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50 WAYS TO LIVE TO BE 100; 'Wear the sexiest, flimsiest, most outrageous underwear you can find'.

Your chances of living to celebrate your 100th birthday depend partly on your parentage! If you come from a good, healthy, long living line, then you begin life with a great advantage.

Luck has a part to play too. You could be run over by a number 29 bus tomorrow. Or a falling meteorite could crash through your roof tonight!

But there are plenty of things you CAN do which will dramatically influence your chances of reaching three figures.

Here are 50 tips which will (if you follow them) make a real difference to your life expectancy. I cannot guarantee that you will live to be 100 if you follow all this advice. But you will have adjusted the odds in your favour. And you will, I think, live a happier and healthier life too!

1. Don't lie in bed in the mornings. People who live to be 100 are invariably early risers!

2. Be careful not to eat too much. The type of food you eat is important. But the amount you eat is important too. Overeating puts a strain on your body - and leads to obesity, which is a real killer. Most of us eat far too much - especially in winter when rolls of fat are covered up by layers of thick clothes. Too much food will make you lethargic and tired. When you put food on your plate, ask yourself if you really NEED that much. If the answer is no, then take less.

3. If you are feeling glum visit a local travel agent and come away with an armful of brochures. You don't have to go anywhere - just dreaming about wonderful holidays can help you relax and feel good.

4. Drink alcohol in moderation. A small amount of alcohol may improve your health. Too much alcohol will damage your health.

5. Do not dwell too much on the past. If you are constantly moaning that life was better in the "good old days" then you will reduce your chances of having a long and healthy life. If you're going to live through ten decades then you must be adaptable and prepared to cope with the fact that the world around you will constantly change.

6. Giving up work is often a signal for the body to slow down. If you intend to retire from work, then make sure that you find something else to keep yourself busy.

7. Be as independent as you can be. Don't let other people push you around or control your life. The more you can control your destiny the healthier you will be. Contrary to the myths, bosses rarely suffer as much stress as those who work for them.

8. Take as few pills as you can. Constantly taking drugs (both those prescribed and those bought from the pharmacist) will damage your body.

9. Try not to worry about your health. If you are constantly expecting to fall sick, then you will fall sick. People who live long, healthy lives rarely worry about illness or death - they just get on with life.

10. Although it is important you don't put on excess weight, you should try to avoid dieting. Constantly gaining and losing weight will damage your body. Try to keep your weight stable.

11. Do not smoke. And keep away from people who smoke. Breathing in other people's second hand tobacco smoke can damage your health.

12. Find a hobby you really enjoy - and throw yourself into it with enthusiasm. Choose something that you've always wanted to try. Enrol in night school classes, or borrow a book from the library, or join a correspondence course. A new hobby will put excitement into your life.

13. Avoid fatty foods. Too much fat in your diet will dramatically

increase your chances of developing cancer and/or heart disease.

14. Avoid sugar-rich foods.

15. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. And buy less stuff in packets. Spend ten minutes reading the packets in your food cupboard and you will probably be horrified to see how many chemicals you are eating. The average diet consists of a mixture of fat and chemicals. Eat crap in packets and you'll feel like a packet of crap.

16. Don't eat meat. Meat can cause cancer. And your body doesn't need it.

17. Share your emotions with the people who are closest to you. Don't bottle up your feelings. If you feel the need to cry, then cry. If you feel angry, then shout.

18. Say "I love you" at least once a day to the person you love most in the world. And make sure that they say "I love you" to you. Those three words make us feel wanted. We live in a world that is too often cruel and thoughtless and full of anger and hatred. Knowing that someone loves you will help protect you against the toxic stress in your life.

19. Exercise at least three times a week - and preferably every day. The best forms of exercise are: walking, cycling, swimming and dancing. Exercise should never hurt and should always be fun, but if you don't need a bath or shower after exercising then you probably have not exercised properly.

If you join a gym make sure that you get expert advice from a qualified professional. Visit the local swimming pool. Make an effort to DO something physical. It's too easy to slump down in front of the TV set. Your body needs regular work-outs. Without exercise you'll become stale, flaccid and vulnerable to germs.

Make sure you take the right amount of exercise. Too much can be just as bad for you as too little. Three quarters of the population take too little exercise. Many of the remainder take too much. Exhaust yourself in the gym five nights a week and your battered and exhausted body will be exceptionally vulnerable to infection. I know many women and men who exhaust their bodies by leaping about at strenuous exercise classes. Too much exercise damages the immune system. You don't have to wear yourself out in the gym to keep in good shape. But you do need to take regular, fun exercise.

Remember: check with your doctor before starting an exercise programme.

20. Spend half a day a week being selfish. Most of us try to cram too much sensible, useful living in to our lives. Spend half a day a week doing something that you enjoy. Go swimming. Go dancing. Go for a walk. Sit in the park. Indulge yourself. Have half a day a week that is all yours.

21. Drink plenty of fluids - particularly fresh water. Your kidneys need a good supply of water in order to function properly.

22. Eat a banana a day. Bananas are better for you than apples. They are cheap and packed with fibre and vitamins. But most important of all they come ready wrapped so that when you eat one you don't have to worry about it being contaminated with chemicals or bugs. As a bonus bananas contain relatively few calories - so they won't make you fat.

23. Make sure you have plenty of fun in your life. Gloomy workaholics tend to die early. People who live lengthy, healthy lives tend to regard life as an adventure to be enjoyed. A sense of humour is important. Read books that make you laugh. Watch videos that you find truly entertaining. Keep a library of favourite books and videos that you know you can turn to when you're feeling miserable. Try to find something to laugh at every day.

24. When you are worried about something ask yourself what the bottom line is - the worst that can happen. Once you know the worst you will be surprised at how many fears suddenly become less significant.

25. Stop wasting your life. Throw away any junk mail unopened. Put the phone down on unsolicited, unwanted calls and shut the door on unsolicited salesmen. In a week you'll save hours - enough time to do something you really enjoy. Unsolicited salesmen -usually selling us things we don't want or need - waste hours. And because they're using up your life they're building up your stress.

26. Buy a telephone with an on-off button. Or buy a telephone answering machine - and use it to take calls when you want to rest. How many times have you sat down to relax and been disturbed by the phone? How many times have social evenings been interrupted by irrelevant calls? We allow the phone to rule our lives - and we let it get away with rude behaviour that we would never tolerate from children.

27. Keep a diary. You don't have to fill pages with your innermost thoughts, or record tedious, mundane daily happenings. But keeping a diary will help you plan your life more effectively - and therefore avoid many unnecessary and unexpected stresses. A diary will also give you a chance to let off steam in private.

28. Do something physical whenever you feel angry. Or frustrated. Or let down. Go for a walk. Beat a rug. Dig the garden. If you aren't fit enough or strong enough to go for a walk or beat a rug, go somewhere private and shout. Getting your anger out of your system will help protect you from stress.

29. If you normally go to bed at the same time every evening try staying up late at night occasionally - watch a movie, go out to a party or just invite friends round to talk.

30. Work out how many of your waking hours you spend doing things you want to do; and how many you spend doing things that other people want you to do. If you spend more than half your time doing things for other people make an effort to be more selfish. Make more time for yourself.

31. If your house is dimly lit buy bigger light bulbs. Living in half dark rooms can be depressing. Put a 150 watt bulb in place of a 100 watt bulb and you're unlikely to notice much difference in your electricity bill but the extra light will make your life seem brighter.

32. Make plans so that you have things to look forward to every week. It doesn't have to be anything complicated or expensive. Plan to meet a friend, go for a walk or see a movie. And don't let yourself pull out at the last minute because you want to slump down in front of the television.

33. If you drink tea or coffee drink it fairly weak. Caffeine found in tea and coffee is a powerful drug.

34. Make a real effort to look after your appearance - even if the weather is lousy and you have nowhere to go. Wearing bright, cheerful clothes - and looking good - will improve the way you feel. Try to avoid clothes in dark colours.

35. Frustration, tension, anger and worry all lead to stiff, uncomfortable muscles. The result is usually headaches and other pains. Try massaging your temples with your finger tips every evening. You'll feel fresher if you gently massage the whole of your face with your finger tips.

36. Wear the flimsiest, sexiest and most outrageous underwear you can find - and afford. It may not do much towards keeping you warm but it'll make you feel good during the day.

37. Send silly postcards to your five best friends - for no reason at all. It'll make you feel better and it'll make them feel good too.

38. If you're feeling physically exhausted or mentally fed up, spend half an hour in a warm bath with a good book or magazine.

39. Go through the TV listings magazines and pick out programmes that you know you'll enjoy. The joy of expectation is invigorating. And try to be selective about your TV watching. The average man, woman and child watches three, four or five hours of television a day. Every day. What a waste of a life.

40. Be wary of doctors. One in six people in hospital are there because they have been made ill by doctors. If your doctor prescribes a drug for you, ask him whether or not the drug is essential. (Many doctors over- prescribe, handing out pills out of habit or because they fear their patients will be disappointed if they aren't given medication to take.) Don't take pills unless you really need them.

41. Eat wholemeal or wholewheat bread and pasta.

42, Cherish your friends. True friendship provides a vaccination against stress.

43. Try this simple exercise to calm your entire body: take a deep breath in; suck in your tummy muscles to make your tummy as hard as it will go; count to five; let your muscles go limp; empty the air out of your lungs. Repeat this several times until you feel thoroughly relaxed.

44. Give your life purpose and meaning. If you have something to fight for, or a goal to aim at, you will be healthier as well as happier.

45. Never underestimate the power of your mind. Your mind can make you ill but it can also make you well again. Try not to be too pessimistic about life. If you can be positive and look on the bright side you will stay healthier.

46. Always remember that if you develop new symptoms while being treated for a health condition there is a good chance that the new symptoms are caused by the treatment you are receiving for your existing condition.

47. Try to keep out of communal showers. School and sports changing rooms - where sweaty people gather together to huff and puff their germs at one another - are great places for picking up illnesses. Community cleansing should be banned. My advice: wrap up well in warm clothes and go home to bathe or shower.

48. Learn to listen to your body. When I was the regular doctor on breakfast television and told viewers to do this one woman wrote in to say that she couldn't listen to her body because she was deaf. But you don't need ears to listen to your body. You should listen to your body simply by increasing your awareness of it. Watch out for early symptoms and take whatever action your body tells you is appropriate.

49. Never hand over your health, your body, and your life to doctors or other professionals. If you need to obtain professional help make sure that you retain control. Call in the experts for their technical skills but remember that you should always retain responsibility and authority. Whenever possible make sure that you know what they plan to do to you - and what the risks are - before they do it. Remember that your body's self healing powers (what I call bodypower) can enable you to recover from nine out of ten illnesses without any outside help. But even when you do need professional help your bodypower can still help you.

50. Do not be afraid to mix and match orthodox and alternative treatments - but make sure that everyone who is treating you knows about any other treatments you are trying.

WHAT AN OFFER!

THE person most likely to kill you is not a mugger, an irate relative or a drunken motorist - it is your doctor!

Dr Vernon Coleman's new book, How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You! - from which this feature is extracted - is packed with practical information about the hazards of health care and how to stay healthy.

The book, due to be published in May, includes chapters on the dangers of antibiotics, the hazards of mental health care, drug side effects to watch out for, the risks of repeat prescriptions, how to survive in hospital, the importance of second opinions and much, much more.

Send an advance order for your own copy by posting your name and address, together with a cheque/PO for pounds 9.95 (made payable to EMJ Books) to: Dr Vernon Coleman's Doctor Offer, PO Box 30, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 9YU.
COPYRIGHT 1996 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Coleman, Vernon
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 14, 1996
Words:2671
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