Top Habits of People Who Age Well

Exercise, diet, even attitude can be as important as genetics when it comes to growing old gracefully. “Old age”, as Bette Davis once said, “is no place for sissies.” But that doesn’t mean you need to chicken out. Sure, growing older affects nearly every part of your body, including your hair, skin, heart, muscles, and more. But aging well may be as simple as adopting these (mostly) easy everyday habits.

Maintain a positive attitude

You are what you think you are when it comes to aging. Seniors who think of age as a means to wisdom and overall satisfaction are more than 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see aging as synonymous with helplessness or uselessness, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Watch what you eat…

The latest research shows that a low-glycemic diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is healthiest. One great example is the Mediterranean diet, rich in plant-based foods, whole grains, nuts, and red wine (in moderation!). It also involves eating fish twice each week and cutting back on salt. Research shows that this type of diet may help you age better by warding off heart attacks, strokes, and premature death, according to Harvard Medical School.

And how much you eat

Overeating may lead to a shorter life span, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, according to the NIH. To age well and live longer, it’s best to stick to a balanced diet that consists of about 2.5 cups of vegetables, 1.5 to two cups of fruit, six ounces of grains, three cups of dairy, and five ounces of protein each day.

Stay social

Friends and relatives can help you live longer. Those of us with strong social ties were shown to have a 50 percent higher chance of living longer than those with poor or insufficient relationships, according to a study published in the journal PLoS Medicine.

Protect your skin from the sun

Too much time in the sun can cause wrinkles, not to mention cancer. But wearing sunscreen can help prevent your skin’s aging. And while the sun’s UV rays do trigger vitamin D production, which is essential for bone health, that’s hardly a good reason to expose yourself.