Scientists have been studying the lifestyles and healthy habits of “super agers” (seniors who live extremely well into old age) for insight on how we can increase our health span, or the amount of time we’ll live in good health.
While genes only account for about 20%-30% of our longevity researchers say, lifestyle plays a key role in the majority of our aging. So exactly what can we do to live longer and better? According to an article from WebMD, eating healthy and exercise are likely to impact how well we age, but they are far from the only things involved, and they may not even be the most important ones.
Here is an excerpt from the WebMD article:
Lessons From the ‘Blue Zones’
Author Dan Buettner has researched people who live to be 100+ since 2000. He worked with National Geographic to identify five “Blue Zones” that have the highest percentage of the world’s longest-lived people. People in these zones also lived relatively free of diseases common to aging, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The U.S. has only one Blue Zone: the Seventh-day Adventist community of Loma Linda, CA. Other communities include Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica.
Here’s what they had in common:
- A plant-based diet— beans, whole grains, veggies
- Opportunities for natural movement, like walking, herding, and gardening
- Having a sense of purpose
- Belonging to a faith-based community
- Taking a daily nap or finding some other way to “downshift” daily
- Not overeating and not eating after sunset
Read the entire WebMD article.