Life Longer, Live Healthier
The study looked at , people in nearly countries and found that while both family and friends are associated with happiness and better health, as people aged, the health link remained only for people with strong friendships. If the primacy of family has been oversold as a key to long life, so has the importance of avoiding conflict or emotional upset.
In a study published by the American Aging Association, researchers analyzed data from the Georgia Centenarian Study, a survey of people who were at least or nearly years old, as well as family members and other proxies who provided information about them. The investigators were looking at how the subjects scored on various personality traits, including conscientiousness, extraversion, hostility and neuroticism.
Live Long, Live Well
As a group, the centenarians tested lower on neuroticism and higher on competence and extraversion. Their proxies ranked them a bit higher on neuroticism, as well as on hostility. At the same time that crankiness, judiciously deployed, can be adaptive, its polar opposite—cheerfulness and optimism—may be less so. Worried people are likelier to be vigilant people, alert to a troubling physical symptom or a loss of some faculty that overly optimistic people might dismiss.
Friedman and his collaborator Leslie R. One tip for long life that is not coming in for quite so much revisionist thinking is exercise—and some seniors are achieving remarkable things. It was a drizzly morning last Nov. So she decided to become one of them. She began training daily until she could run the full Few physicians would recommend that all octogenarians pick up a three-hour-a-day running habit, but adding even a small amount of movement to daily life has been repeatedly shown to be beneficial, for a whole range of reasons.
Thomas Gill, director of the Yale Program on Aging. It also provides a benefit to psychology, by lifting spirits.
Exactly how much—or how little—exercise it takes to begin paying dividends has been one of the happy surprises of longevity research. A study found that exercising even just two days a week can lower risk for premature death. Similarly, year-old Ashdown phones her takeout orders into Tal Bagels on First Avenue, not some trendy vegan joint.
Martin notes that while most centenarians eat different but generally healthy diets, one consistent thing he has picked up from work with his plus crowd is breakfast. Alcohol has its place too. A study found that women over age 50 who were categorized as normal weight, but reported fluctuating dropping more than 10 lb. Finally, as long as seniors are enjoying themselves with some indulgent food and drink, they may as well round out the good-times trifecta with a little sex. Friedman and his colleagues, working with the Terman group, found something similar—though not quite as dramatic—for women.
A study from Michigan State University was less sanguine, finding that older men who had sex once a week or more were almost twice as likely to suffer a cardiovascular event than men who had less sex; that was especially so if the more active men were satisfied with the sex, which often means they achieved orgasm. For older women, sex seemed to be protective against cardiovascular event. The problem for the men was likely overexertion, but there are ways around that. In this and other dimensions of aging, Kennedy cites pianist Vladimir Horowitz, who died at age 86 and was still performing into his 80s.
Conceding the limitations of age, he left the most demanding pieces out of his performances; of those that remained, he would play the slower ones first, making the faster ones seem faster still by comparison. But there are independent centenarians and happy centenarians and centenarians who have had a rollicking good ride. Get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. When filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose from a full color palette.
For even more health benefits, aim for nine servings a day. To get there, choose vegetable soups and vegetable or fruit salads. Sprinkle fruit on breakfast cereal, and select it for snacks or as a sweet end note after meals. Whenever possible, use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils.
Avoid trans fats entirely. If you don't have coronary artery disease, the American Heart Association recommends eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, or mackerel, twice weekly. If you have documented coronary artery disease, consume roughly 1 gram a day of EPA or DHA from oily fish and supplements if your doctor advises this.
Choose whole-grain foods over those made with refined grains, such as white bread. Look beyond popular choices like whole oats and brown rice to lesser-known whole grains like barley, bulgur, kasha, and quinoa. Limit your intake of white potatoes. Emphasize plant sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and grains, to help you bypass unhealthy fats predominant in animal sources.
Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables and eating beans and grains helps you get a full complement of amino acids over the course of a week. Shy away from protein sources high in saturated fat. Favor fish and well-trimmed poultry. If you do eat beef, pick lean cuts.
Gaining an Extra 10 Years
Don't char or overcook meat, poultry, or fish — it causes a buildup of carcinogens. Grilling vegetables is safe, however.
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Turning the tide to lose weight — or just holding the line at your current weight — can be difficult. The following tips may help:. Work with your doctor and, possibly, a nutritionist or personal trainer. Ask for help in setting a reasonable goal and taking small steps that make success more likely.
Habits to help you live longer - Health
Tell friends and family about your goal, too. Shut down the kitchen. Make your kitchen off-limits after dinner — even if you need to run a strip of crime tape across the door to do so. Aim for a small change.
Focus on vegetables and whole grains, which are digested slowly.