100-Year-Olds Talk About Their Biggest Regrets And Best Advice (Video)

While no one knows for certain why some people live longer than others, the secrets behind aging fascinate pretty much everyone. Researchers have studied it for decades, but the science behind longevity is still not completely understood.

Some key factors have been identified, however, that could explain why some people live to be 100 years or older. Your personality is one, of course, and so is your diet, along with education and being mindful and social. But while you can seek a doctor’s opinion or follow all the nutritional and exercise rules, the best advice comes from those who’ve outlived most others: living centenarians.

YouTube channel LifeHunters interviewed three centenarians about their lives, lessons they learned along the way and even their regrets. Their advice comes from more than 100 years of experience—so it’s definitely worth listening to.

First up is Cliff Crozier, who was born in the United Kingdom in 1915, making him 101 at the time the video was filmed. Crozier fought in the war, but has since been retired for 38 years.

“It always pleases me, though, that I can keep robbing the government with my pension,” he says.

Crozier’s diet includes making his own bread by hand, and he says “a spot of whiskey occasionally helps.”

Crozier says he and his wife had problems, just like most couples, but they got through them. He believes people nowadays give up too easily.

His life advice? “Communicate, speak with your parents. And take their advice, too. Or at least consider it, you don’t always have to follow it. But certainly don’t throw it out of the window,” Crozier says. “Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted and be as independent as you can be, but don’t be reluctant to ask for help when you think you need it.”

grandparents photo
Flickr | benjaminasmith

Next is Amelia Tereza Harper from London. She was born in 1913 and lived in Czechoslovakia with her grandparents as a child because her father was a prisoner of war. She says one key to her long life is how she ate growing up.

“It’s all the food that my mother cooked and, first of all, grew in the garden,” she says. “We always, always had fresh food when we were youngsters. Always. Straight from the garden, into the pan and onto the plates.”

Harper was married to her husband from the age of 16 until he died when he was 70. She lost her first two children, a set of twins, and said it was the most tragic moment of her life. But while says while she will never forget, she has healed.

“It’s really wonderful to have something left behind,” she says. “Even if they are no longer here, they’re there, they’re in your mind, they’re in your air. All around you. It’s really a wonderful, wonderful feeling.”

Harper has no regrets and says her bucket list is complete.

“I’ve done practically everything that I’ve ever wanted to do in the past,” she says. “Everything makes me happy. I love talking to people, I like doing things. I like going out shopping.”

Her advice on how to live your life with others? “A good idea is to behave well to other people, show them respect,” Harper says. “And help them as much as you possibly can, and it will be repaid hundredfolds.”

world war I photo
Flickr | simpleinsomnia

Last up is John Denerley, who is also from the U.K. He was born in 1914 and says he had a relatively easy life, even though he served with the Royal Air Force for five years.

“It was an adventure more than a penalty, even amongst the bombs,” he says.

Denerley enjoyed jazz music when he was younger, saying, “I wasted a lot of time in my childhood, entertainment and that sort of thing,” He adds, however, “I enjoyed it.”

He eventually became a pharmacist. Denerley’s only regret is that he wishes he had been more attentive in school in his early life and studied harder: “I think the sooner you start studying, the better.”

The three centenarians all touched on a common theme when offering advice for a good and long life: Be happy and just keep going.

“My motto for life, there’s an old Scottish comedian Harry Lauder, sir Harry Lauder. He used to sing, ‘Keep right on to the end of the road,'” Denerley says.  “And that’s my motto.”

“It’s just that, you keep going,” Crozier says of age and growing old. “It’s only a number.”

“It seems to be that if you are happy, happily married and happily living, that is the finest remedy for all illness,” Harper says. “Because everything is in perfect harmony.”

You’re getting older. Sorry, but it happens—to everyone. The effects of aging, however, don’t have to accompany the passing years—at least not as rapidly. A new video from Business Insider and Nobel Prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn explains the aging process and how we can slow down its effects.

Blackburn won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine—along with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak—“for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.”

Telomeres hold the key to the effects of aging. They protect our DNA, but over time, wear down. When that happens, we age. Everyone will age, but some of us age faster than others. That’s where taking care of our telomeres comes into play.

In the video, Blackburn says we have the power to “slow down the onset or likelihood of getting diseases of aging.” To better explain how our body ages, she uses a simple example:

“Picture, if you will, a shoelace and at the end of the shoelace, there are little protective tips, often plastic,” she says in the video. “And if you imagine the shoelace is your DNA, then the protective tips at the end are called telomeres. Now, this matters for our cells because if the DNA is damaged by losing the telomeres when they get too short, then the cells can’t renew themselves.”

Blackburn says it is the damaged telomeres that speed up aging and particularly the onset of many of the diseases we get when we age—“like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, dementias, even stroke and lung diseases.”

If we keep our telomeres healthy, we can slow down the process of deterioration. The good news? We have the power to actively help protect our telomeres.

Blackburn says just getting exercise helps keep telomeres from getting damaged, and you don’t have to be a marathon runner (unless you want to). Simply walking briskly three times a week for 45 minutes is enough, she says.

Woman Walking on trail outdoor exercise
Adobe

Diet also plays a huge role. Make sure you’re eating healthy foods—like fruits, vegetables and nuts. Blackburn also suggests the Mediterranean diet, which continues to be praised by doctors and other health professionals.

8321258836_a4a3336b1b_b_vegetables

The fact that exercise and diet help maintain your telomeres also explains why staying active and eating well have such good effects on your health.

“We can see inside the cells that they’re helping to slow down cell aging because they’re helping to slow down the rate the telomeres wear down,” Blackburn says.

So if you needed yet another reason to eat healthy and exercise, here you go: It will keep you young.

To learn more, check out Blackburn’s book: “The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer.

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98 Year Old Couple Recreates Their Wedding Photo And It’s Beautiful

Wang Deyi and Cao Yuehua were married 70 years ago in a small town in the southwest part of China. So on their 70th wedding anniversary they went back to the magic spot to relieve the moment.

With the help of their four children, they were able to recreate that special day. The bride wore her original wedding dress and the groom even pinned the same type of flower on his suit.  How adorable is that?

The couple met in 1943 on the dance floor and it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, Cao had to leave her for a year to serve as an interpreter during WWII. But when he returned, he knew he needed to propose ASAP. He slipped a ruby engagement ring on her finger at the train station.

The couple’s youngest son, Cao Pangpei, told CNN, “They have been together for so long, going through the war, the political turmoil and diseases, and can still stay with each other and love each other. We want to help them to commemorate their love.”

Congratulations to the amazing couple. 70 years is no trivial feat and an inspiration to us all.