Secrets to Living A Long Life

'Given My Antiquity'

Secrets to Living a Long Life: Some Practical, Some Fun — from 'mind your own business' to 'eat bacon' to 'stay positive' and more

By Byron Belzak,
Posted Nov. 13, 2017

Charles Belzak, my father, lived just shy of 95 years old. He was known for being a gentleman, being kind and prone to few words, most of which were an understatement, such as, "Given my antiquity, I can say that old age has it surprises, and not all of them are pleasant." He would then chuckle at his insight.

Charlie, as he would introduce himself, always stayed positive throughout his life. He also read a lot of books on a wide variety of subjects, so he had something to say, usually good, on a myriad of subjects. He told me he was pleased to have made it so long, and "wanted to live a whole lot more." And Charlie attributed his antiquity to one main factor: "Live life in moderation." And he did, rest his soul.

In Western North Carolina, health care quality and affordability are likely to be going south since Mission Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina no longer have a contract. (It's shameful, and must be remedied sooner than later.) Given that clear and present danger to all Ashevilleans, especially the elderly, advice from those who have reached a ripe and happy old age, might put a smile on your face and a few extra years under your belt, as follows:

116-year-old Besse Copper had said, "Mind your own business and don't eat junk food," according to | Read more>

116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones offered an unconventional way to living long: Eat bacon daily. She also said don't drink, don't smoke, and surround yourself with love, as reported by Guinness and Huffington Post | Read more> published "10 Secrets to a long life" with advice from folks who lived to be a 100 and then some | Read more>

89-year-old Bella Pezner attributed working long and working hard as the secret to her longevity, recently reported | Read more>

93-year-old Gene Jaroslaw is featured online by OLLI at UNCA (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of North Carolina in Asheville). Mr. Jaroslow has devoted his life to fighting for justice, writes Jim Lenburg at, which was posted as of November 2017 | Read more> reported that researchers have found a number of similar personality traits in centenarians. This 100-plus group is often extroverted, positive and optimistic. | Read more> provides a list of centenarians who lived in Asheville or had moved to North Carolina. | Read more>

Ruth and Latrobe Carroll, a married couple who lived in Asheville, both made it to being over 100 years old. Perhaps their longevity can be attributed to their creative spirit. They are known for writing and illustrating a number of popular children's books, according to | Read more>


'25 Simple and Surprising Tips to Help You Live to 100' | Balance on one leg every morning; have sex at least twice a week; have six good friends; laugh at least 20 times a day; draw your family tree; measure your waist — not your weight: now that's a good start on your way to reaching 100 years old, according to the Daily Mirror at | More>

'Are Honey Nut Cheerios Healthy?' | Uh oh | More>

'Dietary Guidelines' | Arm yourself with real facts about how "food and nutrition... play a crucial role in chronic disease prevention," compliments of your tax dollars at work from the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) at | More>

'Five Tips for Healthy Skin' | Gentle cleansing and sun protection can keep your skin glowing for years, reports the Mayo Clinic Staff at | More>

'Make Better Health Decisions' | Browse Mission Health's online health information from A to Z, including videos, symptom checker, health decision tools, info about medications and medical tests, provided by Healthwise Knowledgebase via | More>

'No Excuses People: Get the New Shingles Vaccine' | Avoid the possibility of ongoing pain, reports Paula Span/The New Old Age at | More>

'Older Adults Are Skipping Vaccines' | And they shouldn't because it increases their odds of an early passing, reports Paula Span/The New Old Age at | More>

'Yoga for Back Pain' | 10 poses to try and why it works, reports | More>



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