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On your next birthday, take a moment to reflect on your lifestyle choices. Do you eat healthily and get plenty of exercise? How are your sleeping habits? And do you consume a hefty amount of bacon every mor–wait, what!?

If you’re seeking answers about how to live a long and prosperous life, why not take it from the ultimate authorities on the subject–the supercentenarians themselves? After all, the oldest currently living people in the world have lived lives that span three separate centuries, so you’d think they know a thing or two. And you might just be surprised by how diverse their answers are!

According to Wikipedia’s comprehensive page on the subject, “The longest unambiguously documented human lifespan is that of Jeanne Calment of France (1875–1997), who died at age 122 years, 164 days.” A similar list of the world’s verified oldest people shows that only seven out of the top 100 oldest people ever were men, the oldest of whom was Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura (木村 次郎右衛門) who passed away in 2013 when he was 116 years and 54 days old. Furthermore, only five of the current top 100 oldest verified people alive were born in the 1800s.

While people who have lived to 100 are referred to as centenarians, an additional term, supercentenarians, refers to people who have lived to see their 110th birthday, and they must submit at least three documents to the Gerontology Research Group or Guinness World Records as irrefutable proof of their age. It is said that only one person in 1,000 centenarians lives to become a supercentenarian.

Currently, the (verified) oldest living person in the world is a Japanese woman named Misao Okawa, who will celebrate her 117th birthday in less than a week. She also ranks in as the oldest person born in Asia, and as the fifth oldest person ever on record. You can read her charming advice for living a long and prosperous life here, which, incidentally, includes sleeping and sushi. Hmm….

▼ Sushi: The superfood of supercentenarians?

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Leandra Becerra Lumbreras, a woman from Mexico, was reportedly born on August 31, 1887. However, her birth certificate was lost during a move in 1974, so authorities cannot definitively recognize her claim as being the world’s oldest person, living or deceased, ever. Regardless of her exact age, there’s no doubt that Lumbreras has seen many things in her lifetime. She imparts her wisdom about living a long life by advising people to “sleep a lot, eat chocolate, and never get married.”

Compared to Lumbrereas, American-born Jeralean Talley is a sprightly 115-year-old and is currently the verified third-oldest living person in the world. “It’s all in the good Lord’s hands. There’s nothing I can do about it,” she has been quoted as saying. Although once believed to be the oldest living woman in the US, authorities confirmed in July 2014 that fellow countrywoman Gertrude Weaver was actually the older of the two.

Born less than two months after Talley in 1899, Susannah Mushatt Jones is another American woman who’s known for having a penchant for fashion (including lace negligees!) and bacon. In fact, she told Time in an interview last year that she eats four strips of it every morning. She has also refused her doctor’s wishes that she have a pacemaker implanted.

Bacon lovers rejoice!

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115-year-old Emma Morano of Italy, on the other hand, credits her longevity to not taking drugs, eating eggs three times per day, drinking brandy, and eating chocolate every now and then. She once told the New York Times that she never remarried after an unhappy first marriage because she didn’t want to be dominated by anyone. Morano is the verified oldest living person in all of Europe.

So what does it all boil down to? While you could chalk some of it up to having killer genes, it’s perhaps easier to answer the question of what factors contribute to a long lifespan by looking at what the women noted above DON’T do. The main factor that seems to connect all of them together is that they don’t deprive themselves of things that they like, and they don’t stress about the trivial things in life. Perhaps their advice won’t help us all in the long run, but it will make us feel less guilty about having that extra slice of bacon…

Live long and prosper, dear readers, and RIP Leonard Nimoy/

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Source: Naver Matome
Top image: YouTube (Nicholas Schaefer)
Images: Wikipedia (Nesnad), Wikipedia (Made20rder555)Wikipedia (We hope)