The Secret to Living Long and Prospering

Ever since I first started watching Star Trek back in the early 1980′s, I’ve wanted to follow Spock‘s advice to “live long and prosper.”

Live Long and ProsperI’ve read up on some scientific research (though, this can hardly be trusted) for how to accomplish such a task. I’ve also studied the long lived. Here are my findings:

An old MSNBC article offered (past tense, since the article has since disappeared) a top 10 list of healthy habits. While odds are I’ll never become a Seventh Day Adventist (Mormons happen to have a higher life expectancy too you know!), my decision to take life less seriously a few years back has certainly made a difference in my life. However, I do take issue with the idea that your habits have more to do with your longevity than your genes.

My grandfather on my father’s side lived well into his 80′s. His secret? Eat a lot of deep fried, fatty foods and drink milk straight from the cow.

My grandmother on my mother’s side lived to her late 70′s. Her secret was to live her whole life in a third-world country where healthcare was practically non-existent.

My grandmother on my father’s side was perfectly healthy when she died (approaching 90). The only thing we could figure is she missed my grandfather. And it probably sucked living in a small-town nursing home. Her secret was bowling. I still remember her bowling a 200 game in her late 70′s. Her biggest complaint, though, was that her bowling partners kept dying on her. I guess they didn’t bowl enough!

Let’s not forget Jeanne Calment. She smoked until she was 119. She only quit because she got cataracts and couldn’t see well enough to light up! Speaking of smoking, remember George Burns? Apparently cigars keep a heart healthy… and your sense of humor.

Maybe the secret is to tell lots of jokes? Seemed to work for funnyman and centenarian Bob Hope.

So, what have we learned? If you want to live long enough to hit triple digits, then abide by the following:

  • Don’t take life too seriously
  • Eat unhealthily
  • Go bowling a lot
  • Live in a third-world country with crappy healthcare
  • Smoke a lot
  • Tell lots of jokes

Enjoy the next 100 years!

2 thoughts on “The Secret to Living Long and Prospering

  1. Stu

    Well, I just realized that I forgot to link to the article. Anyway, now I’ve updated my post and added the link, so now my fun making will make a little more sense.

    I decided to make fun of said article (which is actually a US News article that MSNBC published on their site) after reading the opening line, which went like, “The biggest factor that determines how well you age is not your genes but how well you live.”

    I’m quite in agreement with you Bob. My thought had always been that longevity is in the genes, long before science came out and said so. The closest the US News article got to indicating that was with the line, “…getting to age 100 is enormously more likely if your parents did.”

    Seems that the Scientific Group of Scientists Studying How Really Old People Get That Way (SCGSSHROPGTW) is not entirely in agreement with how, exactly, “really old people” get that way.


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