Happy and healthy how-tos from 100-year-olds, 10-year-olds

Happy and healthy how-tos from 100-year-olds, 10-year-olds

(BPT) – Spinning and yoga classes are no longer reserved for only the young and restless. Take a closer look around, and you might just find that it’s great-grandparents who are out-pedaling you on the stationary bikes. In fact, according to UnitedHealthcare’s 100@100 survey, nearly a quarter of 100-year-olds (24 percent) report doing cardiovascular exercise indoors at least once a week; almost one-third (29 percent) meditate or do other stress-relieving activities; and even more say they exercise to strengthen their muscles (34 percent).

Every year, UnitedHealthcare polls 100 centenarians for their insights and perspectives on reaching the century milestone. To mark the survey’s 10th anniversary in 2015, UnitedHealthcare also polled 100 10-year-olds to compare responses among the generations.

Findings from the survey suggest 100-year-olds are staying active, feeling positive, and embracing the present. And the kids? Though they may be small, their thoughts are anything but. Here are some key takeaways.

1. Embrace your smile lines.

Mind and body are linked, according to 1 in 4 centenarians surveyed who say the key to staying healthy is having a positive attitude. This aligns with last year’s 100@100 survey, in which two-thirds of centenarians said attitude is as important as physical health in terms of living 100 years or more.

When it comes to positivity, the 100-year-olds have an edge on the kids. More than half (61 percent) say they feel very positive, while only 44 percent of 10-year-olds say the same. On the bright side, centenarians say it gets easier to maintain a positive attitude with age, so 10-year-olds have the next 90 years to catch up. Both groups say family and friends are key to maintaining a positive attitude.

2. Nurture family relationships.

Despite many years together, centenarians feel anything but “stuck” with their families. In fact, they actively stay in touch, with 83 percent saying they speak with extended family members at least weekly. Nearly 9 in 10 centenarians (89 percent) say visiting with family and friends makes them happy, and two-thirds of 10-year-olds agree.

What’s more, almost half (45 percent) of 100-year-olds and 40 percent of 10-year-olds say they’d prefer to spend time with a family member above anyone else in the world. And when it comes to childhood role models, both groups cite family above teachers, celebrities or others, with mom being the most popular choice.

3. Remember, age is just a number.

While both groups say it’s good to be young, many centenarians embrace their age. Perhaps that’s because, on average, the 100-year-olds report feeling more than two decades younger than they are, and 60 percent say they do not feel old. Given the choice between being their current age or 10-years-old, more than half of centenarians (58 percent) say they would rather be 100.

For more information on UnitedHealthcare’s 100@100 survey, visit UHC.com/100.