While the “fountain of youth” may continue to remain an elusive concept for most of us, having a youthful attitude might just be the secret to defying aging. As published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, scientists from University College London studied the link between self-perceived age and mortality and discovered that people who feel “young at heart” may live longer. Sound too good to be true? The details may surprise you.
Researchers asked a group of participants (averaging 66 years of age) “How old do you feel you are?” and then followed up roughly eight years later to track the subsequent causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer among the group. They found a mortality rate of 18.5 percent for participants who felt close to their actual age and 24.6 percent for those who felt older. Here’s the kicker: Death rates were significantly lower (14.3 percent) for people who had initially reported feeling younger. In addition, people who felt three or more years younger than their age were significantly less likely to die from heart disease compared to those who felt their age or older.
While certain genetic factors may be out of our control when it comes to aging, perhaps there’s some truth to the saying: You’re only as old as you feel. Check out these healthy ways to channel your youthful self and help you feel your best at any age:
Get a full night’s sleep. A complete eight hours allows your body to fully restore itself, leaving you more vibrant physically and mentally.
Eat healthy. In addition to consuming lots of fruits and veggies, make sure you’re getting enough calcium, fiber, potassium, Vitamin A, folic acid, iron and Vitamin D—all key nutrients that many adults are lacking in their diet.
Stay active. Whether you shake a leg to your favorite tunes or take a stroll around the neighborhood, regular exercise is a great way to boost energy, reduce the risk of illness, and even reverse some signs of aging.
Take up an activity you loved as a child. Doing playful things you enjoyed as a kid—like finger painting, puzzles or games—helps you feel more carefree and, in turn, younger.
Keep up appearances. Getting a fresh haircut or using anti-aging skincare products can make you look and feel more youthful. Try REDEFINE ACUTE CARE™ Skincare for Expression Lines for 10 uses over 4 weeks to visibly reduce wrinkles.
Find a purpose. Volunteering is a great way to make a difference at any stage in our lives. Studies of aging adults have shown that people who are more socially connected and give back to their communities also feel younger.