What is the secret to a long life?
It’s an age-old question. Turns out, many have opinions about the recipe for a long life — some a little more “out there” than others. But the truth is, regardless of your age, it’s never too late to start making lifestyle changes towards longevity. Several studies suggest that the way you choose to live may influence the length of your life.
Genes may not affect our lifespan as much as we think, meaning the rest is up to us and our lifestyle choices. US life expectancy has increased by nearly 10 years since the 1960’s — but while modern medicine has given many of us a new lease on longer lives, it’s up to us to take advantage.
So how can we not only extend our golden years, but also live them up? The answer may be two-fold.
Where to Start?
With these methods, a longer life may just be a few small, daily decisions away.
1. Ditch the Downers
Smoking and drinking can contribute to a variety of diseases and complications that may affect longevity, and lead to premature aging in the long run. The good news: regardless of your choices up until now, there’s always an opportunity to change your habits for the better.
2. Get Moving
If you’re capable, walking is a great activity for almost everyone, and may dramatically reduce your risk of disease. But if your mobility is restricted, you can still talk to your doctor about other ways you can fit lower impact activities into your lifestyle. Anything is better than nothing.
3. Upgrade Your Diet
Enjoying more fruits and veggies is a great way to fuel your body. Aim for five to nine servings per day, and try to get most of your nutrients from food instead of supplements. Black beans, soybeans, and lentils make a great substitution for meat.
4. Challenge Yourself
Your golden years are a time of renewal — an opportunity to start something new. What are some hobbies you want to try? What are some of your old passions you can bring back into your life? This is a perfect time.
5. Enjoy Unlimited Laughs and Smiles
Sure, some say that laughter is the best medicine. But its effects could run deeper than that. Surrounding yourself with positive memories, relationships and activities can go a long way towards your mental health, and ultimately longevity.
6. Set Dates to Look Forward To
Put friend and family visits on your calendar. Start thinking about how you can make holidays more special than ever this year. Your golden years are all about making the most of your time — and that’s more easily achieved when you can plan.
7. Make a Difference
Are there any skills you have that can be used to help others in your community? Or any causes you’re passionate about? Working — even after you retire —can be just as fulfilling when you’re volunteering for a good cause. Many senior living communities offer opportunities for this and can support your participation.
8. You aren’t alone
The aging population is growing rapidly. There’s never been a better time to start making new friends and finding peers with similar interests. Whether they live in your community and are available for social events or it’s an email pen pal from miles away, there are more ways than ever to create new and meaningful relationships as you age.
Some Sage Advice
Jeanne Calment is the oldest person, as verified by documents, to ever live. She passed away in 1997 at 122 years of age. And there have been undocumented reports of other people reaching even 160 years of age.
One such story is of Mr. Mbah Gotho, who reportedly passed at age 146. His recipe? Patience.
The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.
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