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A hundred years and older? Healthy and in good spirits? The chance is there. Because it’s not the genes that are responsible – but we ourselves.
Berlin. Tight skin, high vitality – who doesn’t wish for that into old age?? But before that, there is a completely different wish: First of all, the old age reach. Sports physician Ingo Frobose says: hundred years? No problem! With a few tricks you can make it. Everyone has it in their hands. "The Genes are vastly overestimated."
Age: If you are born now, you can live to be 150 years old
15.000 people in Germany are already over the age of 100. There are more and more of them – and the remarkable thing is that the Silver Generation is getting fitter and fitter. The number of people over 100 is growing rapidly worldwide. In 2000, 59 people per million inhabitants in Europe were older than 100 years old, in 2015 it was 150, in 2030 it could be according to estimates already 343. The Science even assumes that newborns can now live to be 150 years old.
One hundred years: Images of frail seniors in wheelchairs quickly come to mind. But let’s take Ingeborg: she is 103 years old. Goes to the gym regularly (well, not in the pandemic), drives a car "without glasses" – and even became a model in old age. Karsten Thormaehlen has portrayed them. The photographer manages to make the very elderly perceived differently in society: A 101-year-old gives swimming lessons, a 100-year-old goes from being an ex-plumber to an artist, and a 102-year-old has just become a new partner.
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Centenarians who are so active are often still considered special today. Anyone could seize the opportunity, says Prof. Ingo Frobose. The Gene are overestimated, as the latest research findings show: "Only seven to 10 percent of our quality of life in old age is pre-programmed and determined by our genes. The other large remainder, thus more than 90 per cent, is against it of our own life-style directly and directly influenced."
Health: the key to a longer life
Ingo Frobose is a university professor for prevention and rehabilitation in the Sport at the German Sport University Cologne. In his new book "The health formula of the centenarians" – Seven keys to a longer life" he shows what it comes down to: the right lifestyle habits.
"Much Exercise, healthy Sleep and regeneration are enormously important for our cells, immune system and metabolism."One hundred years old and still as fit as ever – in certain regions of the world, this is no longer unusual. In the so-called "Blue Zones" – which include regions such as Ikaria in Greece, Okinawa in Japan, Ogliastra in Sardinia, Loma Linda in California or the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica – people grow oldest and stay healthiest.
"Blue Zones" – The islands of the happy very old
In a way, they live in isolation: They are islands, peninsulas, mountainous regions or small towns. Where people still live in a comparatively traditional manner. Instead of watching soaps or quiz shows on TV, they’re doing hard work, milking cows, herding sheep, catching fish. The magic word is: exercise in the fresh air.
And that leads to Peak performanceOn Okinawa, there are a number of over 80-year-olds who still train daily for the annual decathlon. Brave old world! For what follows is not so rosy: young people have discovered the power of fast food – and after a day’s work in the fields, it’s not judo and karate that’s on the agenda, but the PlayStation.
Nutrition: No diet, but save a hundred calories a day
Den Lifestyle For some people, changing their lifestyle is as difficult as climbing Mount Everest. Giving up cherished habits No smoking, no drinking, nothing sweet, nothing fatty – for many, that sounds like maximum punishment. Universities can come up with all kinds of great studies: People who have never been overweight, don’t smoke and don’t drink live about twelve years longer than sinful people.
Nasty Aseke can one nevertheless the beautiful Life disgust. Frobose sees it differently: "I am not in favor of dieting. It’s much easier to save a hundred calories a day, isn’t it?. And not just for a few days, but for a year."Already one is on the way direction Methusalem.
Aging: Joie de vivre and optimism as important factors
But we are still a long way from achieving our goal. If you are in a bad mood, you have to be prepared for your end well before the round hundred: Without Optimism and Joy of life do not work. What does not mean that one should run constantly grinning through the area.
The Health expert says that it’s all about the power of imagination: "Even if you’re in the middle of a crisis," and if you can then imagine for a few moments "that this could end at some point and things could start to get better again" – that’s a kind of reality-based optimism that acts almost as a fountain of youth.
In Japan this energy is called Ikigai. What is meant by this is that the easiest way to live to a healthy hundred years old is to keep doing what you always do: work, work, work. In the small village of Ogimi, where many dog-eared people live, there is not even a term for Pension or Retire. There was no break in their lives, no holes they fell into on the way to finding meaning. In Ogimi, even as centenarians, they still know exactly why they get up in the morning.