We’ve all heard one or more clichés about aging. From “you’re only as old as you feel” to “aging is a state of mind” there are a lot of platitudes about growing older. Some research shows, however, that there might be some truth behind the clichés.
Researchers from University College London dug into the issue and uncovered some surprising results—older adults who thought of themselves as younger than their actual age lived longer.
Their study included 6,500 participants, both men and women, who were an average age of 65. The first question asked of participants was, “How old do you feel you are?” Respondent answers were broken down as follows:
- 70% felt three or more years younger than their actual age
- 25% felt their age or close to it
- 5% felt one or more years older than their actual age
Eight years later, researchers followed up with the same respondents. Interestingly, participants who had previously answered that they felt younger than their actual age were more likely to be alive as compared to those who answered differently. This led the researchers to conclude that there may be a link between how you feel about aging and how well you age.
10 Ways to Feel Young During Retirement
A sedentary lifestyle can be just as dangerous as cigarette smoking. Get moving and avoid sitting for long periods of time.
This goes hand-in-hand with avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Engaging in thirty minutes of daily exercise can keep you looking and feeling younger. Walking, swimming, and biking are all senior-friendly forms of exercise.
Having a positive outlook on life can help you build good coping skills. These help to manage life’s ups and downs without feeling overwhelmed and stressed-out.
Forget the number:
Experts say that older adults who embrace the date on their birth certificate have a healthier attitude about the aging process. This is one of the keys to successful aging. Instead of focusing on your age, focus on the steps you can take to live your best life.
Give your brain a workout:
Continuing to learn and grow is another important part of aging well. It protects cognitive health while often giving you an opportunity to meet new people. Sign up for an art workshop or learn to play the drums. Your local senior center or community college likely have a variety of classes from which to choose.
Nurture the spirit:
Whether it is through meditation, spending time with nature, or by joining a formal religion, it’s important to take time to nurture the spirit. You can even benefit from creating an indoor garden.
Eat a balanced diet:
We’ve all heard this one over and over, because it’s true. A healthy diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables is often recommended by physicians and nutritionists.
Live with purpose:
Living a purposeful life also keeps you feeling younger. Find activities that allow you to stay productive. It might be volunteer work, pursuing a retirement career, or helping out with the grandkids.
Adopt a pet:
Having a four-legged or feathered friend to share your retirement years can help promote a healthier lifestyle. From the fitness benefits of walking a dog to the companionship of having a pet to “talk” to, it’s an idea worth considering.
Our tenth and final tip is to consider where you live during retirement. Senior living communities offer older adults the support and security they need to maintain their independence. You can learn more by calling us at 888-514-6461 to speak with a local senior care advisor for free!