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    10 Healthy Aging Tips From Centenarians

    Relationships, an Active Mind, Humor Make the List in Centenarian Poll
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    July 29, 2008 -- Staying close to family and friends, keeping your mind active, and having a sense of humor are keys to healthy aging, centenarians say in a new poll.

    The poll, conducted by phone, included 100 U.S. centenarians. Here are their top 10 tips for healthy aging -- along with the percentage of how many said the tip is "very important" (they could call more than one tip "very important"):

    • Stay close to your family and friends: 90%
    • Keep your mind active: 89%
    • Laugh and have a sense of humor: 88%
    • Stay in touch with your spirituality: 84%
    • Continue looking forward to each new day: 83%
    • Keep moving and exercising: 82%
    • Maintain a sense of independence: 81%
    • Eat right: 80%
    • Keep up with news and current events: 63%
    • Keep making new friends: 63%

    "If I could leave any message, never stop learning. Period," centenarian Maurice Eisman says in the poll report.

    "I think the worst thing is stress, and you can avoid a lot of it by the way you manage your life," adds 102-year-old Marianne Crowder of Palo Alto, Calif.

    Some of the centenarians -- who were actually as young as 99 -- have picked up some modern ways: 19% use cell phones, 12% have used the Internet, 3% say they've dated someone they met online, and 45% could identify 2005 American Idol winner Carrie Underwood.

    When asked to pick a favorite celebrity to invite to a "fantasy dinner party," Bill Cosby was their top pick, followed by Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey. Britney Spears and Howard Stern were their least favorite choices; most knew who Spears and Stern are.

    GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media polled the centenarians by phone in April and May for Evercare, a health care coordination program for the elderly and people with long-term or advanced illnesses or disabilities. Because the poll only included centenarians in good health, the results may not apply to everyone in that age range.

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