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Genetic makeup is a key predictor of lifespan – but the choices made over the course of time are also impactful. For decades, scientists have sought to uncover the secrets of longevity, but the answers have remained elusive. Now, Mr Tinniswood suggests moderation, among other things, may be key to living a long life.
The Southport resident has officially become the oldest man in the UK, after receiving his 10th birthday card from the Queen since turning 100 in 2012.
Despite being one of the very few people to reach the milestone, Mr Tinniswood insists he doesn’t feel old, adding: “I keep up with my friends.”
The centenarian was born in 1912 and has endured two World Wars, the Spanish flu and the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of his favourite activities in his youth was walking, which he still does despite not being unable to move as freely.
In fact, Mr Tinniswood enjoys walking around his care home with the support of his shopping trolley.
He added: “Swinging your legs about is good exercise. Each day, swinging the left foot and the right.”
Having worked in accounts for the oil and gas empire Shell, Mr Tinniswood pointed out that he has now been retired for longer than he was in work.
The centenarian put his longevity down to several factors, but first and foremost, he stresses the importance of doing all things in moderation.
He said: “One word… moderation. Don’t eat too much. Don’t drink too much. Try and keep yourself fit.
“Moderation in everything and all things. Moderation in exercising, writing, listening.”
There is ample evidence that moderation is key for healthy ageing when applied to healthy habits such as drinking and smoking.
Researchers believe long hours of socialising, however, have helped many centenarians in blue zones mark their 100th birthdays.
This may be because the pressure of isolation may weaken people’s immune defences, making them more vulnerable to disease.
People with stronger social bonds also tend to have better health behaviours, researchers have noted.
They tend to demonstrate a preference for healthier foods or are more likely to be physically active.
Speaking to ITV on his 109th birthday latest year, Mr Tinniswood highlighted the importance of setting boundaries and relaxing.
He explained: “You should never exceed what you do normally, otherwise you’ll injure yourself bodily or mentally.
“So stay within the limits of what you can do!”
A bit of indulgence is also good, adds Mr Tinniswood, who looks forward to his weekly fish and chips to help him keep young.
French citizen Lucile Randon, 118, is currently the oldest woman alive, while the oldest man is Juan Vicente Pérez Mora, from Venezuela, who is aged 113.
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