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Centenarians a Happy Lot, Survey Says
Date:5/3/2013

FRIDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Centenarians are more likely to be content with their lives than aging baby boomers are, and these oldest Americans tend to put more stock in healthy eating habits and exercise as keys to happiness, a new survey finds.

Half of Americans aged 100 and older wouldn't change a thing about the way they lived their lives, while only 29 percent of Baby Boomers (aged 60 to 65) would leave their pasts untouched and 26 percent wished they had made more money. Baby boomers were also more than twice as likely as centenarians to wish they had taken more risks in their lives, 12 percent vs. 5 percent.

The average American today lives to be about 80, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When asked what could have made their extra 20 or more years even better, 33 percent of the centenarians said nothing, while 33 percent wished for more time with their spouse or loved ones, 13 percent wished for better health and only 6 percent wished they had more money, according to the UnitedHealthcare's eighth annual 100@100 survey.

Nearly all centenarians (98 percent) said that keeping their mind active is a secret to healthy aging, and 100 percent of baby boomers agreed. Staying mobile and exercising is also important, according to 96 percent of centenarians and 98 percent of the baby boomers.

Both age groups also agree that physical health is more difficult to maintain as they age, compared with mental health, emotional/spiritual health, social connections and independence.

Many centenarians try to remain active. More than half said they walk or hike weekly, more than one-third said they do strength training exercises at least once a week, and nearly 20 percent do a cardiovascular workout indoors one or more times a week.

Centenarians and baby boomers do differ on other healthy habits. Centenarians are more likely than the boomers to eat nutritiously balanced meals r
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