Skip to main content

Tips on healthy aging

| Healthy You | Aging Well

A woman rests her head on a man's shoulder, both are smiling.

Regardless of your age, there are steps you can take to make a difference

Studies on successful aging have shown that only one third of what predicts how well we age is controlled by genetics. About two thirds is based on our personal lifestyle choices -- and is therefore under our control. -Gary Small, psychiatrist and director of the UCLA Center on Aging

Fight it or Face it? We’re all getting older.

We all have two choices when it comes to aging: constantly try to fight, or accept, embrace and enjoy it.

We know exercise and diet are important, but did you know attitude can be as important as genetics when it comes to growing old gracefully?

Regardless of where you are now, or what your age, there are steps you can take that do make a difference:

  • Maintain a positive attitude - cynicism makes you old. Wonder, curiosity, and unbridled joy help keep you young.
  • Watch what you eat and how much you eat-the best way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs is from a well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise regularly - movement is the key to good health. Aim for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, depression, and osteoarthritis. They’re also more likely to maintain a stable, healthy weight and less likely to be obese, which is itself a risk factor for those diseases.
  • Keep learning and stay social - the more you challenge your brain, the better it performs. Learn a variety of things, and participate in group activities that bring you joy.
  • Protect your skin from the sun-wear sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather. Let your health care provider know about any concerning spots.
  • Get plenty of sleep - aim for 7-8 hours each night.

As hard as it may be, really take the time to learn to be happy with who you are, be proud of what you’ve accomplished, keep dreaming and take care of yourself.