30 Centenarians Share Their Secrets to Living to 100

Step one: stay single.

secrets to a long life
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Wine, chocolate, and ice cream: The key to longevity may taste better than you think, according to these long-lived citizens at least. Take their advice and live life to fullest — no matter what birthday you're celebrating.

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Cheese Puffs

Edith Atkinson Wylie reads every day on , but the 106-year-old credits her longevity not to more modern inventions but "good genes and perhaps bourbon, water, and Cheetos while watching 5 o’clock news."

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Martini cocktail
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Vodka Martinis

Elmhurst, Illinois, resident lived to the impressive age of 101 thanks to "a vodka martini a day, no cigarettes, and hard work." No word on whether he liked them shaken or stirred.

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Hard Work

Another centenarian cited rolling up your sleeves as the key to making it past 100. The 104-year-old , formerly of Beach City, Ohio, learned to drive as soon as her feet reached the pedals and grew up helping her mom care for their farm's thousand chickens.

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Cups of Tea

(yep, that's her name) passes on this piece of advice: "Be happy and have plenty of cups of tea." The resident of Sutton, England, recently rang in her 108th birthday accordingly with a tea party.

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Banana coconut pancakes with fruits and berries
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Breakfast

"I don’t skip meals," advises supercentenarian of New Ulm, Minnesota. "Eat breakfast. It’s what keeps me going." The 110-year-old also recommends snacking on dark chocolate, bananas, and ice cream, as well as shoveling snow for exercise.

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bacon
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Bacon

Speaking of breakfast, of Marshall, Illinois, went viral last year when she claimed lots of bacon contributed to her triple-digit birthday. She lived until the ripe, old age of 109 eating her favorite food and "potatoes some way, every day."

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beer
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Beer

Go ahead and crack open a cold one. Mildred Bowers, 105, still enjoys a beer daily at 4 p.m. — with her doctor's approval, of course. The Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, woman also credits good genes for her prolonged lifespan.

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Ice Cream

America's oldest veteran Richard Overton just rang in his 112th birthday this year, and he hasn't given up any of his favorite guilty pleasures. Between the cigars, whiskey, and bourbon, the supercentenarian also stocks up on butter pecan ice cream.

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Chocolate

She never drank or smoke, but Eunice Modlin, , likes to attribute her old age to a much tastier habit: eating two pieces of dark chocolate every day. The great-great-grandmother from Boonville, Indiana, also swears by taking lots of naps.

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Wine

The antioxidants in your vino might do more than you think. Florence Bearse of Bangor, Maine, turned 100 last year drinking her favorite beverage and eating birthday cake. Her other piece of advice? "Don't take any baloney."

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Diet Coke

Theresa Rowley was already 68-years-old when Coca-Cola introduced its zero-calorie soda, but at age 104 she consumes at least one can every day. "I drink it because I like it," the Grand Rapids, Michigan, resident told in January. "I have a bag full of empty Diet Coke cans that I need to return to buy more Diet Coke."

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Brain Games

Research consistently states regular physical exercise can extend your lifespan, but don't forget about mental fitness. "I love playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, and reading to help exercise my mind," centenarian Edris Mathiesen of Bloomington, Indiana, told .

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Staying Single

Jessie Gallan spoke for all of the single ladies out there when she revealed that remaining independent helped her reach 109. The Scottish woman passed away in 2015, but her advice lives on in infamy: "My secret to a long life has been staying away from men. They're just more trouble than they're worth."

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Eggs

Once the world's oldest person, Italian was born on November 29, 1899, and lived until 117. Her rather unusual regimen included eating three eggs per day — two of them raw — for more than 90 years.

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Sushi

Japanese supercentenarians like regularly make the , probably because of their healthy, fish-filled diets. Okawa, who died shortly after her 117th birthday, regularly ate sushi and ramen noodles. On her nearly 12 decades on Earth, she reportedly remarked they

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Olive Oil

Jeanne Louise Calment still holds the title for . The French lady lived until the amazing age of 122, and she only quit smoking at age 117. In addition to wine and chocolate, the Arles resident ate food with lots of olive oil, which she also used on her skin.

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Oatmeal

Spring Valley, New York, resident rang in his 111th birthday before passing away in . As of 2015, the former Haitian judge still started his days with five to seven push-ups and a bowlful of oatmeal, reported.

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Honey

Before she passed away at 115, Bernice Madigan revealed her secrets to old age: no children, less stress, and a daily spoonful of honey, friends told the .

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Lingerie

Former world's oldest person liked bacon, eggs, and grits, but she also had another notable favorite: expensive lingerie. "She would save her money and then go to Bloomingdale's," her niece told . "When she had to get an EKG, the doctors and nurses were surprised to see her wearing that lingerie, and she said, 'Oh sure, you can never get too old to wear fancy stuff.'"

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Sleep

As if you needed another reason to get more shuteye, Mexican woman reached the unverified age of 127 by "snacking on chocolate, sleeping for days on end, and never getting married," . We're starting to sense a trend ...

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Dancing

John Grumbine just , and the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, resident shared his inspiring tip with . The ballroom dance instructor says tapping his toes keeps him "mentally, physically, and spiritually active." He even still competes!

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Gin and Tonics

Pauline Dunhill , ringing in the occasion with her fellow residents at a British care home. The native Canadian attributes the feat to a nightly G&T. Cheers to that!

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Homegrown Vegetables

Former world's oldest man Francisco Nunez Olivera lived until 113 in a small Spanish village. As the family man thanked a daily glass of red wine and for keeping him happy and healthy for more than 11 decades.

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Junk Food

Frances Prus is a New Year's baby, turning 100 on January 1 of this year. The Greenfield, Pennsylvania, resident told the that junk food and the "occasional glass of Merlot" will keep you going strong — in moderation of course.

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M&M's

of Hagerstown, Maryland, combines a little bit of all of the above, and she's turning 104 in February. Her impressive diet includes bacon, eggs, daily bowls of Breyer's ice cream, and s. She also recommends for a youthful complexion.

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Running

Here's proof you're never too old to run: broke this March, setting the pace in events ranging from 60 meters to 1,500 meters when racing in the 100 to 104 age group.

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Berries

Christina Kislak Wahala of Cabot, Pennsylvania, enjoys gardening, crocheting, and polka dancing, but the great-grandmother also attributes her 100 years of living to eating tons of fresh veggies and berries. She's a skilled pie-baker and jelly-maker too, according to the .

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Whiskey

does nothing you would expect of a 106-year-old. The British centenarian flies airplanes, , and gets tattoos. Oh, and he drinks whiskey in his morning tea and lemonade cocktail at night, reports.

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Coffee

Need some justification for your caffeine addiction? Former firefighter and centenarian Art Stiegleiter can help you out. "I'm a big coffee drinker and have at least six to eight cups a day," the Aurora, Illinois, resident told the .

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Letting It Go

Besides wine and coffee, one theme reigns supreme when it comes to longevity: less stress. "Forget about it!" That's the motto former teacher Jo Sunderland lives by, and she turned 107 in January. "Don't worry about the little things if you can't do anything about it," the Minnesota resident told .

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