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Longevity Secrets from the World’s Oldest Woman

Misao Okawa is a Japanese woman who was born in 1898. She is the world’s oldest person at 116 years young. In a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Misao explains her simple recipe for longevity. She advises we eat lots of sushi, sleep eight hours a night and learn to relax.

What Can the World’s Oldest Woman Teach Us About Healthy Aging?

Many women in the Sixty and Me community care about living a long and healthy life. We want to understand whether such simple advice really is all there is too it. Is it simply about creating a healthy lifestyle or are genetics involved as well?

There does seem to be a longevity trend in Japan. The average lifespan for a Japanese woman is now 85.9 years. In addition, women account for 87% of the 55,000 people in Japan over 100. The country also has 282 super-centenarians, who are people over 110, so there just may be something in the genes. Misao’s children appear to have inherited her genes, since they are now aged 94 and 92.

So let’s look at diet. Misao says that her favourite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice. This ticks the box for including omega rich nutrients in a diet which is already heavy in fish, rice, vegetables and fruit. Here are 15 healthy eating tips for women over 60.

There are other factors as well. For one thing, Japan has an advanced healthcare system. They also encourage a lifestyle that encourages people to learn how to relax, as well as providing community support and care for their aging population. Older people are also encouraged to stay active and be independent.

What other traits identify those people in Japan who live long and healthy lives? The article suggests that women who live longer have a strong will, stay in shape, are outgoing and have a sense of curiosity. That’s a good proportion of women in the Sixty and Me Community, so I’d better start that website called “100 and Me!” I just love Misao’s advice for living a long, high quality life. She simply says:

You have to learn how to relax.

Do you have relatives who have lived to be over 100? Do you think it was down to lifestyle, diet or genes? Please join the conversation.


Want to stay in great shape in your 60s and beyond? Check out these 6 healthy lifestyle tips for women over 60.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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