How DO you live to 100?

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How DO you live to 100?

9 oldies in Spain’s hub of centenarians give their tips on staying young, fresh, healthy and Live long

 

  • Spain has more than 100,000 people aged over 100
  • The country has the 2nd highest life expectancy after Japan
  • Here 9 of the country’s centenarians give their advice on staying youthful

With more than 100,000 people aged 100 or over, Spain is the country with the greatest life expectancy after Japan, OECD data and the latest population census shows Spaniard live longer.
Over a year, Reuters photographer Andrea Comas interviewed and photographed Spaniards aged 100 or more across the country from the green-hilled northern region of Asturias to the Balearic island of Menorca.
Average life expectancy at birth in Spain is 83.2, according to the latest OECD statistics made available in 2013, just a shade below the 83.4 years on average a Japanese newborn can expect to live.

Most of the men and women Comas interviewed showed a zest for life and an interest in pastimes from amateur dramatics to playing the piano.

 

live long to 100

 

Many also continued to carry out daily duties from farm work to caring for a disabled child.
Pedro Rodriguez, 106, plays the piano every day in the living room of his flat in Asturias, northern Spain, where he lives with his wife who is nearly 20 years younger than him. Their daughters visit them often.
‘The nuns taught me how to play the piano as a child,’ he said after giving a rendition of a Spanish waltz.
The majority of these elderly people were surrounded by family or had loved ones calling in on them daily showing how Spain continues to be a closely-knit society, where family ties are paramount.
Francisco Nunez, 112, is the oldest person Comas interviewed. He lives with his octogenarian daughter in his house in Badajoz, south-western Spain. He says he doesn’t like the pensioners’ daycare center because it’s full of old people.
‘He hasn’t had to leave his home. I’m single and I live here with him,’ says daughter Maria Antonia Nunez, 81, as she adjusts his beret.

When questioned about their most vivid memories, many recall Spain’s 1936 to 1939 civil war which set neighbor against neighbor and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths followed by the 36-year dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Pilar Fernandez, 101, suffered hunger and hardship during the war years alongside her nine brothers and sisters. To avoid history repeating itself, she limited herself to one child.
‘From pure fear, I didn’t have any more,’ says the sprightly woman who lives with her daughter’s family in Asturias and tends livestock and a vegetable garden.
Tips for long life ranged from a spoonful of honey a day to regular intake of gazpacho, a traditional cold Spanish soup made from tomatoes and cucumbers.
Gumersindo Cubo, 101, from Avila, puts his longevity down to a childhood spent in a house in the woods with his eight brothers and sisters, where his father was a park ranger.
‘It’s from inhaling the pine resin from the woods where I lived as a child,’ he says, telling of how his mother would put a jar of the resin under the bed of the sick.

1. A SPOONFUL A DAY OF HONEY

With more than 100,000 people aged 100 or over, Spain is the country with the greatest life expectancy after Japan, OECD data and the latest population census shows.
Over a year, Reuters photographer Andrea Comas interviewed and photographed Spaniards aged 100 or more across the country from the green-hilled northern region of Asturias to the Balearic island of Menorca.
Average life expectancy at birth in Spain is 83.2, according to the latest OECD statistics made available in 2013, just a shade below the 83.4 years on average a Japanese newborn can expect to live.

Most of the men and women Comas interviewed showed a zest for life and an interest in pastimes from amateur dramatics to playing the piano.

 

live long to 100

 

2. PLAY PIANO

Pedro Rodriguez, 106, lives in Cangas de Onis, Asturias, in northern Spain.
Rodriguez plays piano every day in the living room of the flat where he lives with his wife who is nearly 20 years younger than him.
Their daughters visit them often.
His hobby is something that he feels has kept him young.
‘The nuns taught me how to play the piano as a child,’ he says after giving a rendition of a Spanish waltz.

 

pedro play piano to live long

 

3. EAT GAZPACHO

Maria Josefa Guillen, 103, lives in Cazalla de la Sierra, Seville, southern Spain.
Guillen lives with her disabled son.
She started working as a seamstress aged 12 and laughs when she recalls that the first item she had to sew was a ball gown.
Guillen loves gazpacho – a traditional Spanish cold tomato and cucumber soup. It is the soup’s nutritional value that she believes has kept her young.

 

eat EAT GAZPACHO to live long

 

4. TRUST YOUR GUT

Lucia Manzano, 100, lives in a residential home for the elderly in La Adrada, Avila, near Madrid, Spain.
Manzano laughs as she recalls dressing up in the colors of the fallen Second Spanish Republic to taunt visiting authorities in her village during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
But through everything, she believes her strength of conviction has kept her alive.
‘The most important thing in life is to stay loyal to yourself,’ she said.

Trust your Gut to live long

5. READ BOOKS AND PERFORM

San Miguel discovered his passion for amateur dramatics at the age of 80 and has participated in many local productions.
He didn’t go to school as a child because he was sent to work as a shepherd.
He enjoys reading books about traditions.
Those hobbies, he said, have kept him vitalized.

 

Read books to live long

 

6. FEEL YOUNG

Francisco Nunez, 112, is from Bienvenida, Badajoz, southern Spain.
Nunez lives with his octogenarian daughter.
He says he doesn’t like the pensioners’ daycare center because it’s full of old people.
Despite his old age, he has always maintained a youthful outlook, and that is what has kept him going.

 

feel young to live young

 

ALSO READ: NEW TRICK TO SLOW AGING

7. GET OUT OF THE CITY

Gumersindo Cubo, 101, is from Casavieja, Avila, near Madrid.
Cubo puts his longevity down to a childhood spent in a house in the woods with his eight brothers and sisters, where his father was a park ranger.
‘It’s from inhaling the pine resin from the woods where I lived as a child,’ he says, telling of how his mother would put a jar of the resin under the bed of the sick.

get out of the city and live long

 

8. TAKE ILLNESSES SERIOUSLY

Esperanza Fernandez, 103, is from Salamanca, central Spain.
Fernandez lives with her daughters.
Two of her sisters lived past 100 and another is about to celebrate her 100th birthday.
She remembers when an outbreak of influenza killed nearly half of her village as a child.
Her father shut the family in their house and prevented anyone from entering, saving her life.

 

take illness serious to live long

 

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