Live to be 100!
The number of people living longer is increasing dramatically. An estimated 4.2 million U.S. residents now fall into the age group of the “oldest old”–85 years and older–with more than 40,000 having reached the age of 100. Evidence suggests, however, that good genes are only small part of the longevity puzzle. In fact, researchers now believe that chronic illness is not an inevitable consequence of aging, but that it results more often from lifestyle choices that we’re perfectly free to reject. Follow this advice for healthy aging:
* Embrace a positive attitude – positive emotions may affect overall health through improving the immune function indirectly.
* Challenge your mind – consider mentally challenging activities such as crossword puzzles or learning a new language.
* Limit stress – humor, meditation, exercise and optimism are good ways to naturally reduce stress and relieve tension.
* Stay connected – social contacts may encourage us to take better care of ourselves or help us get through difficult times.
* Embrace exercise – find fun ways to stay in shape and feel good, such as dancing, gardening, cutting the grass, swimming, walking or jogging.
* Make healthy diet choices – choose whole natural foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good (unsaturated) fats, nuts, legumes and healthy sources of protein (white meat, fish and eggs).
* Choose quality health care – be sure that your health care provider supports various approaches to health care to present you with the safest and most effective treatment options available, and that he or she encourages you to be responsible for your health and involves you in decisions regarding your care.