Keys to living a long and healthy life

Here are the keys to living a long and healthy life

Throw out the anti-aging food supplements and forget surgery.

A South African woman, who claims to be the world’s oldest living person at 132, advocates fresh food and exercise as the keys to longevity.

Moloko Temo holds an identity card from the South African government confirming her birth on July 4, 1874, but international authorities have not verified her age and The Guinness Book of Records gives the title of oldest person to a French woman who died aged 122 and 164 days in 1997.

Whether a world record-breaker or not, Temo is extraordinary in South Africa where the average lifespan is less than 50.

Temo, who is now blind, attributes her longevity to a diet of fresh foods and the backbreaking tasks of rural life in the farmlands of Mamohwibidu, a remote village in the far reaches of South Africa’s northern Limpopo province.

As a young woman, she remembers working hard.

“We would walk very far to fetch firewood.

We would make very big clay pots and use them to collect water from a hole or river, and carry them back on our heads,” she told Reuters.

Temo, a widow who has outlived four of her children, now enjoys the company of her two surviving daughters — themselves senior citizens — and several generations of more than 100 offspring.

She is a sports fan and hopes to survive long enough to cheer on the home team during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, which is being hosted in South Africa.

But strenuous physical activity is out of the question now, says Temo, who is wheel-chair bound.

These days, she says she trains her mind and maintains an upbeat attitude through storytelling and song.

Her diet remains based on South African comfort foods.

Breakfast consists of warm, fresh baked bread, sometimes with a pat of margarine, and herbal rooibus tea.

Lunch and dinner is a vegetarian meal of maize, a starchy thin porridge, drenched in fresh milk.

She also recommends as a side dish morogo, a leafy African vegetable high in protein and vitamins.

“Meat is not healthy for the elderly but it does make younger people grow faster,” she said.

Her advise to staying healthy is to “eat (natural foods) and exercise every day.”

-Adam
Key to life? Exercise, says 132-yr-old woman (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Throw out the anti-aging food supplements and forget surgery. A South African woman, who claims to be the world’s oldest living person at 132, advocates fresh food and exercise as the keys to longevity.

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