Living to see your 100th birthday is not as rare as it once was, and today's centenarians are ascribing their astounding longevity to everything from nutritious diets to yoga for healthy aging. According to one of Yahoo! Health's top stories, there may soon be far more 100-year-olds extolling the virtues of eating right and using stretching exercises for seniors.
According to data collected by the UK's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a 20-year-old Briton is twice as likely as his or her parents to reach a triple-digit age, the news source said. It added that the likelihood of reaching 100 years has skyrocketed in the past century.
Since 1911, the odds a newborn will reach their hundredth birthday have increased 50-fold, according to the DWP, which estimated that 500,000 living Brits will have hit this milestone by 2066.
The numbers are starker in the U.S., where even more centenarians are expected in the coming decades. The Census Bureau projected that, by the year 2050, 834,000 Americans will have lived a full century or more.
How does one live to 100? No particular strategy is "proven" to work, and it assuredly takes more than a little luck to avoid the accidents and infectious diseases that claim plenty of people before their 100th birthday. However, staying fit, eating right and reducing stress certainly couldn't hurt one's chances.
Some centenarians are just wild about yoga. Chinese social worker and 114-year-old Teresa Hsu told the Asian Scientist that she couldn't have done it without the holistic system.
"My secrets of longevity are simple: I stay positive, I contribute, I eat a healthy diet and every morning I do yoga," Hsu told the source during Hong Kong's Elderly Health Day 2011.
A study published in the journal Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics noted that many centenarians report using yoga or tai chi to maintain their physical activity levels.