Extending life

TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- America has more centenarians than any other country and the number of 100 year olds is exploding. The number has roughly doubled in the last 20 years and is expected to double again by 2020!

Jim and Jane Corrigan. Each 90 years old, have been married 64 years and still exercise regularly.

James said, "As far as aging. I've never done it before, so I'm not familiar how to do it."

Then there's Mary Manuel, 94 years young. Sees her doctor once a year. Every day she takes B-12, Vitamin C and D.

"I'm really a very happy person and I don't think about too many things in life except my family," Manuel said.

So what's the secret to living almost a century?

"I don't have any secrets whatsoever," James said.

But these nonagenarians have this in common: They're active, have a solid family base and eat well.

"I never thought I'd get this age, but I have and I feel pretty good," Jane stated.

To push 100, studies say stick with the basics: Get at least seven hours of sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and exercise about two and a half hours a week, including balance activities.

Dr. Jose Santana, MD, MPH at Baycare Internal Medicine said, "An elderly person who participates in balance activities such as Tai Chi is less likely to have falls."

Santana steers clear of anti-aging pitches like overdoing vitamins.

"By far most patients do not have to go out and purchase 20 different nutrient supplements," Santana shared.

Some conventional wisdom is wrong. For example, a California study found that men do benefit from marriage, women, maybe not. And pet therapy does not seem to extend life. But to add more years, hard work wins over being laid back. So if you rest, you rust!

Santana agrees that avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is the key to extending life. Researchers have been looking at other ways, like removing the body's worn out cells, but that hasn't been proven effective in humans.

Contributors to this news report include: Emily Maza Gleason, Producer; Travis Bell, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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