ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
CANCER
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
CAREGIVING
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
Coffee or Tea Consumption May Lower Stroke Risk
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
EYE CARE, VISION
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
The Yearly Flu Shot Debate
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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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