How to Age Healthily and Gracefully.

Your choice, your body. (photo from

They say that 40’s is the new twenty’s but is this true?  The average life span of an individual seems to be  getting shorter thru the years, and  despite the advent of science and medical technology, more and more and  even younger people seem to be getting sick. Could it be that we live in the time of so much choices  that we end up chasing everything and wasting ourselves?

Your choice, your body. (photo from

Since the 1930s, The Harvard Study of Adult Development, the most comprehensive examination of aging ever conducted, have studied more than 800 men and women, following them from adolescence into old age, and seeking clues to the behaviors that translate into happy and healthy longevity. They have pinpointed specific behaviors that  can help ensure longevity and it’s not about  trying to battle nor worry about all those sorts of diseases that our genes may bring. Surprisingly, it’s the choices we make that will definitely affect how our health will be in the later part of your lives.

Here are some of their recommendations:

Don’t smoke or quit if you do. Mountains of research show that smoking is linked to chronic illnesses and death. That and aside from the fact that smoking speeds up the aging process, damage the cells, makes the skin prone to wrinkles and turns your teeth to yellow, among its short term effects.

Maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk for serious health problems such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 3 diabetes and certain cancers. It  also  makes you feel good about yourself and  gives you more  energy to enjoy later life. Try to exercise 30 minutes everyday.  According to a study in the British Journal of Sports medicine, if you are aerobically fit, you can delay biological aging by 10 or more years. Aim for a 30 minutes of moderate activity a day, such as  brisk walk, light jog  or bike ride.

Maintain meaningful social relationships. Research from New England Centenarian Study suggests that socializing appears to enhance health and may even increase longevity. Aging successfully,  is something like being tickled — it’s best achieved with another person. On the other hand, loneliness and isolation may increase the risk of high blood pressure, depression and Alzheimer’s. So when you friends  bug you, think  of them, as  vitamins and be glad you have them. Whether your social connections are with a spouse, children or siblings, bridge partners, and/or fellow churchgoers, they’re crucial to good health while growing older.

Aside from being active, stay mentally as well. Learning and doing new things can improve  the wiring in your brain, which helps you keep mental acuity as you age. Research also  indicates that a sense of curiosity and creativity helps transform older people into seemingly younger ones. Read books, take a class, do crosswords and sodoku puzzles to be mentally fit.

Develop good coping skills. It’s not the amount of stress that ages you but how you deal with it. Have the discernment to choose what you should and shouldn’t stress about. Stress is inevitable, but if you spend your time worrying about things that you cannot solve, then you won’t find the beauty of life specially at a later age. You will either be too grumpy by then. Or dead.