We have the power to age well, it just takes a little insight, effort, and of course the right mindset.
So the first step is identifying where we want to be at “X” age. Since I plan to live to be 120, and I plan to do it well, I have a routine in place to help me maintain my strength and mobility, and hopefully to even improve these areas as I age.
Staying active in youth has been linked to staying physically active later in life. For example, the Fit in 50 Years study found that men who had played sports in high school had better physical activity at age 70 and also visited the doctor less across their entire lifespan.
If you’re feeling like high school was a long time ago and that it’s too late for you to get active now, think again. The personality trait of “openness to experience” was a major predictor of good physical activity at age 75, because of a willingness to participate in athletics and try new things. That means, no matter what age you are now, keeping an open and adventurous mind and trying new types of movement in your own routine can help you stay active and healthy as you get older.
And not only does regular exercise help us stay active in our later years, it’s even been shown to help defy the aging process. People who have exercised all their lives are more likely to have the immunity, muscle mass, and cholesterol profile of a younger person.
Last week I sat down with Dr. Peter Attia to talk about longevity, and as he likes to put it, training for the Centenarian Olympics. Peter explains how when we reverse engineer our lives by choosing detailed goals for activities and awareness as we age, we are better able to reach them.
Throughout our talk, Dr. Attia shares his own story of overcoming pre-diabetes and obesity (despite already living a very active lifestyle) and why he needed to take an integrative approach with diet, stress management, and more, in order to finally dial in his health.
The choices we make for our health today will define our ability to stay active, sharp, present, and independent tomorrow. I encourage you to listen in to last week’s podcast episode to gain some new insights on how to do just that.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD