What is the Secret to Longevity


What is the Secret to Longevity

More often than not, the oldest people in the world don’t even know they’ve earned the title unless the Guinness Book of Records’ people call to let them know, or a reporter comes a-calling. Undoubtedly, they carry with them years of experience and wisdom they can pass on to others. These are their secrets to longevity, by the ten oldest people in the world (2015).

10. Orma Slack (111 years, 10 months)

The Secret to Logevity

Orma was born on February 19, 1903 in Canada, just several months before Orville Wright flew the first airplane in history. She was 20 when the Great Depression started and 66 when humanity landed on the moon. Orma was a teacher and retired at the age of 64, then traveled the world with her husband (who passed away in 1988). She also volunteered at the Bellville hospital until she was 104, and only stopped because she could not find a ride to the hospital. Orma still enjoys life. Last year she went skiing.

Orma’s secret: “Ever since I was a child, the world did not change for better or worse. Things don’t change, so go with the flow. I’ve never done anything special to help me get to my age, but the secret may be my positive attitude to people and life. I don’t recall ever saying a bad thing about a neighbor, family member or a friend”.

9. Sakari Momoi (111 years, 11 months)

The Secret to Logevity

Sakari is the oldest living man in the world. Born on February 5th, 1903, Sakari worked his whole life as a teacher and later as a principal until reaching retirement. The Guinness Book of Records is currently verifying whether Mr. Momoi is also the oldest living man in history.

Momi’s secret: “I do not know the secret of my long life, I simply haven’t died yet. I used to always exercise, eat in moderation and never consumed alcohol, but that’s just my way of life, not some great secret.”

8. Johanna Klink (112 years)

The Secret to Logevity

Three months ago, Johanna officially became the oldest person in Germany. She has been married three times and has only one daughter (an uncommon thing for long-living people). Johanna has been living in a nursing home since 2004, but she is still healthy, both physically and mentally.

Johanna’s secret: “I feel great, like I’m 60 years old and just retired. My secret to a long life is a plain and light diet, and especially only using a few drops of oil or butter in the soups I make.”

7. Ethel Lang (114 years, 7 months)

The Secret to Logevity

Born on May 27, 1900, Ethel is the oldest person in England and the second-oldest person in Europe. She’s the only living Britton born during the reign of Queen Victoria. Ethel left school at the age of 13 and went working in a shirt factory, where she worked throughout WWI. Many of the relatives on her father’s side enjoyed a long life.

Ethel’s secret: “I’ve never smoked and barely touched any alcohol. I drink a lot of tea, cook my own food, even the bread. Ever since I can remember, I was always in motion and never gotten fat. I was always taking interest in people’s wellbeing and loved to go out and dance. Last time I danced was when I was 107.”

6. Violet Brown (114 years, 10 months)

The Secret to Logevity

Violet was born on March 10th of 1900, and still remembers the days she had to get up early in the morning and walk 3 miles barefoot to get her family water so she can get back home by 9am to go to school. This Jamaican lady says that: “Today’s youth don’t know how easy their lives are. They have plumbing in every home and buses going everywhere. Sometimes I think about the past and cry for all the hardships I had to endure”.

Violet’s secret: “These days I enjoy reading (without glasses) and reciting poetry. My secret to longevity is my faith in the good Lord and his commandments. If I have a message to share, it’s ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’. That’s probably the most important commandment.”

5. Emma Morano-Martinuzzi (115 years, 1 month)

The Secret to Logevity

Emma is the oldest person who had ever lived in Italy, and the last European born in the 19th-century (November 29th, 1899). Emma was only married for 11 years, but being a Catholic, she did not believe in divorce, so she only kicked her husband out of the house and remained married until he died in 1978. Their son died at six months, and Emma stayed in her marital home ever since.

Emma’s secret: “I never touched drugs and only drank brandy that I make at home. I eat three eggs every day and treat myself to chocolate sometimes, but mainly, I think it’s my positive thinking about the future that kept me alive for so long.”

4. Susannah Mushatt Jones (115 years, 6 months)

The Secret to Logevity

The 4th oldest person in the world and 3rd oldest person in the USA, Susannah was born on July 6th, 1899. Her grandfather was a freed slave who became a farmer, later run by her parents. Susannah did not want to be a farmer, so after finishing school in 1922, she decided she wanted to be a teacher. Sadly, her parents couldn’t afford to pay for her studies, so she moved to New York, got married and five years later got a divorce. Since then she has been living alone, and has been working as a nanny for $7 a week.

Susannah’s secret: “I visit the doctor only four times a year and don’t use any medication except for blood pressure medication. When I turned 100 I lost my eyesight to diabetes, but I refuse to take medication or have a surgery for it. My whole life I avoided cigarettes, alcohol, makeup and even hair dye. I get 10 hours of sleep every night and not being married also helps.”

3. Jeralean Talley (115 years, 7 months)

The Secret to Logevity

Jeralean is the 3rd oldest person in the world and the 2nd oldest person in the USA. She was born on May 23rd, 1899 and says she’s never driven a car since the first time she tried, when she accidentally used the wrong pedal, causing the car to reverse, which scared her. She’s not sorry about it.

Jeralean’s secret: “I never stop moving, and even today I keep my hands busy by knitting. I played bowling until I turned 104, but my legs have gotten weaker since then. I sometimes go fishing with my son-in-law and grandson and even caught seven fish last time. I only have one golden rule for life: Treat others as you would have them treat you.”

2. Gertrude Weaver (116 years, 6 months)

The Secret to Logevity

The oldest person in the USA and 2nd oldest person alive today was born on the 4th of July, 1898. Gertrude had four children, the only one still alive today is 93 years old. When Gertrude was 104, she moved to a nursing home, and despite not having any chronic diseases, her age is affecting her health. Despite that, she still leaves her room and enjoys the activities in the home.

Gertrude’s secret: “My secret is faith in God, hard work, loving everyone and always do as much as you can, and if you can’t, don’t do it.”

On her 116th birthday, Gertrude received a letter from President Barack Obama, informing her that from that point on, that day is official “Gertrude Day” in the USA.”

1. Misao Okawa (116 years, 10 months)

The Secret to Logevity

Misao Okawa is the oldest living person in the world, the oldest person in Asia and the only Japanese person born in the 19th-century that is still alive. At 102, Misao was still regularly exercising and was able to walk on her own until she was 110. These days she uses a wheelchair because she has a hard time keeping her balance, but insists on using the chair on her own and refuses to ask for help.

Misao’s secret: “The reasons I survived for so long are sushi and a good night’s sleep.”

So who knows, maybe we just need to eat more sushi and sleep well every night, and we’ll all be able to walk by the time we’re 110. Either way, the world’s oldest woman seems happy and full of life, which seems to be the main message of most of the people on this list, above all diets and such. So the secret to a long and happy life is just to be kind to yourself and to others.

 Gavin J.



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