From the immortal gods of the Greeks to the Fountain of Youth, longevity has always captivated people. As we age, we become interested in methods to extend life. We look to supplements, diet changes, and other techniques to increase life expectancy. There are really two sides to longevity -- living long and living well. The goal should be to live as many healthy, happy years as possible.
Cultures around the world have always been interested in extending life. Almost every culture has stories and attempts at increasing life. Taoism in ancient China focused on life extension through preserving 'bodily fluids'. Medieval alchemists sought concoctions that would bring about long life. The Greeks told stories of immortal gods who would adventure in the world. The legends of the Fountain of Youth and Shangri La all have roots in ancient longevity legends.
Nationalism and Longevity:
Comparison of longevity statistics has been a source of competition among nations of the world. During the Cold War, Stalin famously upheld claims of people in his native Georgia living beyond 160. These claims and others have been proven false. Longevity statistics in the form of life expectancy are often used to compare health care systems around the world.
How Long Can People Live?:
Proving the age of people over 100 means going back before 1906 for records. Often this information is unavailable or unreliable. Jeanne Calment, who lived until the age of 122, is considered the oldest verified person. About 50 other people have been verified to have reached the age of 114. Researchers consider that the current maximum lifespan for human is about 120 years, thought the highest life expectancy in any country is just under 83 years.
As the baby boomer generation ages, increasing attention is being paid to the subject of longevity. Anti-aging doctors are emerging who sell any number of medicines, treatments, and services that all claim to increase life expectancy. Drug companies are investigating ways to put the beneficial components of red wine and green tea into a pill. People are obsessed with the idea of increasing their life expectancy. The most important thing you can do to improve your life expectancy is to master your daily habits of eating, exercise, and stress reduction.