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Tips to living a longer, healthier life

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Albany/HV: Tips to living a longer, healthier life
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One the eve of her 100th birthday, Janet Wolfe celebrated with a little dance and a lot of humor. This spunky centenarian still has her wits about her.

"You think I have my wits about me? There's one wit over there, another wit here," Wolfe says.

Most people would agree that they would like to have the energy and productivity that Wolfe has by the time they hit 100, and that's something to think about because these days, a lot more of us will likely reach that age.

"Currently, there are 72,000 Americans that are over 100," says Dr. Cathryn Devons, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital. "By the year 2050, we're expecting over 600,000 Americans to be over the age of 100."

So what's the secret to a long, healthy life? Devons says there is no secret, just an awareness that how we live now will help determine how well, or how long, we'll live later.

For example, challenging the mind is key.

"Staying mentally active is extremely important, to continue to read, to go out, to interact with people," Devons says. "Being around people is really important."

Doctors also say a good diet is key to living a long, healthy life. We should eat foods that are low in fat and have lots of fruits and vegetables. But Wolfe says her diet includes a few other essentials.

"My diet includes coffee and Pinot Grigio, white wine," she says. "And maybe I eat something in between those things. I don't know. (laughs)"

Doctors may not recommend that, but they do recommend you find what it is that makes you happy and enjoy, because being happy can keep you healthy.

Devons also recommends staying physically fit, staying ahead of your health by focusing on preventative medicine and, as you age, try to spend time around young people. She also says it's always important to try to have a sense of humor, and that brings us back to Wolfe. We asked her about her plans for the future.

"Strip! (laughs) What am I going to do? Scare the hell out of people! (laughs)," she says.

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