving. Experts agree there is no gray area when it comes to moving your body. Exercise is a proven way to prevent or delay many conditions like obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart problems. It can also ease arthritis pain, anxiety, stress and depression, which can all affect the aging process. Exercise also helps to reduce weight and blood pressure - factors shown to have a major impact on mortality.

Use your brain. Centenarians tend to engage in new and different activities and hobbies as they age. This may involve a second career, volunteering, taking up a musical instrument, writing or travel. Things that involve concentration, like crossword puzzles or reading, are often helpful.

Connect. Having a network of friends is part of the recipe for staying healthy. Whether this is through your church, family, volunteer work, leisure activities or community, it's important to find someone and something you can connect with. This feeds into the desire to be needed and can give you a sense of purpose and belonging. Feeling connected can also help to reduce stress.

Be faithful. There is a link between religion - no matter what faith - and better mental health and well-being, research suggests. High levels of religious belief appear to help older adults in overall coping abilities and their positive outlook on life. Further, prayer - like meditation or yoga - may calm you, help lower blood pressure and bring "inner peace."

Practice attitude and gratitude. People who live past 100 are generally better at handling stress and managing their emotions. They don't dwell on things that cause stress in their lives. Good mental health goes hand-in-hand with good physical health. Having good humor, feeling gratitude and a positive attitude are important, too. Try making a list of things you're grateful for to generate positive energy.


SOURCES:

* National Institute of Health. Prayer and spirituality in health: ancient practices, modern science. Accessed: 02/18/2009

* Curlin FA, Sellergren SA, Lantos JD, Chin MH. Physicians' observations and interpretations of the influence of religion and spirituality on health. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2007;167(7):649-654. Accessed: 02/18/2009

* Yates LB, Djoussé L, Kurth T, Buring JE, Gaziano JM. Exceptional longevity in men. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2008;168(3):284-290. Accessed: 02/18/2009