More than 84,000 people living in the U.S. today are 100 years or older. By 2040, that number is expected to grow to 580,000 -- an increase of 590 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Being one of the lucky ones who gets 100 candles on a birthday cake someday takes more than good genes, although that helps. United Healthcare surveyed 100 Americans who turned 100 to provide a snapshot of the healthy habits that keep them going strong.

Nine secrets of a long life:

More than 80 percent communicate with a friend or family member daily.
Seventy-five percent eat nutritionally balanced meals every day.
Seventy-five percent get eight hours or more of sleep each night.
Seventy-two percent laugh or giggle every day.
Sixty-two percent pray, meditate, or engage in a spiritual activity daily.
Forty-nine percent stay active by walking or hiking at least once a week, while 31 percent stay active by gardening.
Thirty-two percent eat organic foods regularly.
Seventeen percent are currently doing some volunteer work.
An increasing number of centenarians are also staying sharp by using new technologies: 12 percent have listened to music on a music player or similar device, 11 percent have watched a video on YouTube, and 8 percent have sent a text or instant message.


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