Top Ways to Age Successfully

The secret to a great life isn't so much about longevity, as worthy of our efforts as that is, as much as the quality of our years. This becomes more apparent as we age. It's never too late to seek and adopt ways to improve how we live for happier, healthier and more satisfied lives. This list from the New York Times isn't exhaustive but it provides some great tips.

Excerpted from the NY Times The Year In Well

1. For successful aging, recognize one’s issues and adapt accordingly.

How to Age Gracefully

We can take inventory of our lives and decide what we no longer needed to do (color our hair; talk about aches and pains to anyone who will listen) and what we are unwilling to give up (walking our dog in the woods). “Sooner or later, we all must recognize what is no longer possible and find alternatives,” Ms. Brody writes.

2. The more your gut microbiome changes, the better.

A Changing Gut Microbiome May Predict How Well You Age

You may be able to predict your likelihood of living a long life by analyzing the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit your intestinal tract, Anahad O’Connor reported, citing a promising study.

3. ‘Cognitive Super-Agers’ may hold clues to how we can keep our brains in shape.

The Secrets of ‘Cognitive Super-Agers’

A study out of the Netherlands that focused on “cognitive super-agers” — people who approach the end of the human life span with brains that function as if they were 30 years younger. By studying centenarians, researchers hope to identify reliable characteristics and develop treatments that would result in healthy cognitive aging for most of us. Meanwhile, there is much we can do now to keep our brains in tiptop condition. These centenarians tend to maintain good vision and hearing, and past research has revealed lifestyle factors that contribute to resilience such as obtaining a high level of quality education; holding occupations that deal with complex facts and data; consuming a Mediterranean-style diet; engaging in leisure activities; socializing with other people; and exercising regularly.

4. The sweet spot for longevity lies around 7,000 steps a day (or 30 minutes of exercise).

How Much Exercise Do We Need to Live Longer?

To increase our chances for a long life, we probably should take at least 7,000 steps a day or engage in sports such as tennis, cycling, swimming, jogging or badminton for more than 2.5 hours per week based on two large studies.

5. Older couples are thriving while ‘living apart together.’

Older Singles Have Found a New Way to Partner Up: Living Apart

Older people are increasingly partnering and re-partnering in various forms, Francine Russo wrote, but for women in particular, there’s a fear “that a romantic attachment in later life will shortly lead to full-time caregiving.” One solution may be living apart together (L.A.T.), meaning you can maintain a long-term committed romantic relationship without sharing, or intending to share, a home.

For the full article, go to The Secrets of Successful Aging.

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