Who better to talk to about the secret to living a long life than a centenarian? Some attribute their success to healthy nutrition and regular exercise, while others believe they were just born with good genes.
One woman, Susannah Mushatt Jones, said that eating bacon was the reason she lived to be 116 years old. Holiday Retirement commissioned a national survey of American centenarians—people who have lived for 100 years or more—in 2015.
It asked about what it takes to live a long and meaningful life. In summary, the secrets included spending time with family, accumulating money early on, dealing with difficulties rather than avoiding them, and being active.
Scotland’s 109-year-old Jessie Gallan provided one of the most unusual responses we’ve ever heard.
Jessie Gallan’s Life-Long Secret
Gallan was born in 1906 on a farm in Kintore, Scotland, to five sisters and one brother. All seven of them would sleep on a straw-filled mattress in a tiny two-room house.
She briefly attended school before leaving to work in a farm kitchen and later as a housemaid in the city for a wealthy businessman. A career in the service sector, both in the city and out in the country, followed this.
Gallan eventually moved into Crosby House, a senior care facility. “Jessie is a lovely woman,” Gillian Bennett, one of her support workers at the time, told STV.
Sarah Jane is her best friend here, and they are always together. She enjoys music, enjoys her exercise class, and is a self-sufficient individual. She’s always on the move.”
According to Bennett’s nice words, Gallan appears to have attributed her long life to remaining busy and social. Despite the fact that she died in March 2015, her secret to living a long life is unlike any we’ve heard!
“My secret to living a long life has been staying away from men,” Gallan explained. “They’re just causing more trouble than they’re worth.”
Although we can hear a hearty “amen” from other women all across the world, Gallan’s method does include a food component.
“I enjoy my porridge.” I have had it my entire life.”
Jessie Gallan did not expressly address any of the survey topics above, but she lived them. From socialising to being active, perhaps staying away from men was the unspoken icing on the cake that kept her going for so long!
We’re not advocating avoiding marriage if you want to live a long life. Rather, we’re emphasising how a mix of healthy (and sometimes unusual) habits and lifestyle choices can help you live longer—possibly even into your hundreds!