As a young child, I remember looking at older folks and thinking, "Wow, will I ever be that old?" I still remember thinking people were ancient if they said they were in their 50s or 60s.

Now, as I deal with life as a middle-aged man, I realize that I'm not as old as I once felt people were at this age. And as people are living longer and longer, I may have more of my life left than I expected. I can only hope to someday be one of the many centenarians living in Michigan.

What is a Centenarian?

Simply put, a centenarian is anyone over the age of 100 years old. Right now, that's anyone born in 1923 or earlier. Before the Great Depression. Lucky for me and my family, my grandmother is one of them, as she just turned 100 this past year!

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Which Country Has The Most Centenarians?

According to US News, the top four places in the world with the most centenarians are island nations. Guadeloupe currently holds the top spot, followed by Barbados and Martinique in second and third place. But, with the United States at #11 on the list, this does not mean you have to live in a tropical climate to make it to your 100th birthday.

How Many Centenarians are in Michigan?

Michigan Radio did a piece on Michigan's centenarians a while back, and they reported that according to the 2010 census, there are now over 1700 Centenarians in the state of Michigan and that number is climbing as people are starting to live longer.

How Can We Make it to 100?

When it comes to the dos and don'ts of living a long life, it was no surprise to see the things you can do to decrease your life expectancy compared to the ways to extend it. Umzu stated the advice as follows:

Things That Hurt Longevity:  

Overworking, Stress, Smoking/Vaping, Environmental Toxins, and Excessive Alcohol. No surprise there.

However, the list of ways to increase longevity has a couple of (in my opinion) surprises.

Ways To Increase Longevity: 

Healthy Diet, Exercise, and Meditation/Yoga came as no shock to me. Obviously, the better you take care of yourself, the better you feel. But the other two were a bit of a surprise.

Number 4 on the list: "Be Social"

I would never have thought about it that way but it makes total sense. Social people always seem much more happy/confident than those who are quiet and subduedAnd happiness reduces stress, which reduces internal issues, which help to support healthy functions, which... well, you get the idea.

Number 5 on the list: "Sleep More Than You Think"

This one caught me off guard. I understand the importance of good sleep, but I never realized that more sleep promotes more life, like how it helps to manage stress, how managing stress can combat insomnia, and how insomniacs are more likely to be anxious and depressed, which can cause inflammation in the body, that can shorten overall longevity.

I am proud to not only know but be related to one of Michigan's current centenarians.

Happy 100th, Grandma!

And love to all of our current centenarians! Here's to 100 more years.

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