Most of us would like to live to be 100 or older, provided we could maintain a highly functional body and mind. Of course, being functional is the important thing.
Research has now shown that we can live to a ripe old age and live it in good health, provided we follow a few simple steps each day.
1. Eat fewer calories, but more food.
Pile your plate high with vegetables and fruits, add respectable portions of beans and whole grains, and downplay high-calorie fare like cheeseburgers, cream sauces, and fatty meats.
2. Use exercise as an anti-aging vaccine.
It’s no secret that physical activity tones up muscles, burns calories, and puts a happy bounce in your step. Exercise acts as a powerful vaccine against the aging process itself. Plus it can help you attain a better quality of life as you age.
3. Reach for Red
Resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, seems to have powerful anti-aging effects. Research suggests that it offers the same life-lengthening benefits as calorie restriction — without the hunger pangs. Sipping a little Merlot with your dinner isn’t a bad idea.
4. Connect with friends and family.
Close connections are a source of joy and offer a sturdy shield against the stress that can lead to health problems down the road. Scientific journals prove time and again that having friends around changes the biochemistry of your brain, pumping up feelings of joy and wellbeing that bolster immunity.
When you’re alone for too long levels of the stress hormone cortisol rise, ratcheting up your odds for heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, muddled thinking, and sleep problems.
5. Find something interesting to do.
Discover something more meaningful to devote yourself to and pursue it wholeheartedly. Why? A growing body of scientific research shows that doing something that interests you offers big health benefits in your 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.