19 Little Habits And Routines That Might've Helped Older Adults Live Well Into Their 90s And Beyond, According To Their Family Members

19 Little Habits And Routines That Might've Helped Older Adults Live Well Into Their 90s And Beyond, According To Their Family Members

Maybe luck and genetics allow some people to win the longevity lottery, but perhaps habits and lifestyle choices also factor into the equation. So, I asked members of the BuzzFeed Community with loved ones who have lived long and happy lives to tell me their "secrets" to longevity. Here's what they (and some Redditors) said.

  NBC / Universal / Via youtube.com
NBC / Universal / Via youtube.com

1."My grandmother is currently 97, and she is showing no signs of slowing down. She says her secret is going for daily walks and just not stopping. She's an impressive woman, and she's also very positive most of the time."

Two people are hiking on a grassy, coastal trail with the ocean in the background. They are wearing casual outdoor clothing and carrying backpacks
Alistair Berg / Getty Images

2."My grandma lived to be 92, and she always had something to look forward to or something she wanted to see. By the time she saw it, she had put another thing on the calendar for which to get excited."


3."She stayed curious about the world and people. She tried new things well into her 90s (such as soft shoe tap dancing!). Even though she had gone blind and wasn't very agile, she still made a point of trying new things."

Elderly couple, backs to camera, dancing in a bright room; the woman in a floral top, the man in a light shirt. Other couples dance in the background
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

4."My great aunt is 102, going on 103 and still living it up. She lived through the end of WWI, the Spanish influenza, and WWII. She ended up catching COVID last year but barely had symptoms. She still lives independently, does her cooking and gardening, and hosts lunch parties for some of her much younger friends. She also has a laptop and a smartphone and regularly sends me WhatsApp messages."

An older adult planting a seedling in a garden with a stone building in the background
Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty Images

5."My mother is 86 years old. She still mows her lawns and takes care of all her house-keeping at both homes she owns. I really think she will make it another 10 to 15 years."

An elderly person wearing a cap, a long-sleeve shirt, gloves, and jeans is raking hay in a lush, overgrown garden with tall grass and wildflowers


Fiordaliso / Getty Images

6."For my grandmother who lived well into her 90s, I think the lifestyle of walking everywhere and living in a close-knit community contributed a lot to her longevity and health."


7."The women on my dad's side of the family have all lived between 95 and 100 years. My grandmother's routine included daily crossword puzzles, reading physical books, one-mile walks, and a whole grapefruit for breakfast."

A person solves a crossword puzzle in a newspaper with a purple pen. The newspaper has various articles and puzzles visible but not legible


Carol Yepes / Getty Images

8."My grandmother is 100 years old. She drinks wine every day. She loves life, and I think that's the secret."


9."My grandfather lived to be 99 years old, and his favorite meal was steak with french fries."

A plate of sliced steak alongside seasoned fries garnished with parsley
Lauripatterson / Getty Images

10."My grandmother is 93. She's originally from the Middle East but immigrated to the US about forty years ago or so. She walks anywhere from three to five miles per day, goes to Zumba class three times per week, and still wears heels."


11."My grandma is 103 and still with us. She says what keeps her going is ice cream — every single day. She says eating healthy is important, but so is being happy. So have that scoop of ice cream after dinner."

An elderly couple sits on a bench by the seaside, sharing ice cream and engaging in conversation
James Stirling / Getty Images

12."My grandfather lived to be 93. He would eat half of a raw onion with lunch and supper as if it were an apple. I told him I’m telling my kids that’s what kept him healthy and alive all those years. He got a kick out of that, but I’m really convinced that’s what it was."


13."My gran was 104 when she died. The secret, she said, was 'a tot a whiskey in her morning cuppa.'"

Two people sit at a table, each holding a cup of tea. The setting is casual with a patterned tablecloth and wooden table. Their faces are not visible


Adene Sanchez / Getty Images

14."My grandmother never exercised one day in her entire life. She loved her sugary treats and her glass of wine with her food. She lived in a country with intense sunlight every day of the year. She lived to 102, and her sister (who also smoked when she was young) is going strong at 104 years old."

Two people clink glasses of red wine, hands visible. A floral-patterned shirt is partially seen in the background.
Lemanieh / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15."My grandmother lived to be 100. She had plenty of family around, and she was a very pleasant person, so everyone wanted to visit her all the time. Her oldest daughter (my aunt) had five children. They had children, and then those children had children of their own. So my grandmother got to spend time with lots of her great-grandkids."

Four hands from different age groups are gently holding each other, symbolizing unity and connection across generations
Eriko Koga / Getty Images

16."My grandma is 92 and still perfectly healthy. She gardens, lives alone, drives, cooks, and still manages all her affairs (such as finances, taxes, home repairs, etc.). She loves Netflix and using her iPad and iPhone, too. She plays cards with her friends three times per week and says that's what keeps her mind sharp. She's amazing, and I want to be like her when I'm that age!"

People shaping heart-shaped dough on a baking tray with their hands
Antonella Platania / Getty Images

17."My grandpa is 99, and he would say his longevity is God's doing. I think, however, his daily walks have a lot to do with it. If the weather doesn't cooperate, he uses his little floor foot pedals. He has to use a walker now, but he still goes out every day if he can."


18."My grandma will be 95 in July, and she swears that staying active is the reason for her health. She travels two hours each way with my mom every Sunday to go dancing. She continues to work in the yard as well."

Person in a swimsuit joyfully jumps off a dock into a lake, with mountains visible in the background


Ira T. Nicolai / Getty Images

19.And finally, "I asked my great grandma once about her secret. She looked me dead in my eyes and said, 'sex.' She's still kicking it at 99."


Do you have a loved one who has lived to be a centenarian — or close to it? Tell us about their unique lifestyle choices and habits that might contribute to a long and happy life, or leave your comments in this anonymous form.