Excerpts

Chapter One/Page 13: We have interviewed hundreds of men and women who are or were too busy enjoying life to pay attention to society telling them that they’re supposed to be dying. These Rock Stars of Aging are as diverse as any group could be, but as we talked and as we listened, we learned. Many common denominators were revealed. This book is about those common threads. Threads that when woven together helped create not only a long life but, far more importantly, a life filled with passion and joy.

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Chapter Two/Page 14: Without quality of life, longevity quickly loses its appeal. It’s more punishment than opportunity. The goal of living to 100 is only worthwhile if we can get there in a physical, mental and emotional state that allows us to enjoy it. But what if we can remain active into our 100s? What if we can continue growing, laughing, learning, loving, sharing and giving back into our 100s? Modern medicine, genetic research and, most importantly, lifestyle changes are now collaborating to provide that opportunity to just about everyone.

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Chapter Two/Page 15: There now exists an entirely new life stage — a two-, three- or even four-decade opportunity for meaningful, fulfilling life. This is a life stage that has never before existed in the history of mankind. This is a life stage that can be enjoyed and used to accomplish just about anything by just about anyone. Men and women are starting new businesses in their 80s, taking up new hobbies in their 90s and competing in sporting events in their 100s.

Where are these amazing men and women? They are everywhere. And there will soon be many more of them.

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Chapter Three/Page 17: Ready or not, the age of the centenarian is here. Centenarians are now the second fastest growing segment of our population. In fact, the only group that’s growing more rapidly is supercentenarians — those at least 110 years old. How big of a phenomenon is this? Hallmark is now printing “Happy 100th Birthday” cards, and a cake with 100 candles has become so commonplace that it no longer guarantees a photo in the local newspaper. And forget about getting a Willard Scott shout-out on the Today Show for your 100th birthday. If Willard mentioned every centenarian birthday, there would be no time left for Matt, Ann and Al.

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Chapter Five/Page 22: If centenarians were simply genetic freaks of nature, we could look on in amazement and with envy, then go about our days not aspiring to be more like them.  But the facts are clear — they prove that if we make lifestyle changes we can be more like these rock stars of aging.

For some, this knowledge will be a burden. It’s far easier to sit on the couch and pretend that your condition is the result of reasons outside of your control. Just as the certain knowledge that you can lose weight by exercising and eating better fails to motivate many obese people to change their lives, the knowledge that you can dramatically increase the length and quality of your life will fail to motive many who are frail, tired, unhappy and unhealthy.

For others, this knowledge will represent life-changing opportunity because centenarians are a living laboratory providing not only a glimpse into the future but the roadmaps on how to get there. We found many common denominators among the very old and nearly all of them are lifestyle choices that anyone can make at any age.

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Chapter Seven/Page 24:  Our conversations with centenarians are in the context of an interview for our radio show or TV program. We do not speak to someone simply because he or she is 100. That is no longer unusual enough to be of interest to a large audience. We speak to centenarians who are still working, competing in sports, volunteering, traveling the world, taking classes, pursuing their art, etc. Strictly from a media perspective, non-active centenarians hold little interest to us. They lack the passion and often the ability to carry on an interesting conversation. They provide little in the way of inspiration or motivation. They are very old. So what?

Now, if they are very old and thoroughly enjoying their lives — that gets our attention. If they still have a passion for life and the ability to enjoy activities that we enjoy, they become great guests for our programs, great inspiration for our viewers and listeners and great subjects for our “study.”

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Chapter Seven/Page 41: Have you ever seen an obese centenarian? We’ve never interviewed one. Don’t bother looking. They don’t exist. Centenarians are nearly always lean. Obesity may be the single most serious threat to increasing lifespan. Occasionally, a moderate smoker or drinker will make it to 100. Sometimes an inactive couch potato will get there, but never an obese person. Extra weight is one of the archenemies of extra years.

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Chapter Seven/Page 67: You can’t choose your family or your genes, but you can choose your friends. While most of the centenarians we have interviewed have a fairly large social circle, they have little to no tolerance for negativity and typically associate only with others who share the same positive outlook and passion for life.

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Chapter Seven/Page 74: Most centenarians are poor but they don’t know it. 67 percent of 100-year-olds have income below the poverty line but aren’t aware of it. They simply perceive themselves as better off than objective resources reveal. It’s been said that not wanting something is the same as having it without all the hassles. That is very much the centenarian lifestyle.

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Chapter Seven/Page 75: Very few who live to 100 have been sentenced to extra years of misery. Beyond a certain age, miserable people die very quickly. It’s really that simple. The only way to get to 100 is with a smile on your face, joy in your heart and enthusiasm in your step.