We are told sixty is the new fifty, but only for some of us. There are many whose life expectancy is less than their parents. The reasons are well known, eat unhealthy food, cut out exercise and sixty is more likely to be the new seventy. It’s easy enough to fix; healthy food is important for long life, but exercise is vital. You really do need exercise to stay young.
Of course as you get older you must exercise within limits. Your body will tell you that running for a bus is not as easy as it was. But it should still be possible if you do not have a medical problem. Regular exercise is the key and you should adjust to the amount you feel comfortable with. The time scale can remain the same, although half an hour’s vigorous exercises a day can become half an hour’s light exercise as you get older.
One of the secrets of staying young is wanting to remain physically and mentally active. Exercise is one of several elements including diet and mental attitude which contribute to a long life. Of course luck is involved too. If both of your parents lived into their 90s the chances are you will do the same. But if you don’t smoke, drink moderately and have a healthy lifestyle you may still reach a great age despite unhelpful genes.
If you eat the right food and do regular exercise you will be going in the right direction. What else do you need to stay young? There have recently been reports in the media that the quantity of food you eat may affect longevity. Research at the Institute of Healthy Aging, UCL, shows that eating forty percent less food could extend life by twenty years. But as this refers to work on rats we should not regard it as necessarily relating to humans. Perhaps it does and there is no harm in eating less food within reason, but forty percent less is rather a lot. There are also studies which tell us a low calorie diet can increase life expectancy by up to twenty five years. Whatever the increased lifespan may be the message is make sure you eat the right food and the right amount for you.
Another factor in staying young and living longer is mental attitude. Most centenarians do seem to have a positive way of looking at life. So you need an active healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude to living. Do that and you may not live to a hundred but you could discover eighty is the new seventy.
See you soon,
8 June 2012
Phoyo. Neurotrials (Flickr)