When considering the lives of the oldest individuals in history, it's natural to wonder how one can increase their chances of living a long life. Take the case of Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived to the age of 122, surpassing all others. While chance played a role in her longevity, certain aspects of her lifestyle also contributed to her extended lifespan.

One significant factor that likely contributed to Calment's long life was her privileged upbringing. Growing up in a prosperous family, she lived in a pleasant neighborhood in southern France. During that era, it was common for women to start attending school at the age of 16. Calment received private lessons in art, cuisine, and dance until she married at the age of 20.

Another contributing factor to Calment's longevity was her upper-class status, which meant she never had to work. She always had assistance with cooking and shopping for necessities.

Calment refrained from smoking cigarettes until later in life. Smoking was strictly forbidden for girls, particularly those from bourgeois families like hers.  Interestingly, Calment only took up smoking at the age of 112 when she resided in a nursing home.

An active social  life along with other factors can increase lifespan & healthspan

Having an active social life was also a part of Calment's lifestyle. She had ample free time to take care of herself, travel across France, and engage in social activities. Social gatherings, such as home-hosted balls, provided her with opportunities to meet new people.

Calment had a penchant for travel and had the means to explore the world around her. For instance, she visited the Eiffel Tower while it was still under construction. Living during the transition from the 19th to the 20th century exposed her to a captivating era.

France was also home to Sister André, the second-longest living person who reached the age of over 118. Born Lucile Randon in 1904, she grew up in a Catholic family and became a nun at the age of 40, joining the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1944. Throughout her life, Sister André worked as a nurse, particularly caring for the elderly. She remained dedicated to her work until the age of 80.

In 2009, Sister André moved into a retirement home in Toulon, France, where she passed away in January 2023 at the age of 118. She was known for her active and engaged lifestyle, enjoying activities such as watching television, listening to music, and receiving visitors. Sister André also had a passion for poetry and had her poems published in French newspapers.

Besides these individual cases, France's overall social factors may contribute to longer lifespans. One such factor is the availability of free education. Higher education levels provide individuals with a better understanding of healthy eating habits and appropriate exercise routines, promoting a healthier lifestyle and longer life expectancy.

The Average India Diet Has Insufficient Nutrition

In contrast, a study conducted in India revealed concerning dietary patterns. The average Indian diet lacked essential food groups, with excessive consumption of processed foods and insufficient intake of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. This pattern was observed across socio-economic levels, including affluent households.

Furthermore, a national survey in India showed high prevalence rates of risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption. The survey also indicated an increased risk of conditions like blood glucose and cardiovascular diseases among participants.

Access to Free healthcare can increase Longevity

Countries with free healthcare, including France, Japan, and Denmark, tend to have longer life expectancies. Conversely, countries with less affordable healthcare, such as the U.K., the Netherlands, and the United States, have experienced a decrease in life expectancy.

The French population also benefits from better dietary choices, with many adhering to the Mediterranean diet. This diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and seafood while limiting the intake of red meat, dairy, and sweets. In contrast, other countries face issues like excessive fat and salt consumption.

In summary, various lifestyle factors contribute to longevity, including socioeconomic status, education, smoking habits, social engagement, travel, and dietary choices. Understanding and adopting these factors can potentially increase one's chances of living a longer and healthier life.