Seven Keys for Living to 120

Living to a ripe old age isn’t a myth, it’s biblical. Here are a few basic guidelines to help it become a reality.

I believe the Word of God promises Christians 120 years of life (see Gen. 6:3). Yet instead of living out this promise, most believers accept growing old as a natural process. Even worse, they think it’s an excuse to stop eating right and exercising. I’ve heard it said, “You don’t stop eating right and exercising because you get old; you get old because you stop eating right and exercising.” I believe this is true.

Scripture states that when Moses was 120 years old, he climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab. Mount Nebo, located in Jordan, is a high mountain—about 3,300 feet at its highest point. I have friends who have tried to climb this mountain, but they just couldn’t do it and had to take a helicopter to the top. 

Yet Moses was able to climb it and see from Mount Nebo into the Promised Land before he died. The Bible tells us, “Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever” (Deut. 34:7, NLT).

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My wife, Mary, and I speak frequently about living to 120, and we often share about various studies on centenarians (people who live to be 100 or older). These studies have looked at the traits that enable them to live so long. None of them are smokers, alcoholics or drug addicts. Very few are obese, and while they aren’t vegetarians, veggies and fruits are a significant part of their diets. They remain active both physically and mentally.

I believe these lifestyle choices can be applied to us as Christians. God desires to see us fully functioning in optimum health over the course of our entire lives so that we can carry out His purpose. 

Given that, here are seven keys for living to 120 that I believe will help us experience God’s promise of long life:

  1. Make a decision that you’ll do what it takes to reach your goal of living to 120. You’ll never reach your goal without making a decision, writing it down and committing to do what it takes to achieve it.
  2. Maintain your waistline. For starters, the goal for men’s waists should be 40 inches or less; for women, it should be 35 or less. Eventually, get your waist down to half your height in inches. To do this, I recommend a Mediterranian diet or an anti-inflammatory diet. (You can find more information on these eating plans in many of my books.)
  3. Know your numbers: blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and CRP (C-reactive protein). Commit to do whatever it takes to keep these key numbers within the normal range.
  4. Remain active. You need at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate activity each week. If you aren’t exercising already, I recommend starting with a brisk 15- to 30-minute walk when you first wake up in the morning.
  5. Get adequate rest. You need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Any less than this and you’re increasing your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and other diseases. Lack of sleep also ages your skin and increases your chances of gaining weight.
  6. Take the right nutrients for longevity. Several supplements I recommend are glutathione, resveratrol, curcumin and vitamin D3. 
  7. Keep a positive mental and emotional outlook on life. Cope with stress, don’t sweat the small stuff, keep your mind sharp, stay connected to others and get 10 good belly laughs every day.

This is just a brief overview, but I provide detailed recommendations for all of these aspects of healthy living in many of my books. Above all, I believe consistency and moderation are needed to ensure success. If you can follow these seven keys with consistency and moderation, you’ve got a road map based on God’s design for healthy living so that you too can live to see 120.

Don Colbert, M.D., is board-certified in family practice and anti-aging medicine and has helped millions of people discover the joy of living in divine health. He is the author of numerous books, including the Bible Cure series, Toxic Relief, Reversing Diabetes and the New York Times best-sellers Dr. Colbert’s “I Can Do This” Diet and The Seven Pillars of Health.

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