Experts On Aging Reveal The 5 Major Habits That Will Improve Your Longevity

“Like most trajectories of age, or conditions of life, it is a combination of biology, environment and personal agency,” she said.

According to Jennifer Ailshire, an associate professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California, some SuperAgers may have certain qualities, though.

“We think of SuperAgers … as people who are reaching 85 years of age, so they’re exceeding the typical or average life expectancy for … their cohort,” Ailshire said. “For us, a SuperAger is not just someone who’s long-lived. It’s also someone who’s maintained a fairly high level of physical, cognitive, psychological and social well-being.”

How people go about accomplishing these qualities can be vastly different.

“For some, it is drinking a beer [or a few] at night. For others, it’s abstaining from vices. Some are still running successful businesses, while others have been retired for years,” Gefen said. ”I suppose the common denominator is that most appear to be socially active or engage in continuous, meaningful activity. But there are exceptions.”

The researchers we spoke to stressed that there is no direct roadmap to becoming a SuperAger. That being said, there are some positive habits you can adopt from them to bolster your cognitive and physical functioning well into your later years. Here are the key habits to practice:

1. Move your body regularly.

“A lot of research shows that daily body movement is associated with both longevity and healthy aging,” Ailshire said. “I don’t use the word exercise, though, because I think we all have a connotation with exercise that’s like hitting the gym or running or something. But these may just be activities like gardening, doing crafts, kind of working around the house.”

Even walking counts as movement, with Ailshire adding that a focal point for SuperAgers is avoiding sedentary behavior.

“It is a little hard for all of us to avoid sedentary behavior — most of us have computer jobs,” she said. “But they’re very physically active and they have been their entire lives.”

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